Awesome Essex dismantle the Dutch
Half-centuries from Tom Westley, Ryan ten Doeschate and James Foster helped Essex beat the Netherlands by 117 runs in the Clydesdale Bank 40 Group A clash at Colchester.
All three milestones came at more than a run a ball to lift Essex to a total of 314 for eight which the Dutch could only respond to with 197 all out.
After the early dismissal of Mark Pettini, Westley had to also overcome the loss of number three Ravi Bopara - returning to action - for one. The right-handed opener smashed nine fours and a six while making 59 from 40 balls, before being dismissed when he offered a return catch to the first delivery sent down by left-arm spinner Pieter Seelaar.
Ten Doeschate struck 52 from 46 deliveries with the help of three fours and a six before he also fell to Seelaar, this time leg before.
Foster upped the tempo with 79 from only 48 balls before departing in the last over of the innings when bowled by Logan van Beek. He struck seven fours and two maximums to help Essex post their highest score in 40-over cricket and it was also the first time that the Dutch had conceded more than 300 in the competition.
Faced with their huge task, the Netherlands did manage to get off to a fine start and the 50 was raised in the sixth over thanks to Stephan Myburgh, whose quickfire 33 included three sixes before he was caught in the deep attacking off-spinner Harbhajan Singh.
That was followed by a partnership of 69 in a dozen overs between Michael Swart and Tom Cooper before the latter also became a victim of Harbhajan, trapped lbw for 35 reverse sweeping to give the bowler his second wicket.
Soon afterwards, Swart's commendable effort came to an end. Immediately after completing his half-century from 51 balls, he departed lbw to Bopara and following his dismissal, the visitors never threatened to find the acceleration needed to pose any sort of threat.
Harbhajan went on to emerge with figures of 5-37 from six overs while Bopara gained some consolation after his low score with the bat by picking up 3-19 from 6.2 overs as Essex recorded their third successive win in the competition and avenged their five-wicket defeat earlier in the season in Holland.