Essex bounce back
Essex Eagles recovered from their mauling at home to Yorkshire Bank 40 holders Hampshire Royals with a four-wicket victory over Durham Dynamos at the Emirates Durham ICG.
Chasing Durham's 209 for five, Essex turned a stroll into a scramble after openers Tom Westley and Rob Quiney had put 103 on the board.
Man of the match Westley made a flawless 71 off 73 balls, but Essex stuttered to 199 for six in the 38th over and would have lost Tim Phillips with eight needed had Callum Thorp not misjudged a top-edged sweep in the sun.
That was off the first ball of the penultimate set of six and Phillips duly drove a lofted four off Scott Borthwick to secure victory with an over to spare.
On a slow pitch Durham laboured after being asked to bat, with David Masters bowling straight through his eight overs to take 1-18. His scalp was that of Paul Collingwood, who drove to mid-on.
Durham recovered from 39 for three in the 11th over through Ben Stokes’ 62-ball half-century.
Stokes was run out by Sajid Mahmood’s direct hit, although the Essex seamer struggled to replicate such accuracy when bowling as he sent down five wides. Mahmood did have the consolation of bowling home captain Dale Benkenstein with a slower ball.
The loss of Stokes with 10 overs left was a big blow for Durham but Gordon Muchall cracked 40 off the last five overs, taking their respective unbeaten scores to 49 and 41.
Essex looked like coasting to victory as Quiney quickly warmed to his task with an effortless straight drive off Chris Rushworth.
Westley matched him stroke for stroke before Quiney was caught at deep midwicket for 50 off a Borthwick full-toss.
Ravi Bopara made only 10 before pushing forward and falling lbw to the first ball of a second spell from Mark Wood, whose pace possibly surprised the batsman.
Thorp then had Westley lbw when aiming for midwicket, while Mark Pettini and James Foster were caught on the drive off Wood and Rushworth respectively.
When the in-form Graham Napier pulled Rushworth to square-leg, it was left to Greg Smith and Phillips to carry Essex over the line.