Moeen magic sinks Essex
Moeen Ali’s 98-ball 99 underpinned a seven-wicket victory for Worcestershire over Group A rivals Essex in the latest round of Clydesdale Bank 40 matches.
After restricting their hosts to 190 all out at Chelmsford, despite Mark Pettini’s 64 and 47 from Alastair Cook, Worcestershire eased home inside 34 overs.
Moeen was the star performer with seven fours and three sixes, although he was cruelly deprived of a century when he fell to the part-time off-spin of Alviro Petersen.
Elsewhere in Group A, Gloucestershire capitalised on Kane Williamson’s hundred by completing a 164-run thrashing of Leicestershire at Bristol.
Williamson’s 112, which came off just 92 deliveries, and 88 from Benny Howell propelled Gloucestershire to an imposing total of 294 for six after they had been invited to bat first.
Chris Dent and Graeme McCarter returned respective figures of 4-43 and 3-15 to undermine Leicestershire’s reply, which came to a halt in the 31st over with the score on 130.
Will Porterfield thumped an unbeaten 81 as Warwickshire maintained their 100% record in Group C with a comprehensive nine-wicket demolition of Derbyshire at Edgbaston.
Derbyshire laboured to 122 all out in 31.1 overs after being put in by Jim Troughton. Chris Woakes marked his return from an ankle injury with 2-20 and there were three wickets apiece for Rikki Clarke and Jeetan Patel.
Warwickshire then wasted little time in dashing to their target, despite losing Varun Chopra to Tim Groenewald for a duck. Porterfield cracked 10 fours and a six in his 80-ball innings and England batsman Jonathan Trott finished on 41 not out as victory was secured with more than 19 overs unused.
Sussex were untroubled as they coasted to a 144-run victory over the Unicorns on the back of centuries from Ed Joyce and Matt Machan.
Opener Joyce struck 102 from 98 deliveries and shared 175 with Machan, who went on to reach 126 not out off 100 balls as Sussex closed on 291 for three.
After slipping to 22 for three, the Unicorns never looked likely to pull off a successful run-chase and finished well short on 146 for nine, Chris Nash claiming 3-29.
Liam Plunkett marked his return to Durham’s line-up with figures of 4-33 in a 14-run victory over Somerset, who have now lost two from two in the 40-over format.
Gordon Muchall, with 75, and Will Smith, who scored 20 fewer, shared 124 for the fourth wicket as Durham reached 222 for nine.
Jamie Overton’s four wickets kept Somerset in the hunt; two of the teenager’s scalps were completed by catches from twin brother Craig.
The visitors failed to fire with the bat, however, and although Alex Barrow did his best to keep the chase alive with a defiant innings of 72, they were dismissed for 208 in the final over.
The other Group B match, between Scotland and the Welsh Dragons at Uddingston, was abandoned after just 6.5 overs, the hosts having reached 25 for one before the heavens opened.