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Eagles retain bragging rights

Essex Eagles claimed their second Friends Life t20 victory over Kent Spitfires in the space of three days, this time by a margin of 62 runs in tonight’s South Group meeting at Chelmsford.

Replying to a total of 180 for eight, the visitors could only manage 118 all out in 17.3 overs, a failure that condemned them to their fifth successive defeat in this season's competition.

The Essex total was built on fluent rather than explosive batting as their top six batsmen, with the exception of Graham Napier, made useful contributions.

Openers Mark Pettini and Hamish Rutherford shared in a partnership of 59 in five overs, the former gathering 33 from 17 deliveries before giving a return catch to Mitchell Claydon.

Napier fell first ball in the same manner while Rutherford became an lbw victim to James Tredwell with 27 made from 14 balls .

That paved the way for Ravi Bopara and Owais Shah to gather 78 in just under 10 overs. Both made 39, Shah striking three sixes in his 32-ball effort while Bopara twice cleared the ropes in an innings spanning 30 deliveries.

The pair were removed by the nagging accuracy of England off-spinner Tredwell when they each holed out to Alex Blake at deep midwicket.

Ryan ten Doeschate weighed in with a useful 27 but Essex had looked set for a far bigger total after moving beyond 100 in the 11th over.

Tredwell emerged with figures of 3-19 from his four overs yet Bopara bettered that.

The England all-rounder followed up his effort with the bat by taking 3-12 in three overs with his brisk medium-pace. He removed Rob Key, Sam Northeast and Sam Billings in the space of 10 balls at a personal cost of five runs, blows from which Kent never threatened to recover.

Reece Topley saw to that as he destroyed the middle order with an impressive display of left-arm pace that returned figures of 4-26.

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