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Eagles ride on Masters

Yorkshire Bank

David Masters

David Masters, in princely form at present, ripped through Netherlands' top-order to send Essex on their way

Essex beat the Netherlands by eight wickets under the Duckworth-Lewis method, having been set 74 from 16 overs to win the Clydesdale Bank 40 Group B match at Chelmsford.

The victory keeps alive the county’s hopes of reaching the semi-finals.

Ravi Bopara hit an unbeaten 43, including 28 off one over from Mohammed Kashif, as the Eagles reached their target in just eight overs.

Bopara and Mark Pettini had posted 47 for the first wicket before Bradley Kruger struck twice in an over to gain some consolation for the Dutch.

Pettini was caught by Bas Zuiderent at midwicket for 31 and three balls later Ryan ten Doeschate, playing against his international colleagues, was bowled for two.

However, Bopara plundered the hapless Kashif for two sixes and four other fours to wrap up an effortless win for Essex.

Having chosen to bat first, the Netherlands had reached 29 for three from 13.3 overs after an hour’s play when rain swept across the County Ground, continuing for half an hour before abating.

Although the pitch was covered immediately, the intensity of the downpour soon left the surrounds and bowlers run-ups saturated, with play ultimately delayed for three and a half hours.

David Masters took all three of the visitors' wickets at a cost of 11 runs from seven overs.

He struck in his third over when Michael Dighton was brilliantly stumped by James Foster for six, and, in his next over, trapped Eric Szwarczynski lbw for 10 as he pushed forward.

Wes Barresi became the third victim when he went half-forward and was struck on the back pad for three but soon afterwards, the rain arrived to ruin the visitors' chances of a meaningful contest.

Umpires Jeremy Lloyds and Michael Gough made the first of four inspections at 4pm but were concerned that areas of the playing square were unsafe.

Three further inspections in bright sunshine followed with the crowd growing increasingly restless.

Finally, the officials decided at 6pm conditions had improved to allow the Netherlands to continue their innings for a further 2.3 overs with the match reduced to 16 overs a side.

Wilf Diepeveen and Zuiderent added a further 22 runs from the remaining 15 deliveries as the Netherlands closed on 51 for three.