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Eagles win to secure home advantage

Watch highlights from Wantage Road

Essex Eagles will have a home tie in the quarter-finals of the Royal London One-Day Cup after a four-wicket victory against Northants Steelbacks at Wantage Road in their last Group A outing.

The home side, prior to this game, could have qualified for the knockout stage, but Derbyshire Falcons’ defeat of Gloucestershire put paid to that hope and Mark Pettini's men will now be at home to Warwickshire next week.

Having been put in, the Steelbacks racked up a 311 from 47 of their 50 overs. David Willey was the star of the show with a 93-ball 113 - his second List A century - dominating the innings as an indifferent Essex performance in the field was exploited.

After Richard Levi and Rob Keogh had put on 100 for the first wicket in less than 15 overs, the latter was the first to go for 50.

Kyle Coetzer and Adam Rossington then fell cheaply, before Willey took centre stage with a perfectly-paced effort.

He had by far the better of a 114-run partnership with Levi, the South African contributing a meagre 27, and after reaching 50 from 44 deliveries, he needed 38 more to make his way to three figures.

David Willey races to an 84-delivery century, but it proved in vain as Essex chased down 312 with three balls and four wickets to spare

Levi, who did not hit a boundary for 60 balls after an initial burst, made 84 at nearly a run a ball but, after he and Willey had departed, the last five wickets aimlessly fell for the addition of just 13 runs - with Tom Westley picking up the final four in a 13-ball spell for figures of 4-60.

Essex's reply started brightly and with the in-form Westley - who romped past the 50-mark - leading the way, 94 had been wiped from the total required when Matt Spriegel got rid of the opener in his first over.

This was the cue for Pettini to move up a gear and, after having a life on 35 as Rossington put down a sharp chance at cover off Graeme White, he also made his way past 50 with relative ease.

In conjunction with Ravi Bopara, the required rate was kept to with little difficulty and although Pettini, caught from a leading edge off White for 88, and Jaik Mickleburgh - yorked for seven by Willey - departed, the visitors were still in control.

Bopara strolled to half-century number three but he fell shortly after Kishen Velani to tighten everything up.

Although James Foster departed attempting something ambitious, the winning line was crossed with three balls to spare.

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