With a Test Match to write about and a fairly simple Essex match I am going  to be brief on this one, no really I am!

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The Royal London Cup is a great format for cricket, generally a fast paced exciting day of cricket, yet with more ‘meat’ than a T20 match, and a result on the day.

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White ball cricket at its best I’d say; I imagine from the healthy crowd at The County Ground for the visit of Lancashire others agree.

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Both teams had qualified for the T20 Quarter finals, both from 4th spot with 7 wins from their 14 games, that suggested the match would be an even affair.

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Essex won the toss and elected to bowl – that decision proved to be a very fine one!  I arrived at a few minutes after 2pm to hear cheers and see Ashwell Prince walking back to the dressing rooms. bowled by Reece Topley for the 4 runs showing on the board!

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Alviro Pieterson joined Karl Brown at the crease – They put on 40 runs before Brown was given out LBW from the bowling of Graham Napier, he’d contributed 21 runs to the total.

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Pieterson wasn’t far behind him, he had played a patient innings facing 52 balls for his 22 runs, but went for a slightly crazy shot from the bowling of David Masters missing the ball totally he was clean bowled.

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I can feel myself going into writing loads of words mode so I’ll keep the rest of the Lancashire innings brief.

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Alex Davies the wicketkeeper coming in to bat at 7 with the score on 66 for 6 showed real grit and determination being top scorer at 37 – he really helped his team to a semi decent scoreline of 161.

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Ravi Bopara in his mode as bowler took 4 wickets for 31 runs!  David Masters took a single wicket but only conceded 20 runs from his 10 overs, including 47 dot balls, a great contribution!

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Essex weren’t set a huge total to make to win the game therefore; Mark Pettini opened with Tom Westley.  Essex found themselves on 20 for 1 after Westley was caught by Paul Norton from the bowling of Kyle Jarvis.

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Ravi Bopara came in at 3 and wow did he make his mark on the game!  Pettini who has shone more than once facing the white ball worked well with Bopara, they took the score to 118 before Ashwell Prince took a superb catch, seeming to pluck the ball from the air with one hand.  Jarvis was the bowler again.

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There had been a couple of crazy runs early on in the partnership, crazy because Essex really didn’t need to force the issue with such a low target.

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However Bopara calmed down and his class shone through as he made a wonderful 101 to see his team to victory.  It looked like there wouldn’t be enough runs left for him to reach his century but things worked out well for him and he hit the winning runs to take him to a superb Man of The Match innings!

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I’d spent most of the match with my good friends Tina and Stella – the win was a great boost for all of us!  I love watching cricket no matter what but it’s doubly pleasurable when watched in good company!

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I hadn’t sorted any food before the match and needed to eat – I would comment that the choice of food was pretty woeful.  If you like greasy, over-priced, unhealthy food then your needs are served.  I won’t forget food the next time I go to a Royal London game at the County Ground.

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As promised not too many words – Day 1 of the 3rd Test to follow.  A word for the Lancashire ‘kit’ – my goodness!  What were they thinking???

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