Lancashire were hamstrung by the loss all ten wickets for just 103 runs as they tasted defeat for the first time this season against Essex Eagles
The Lightning had made a fine start to this Clydesdale Bank 40 Group C clash at Chelmsford, with Karl Brown and Stephen Moore sharing 87 for the first wicket after they had been invited to bat first.
But four wickets for South African left-arm pace bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe and three for England all-rounder Ravi Bopara meant Lancs could only post a below par 190 all out in good batting conditions.
Brown top scored with 47 off 63 balls and Moore scored 45 off 33, including seven boundaries.
Middle order pair Gareth Cross and Luke Procter both added 24 threatening to carry their side to a defendable target, but nobody else made it into double figures.
Bopara then continued his impressive day, which resulted in the sponsor’s man-of-the-match award, with a composed 75 not out off 81 balls for the hosts, including only five boundary fours.
Captain and wicketkeeper James Foster top scored with 77 as the Eagles won by seven wickets with 35 balls to spare to add to Sunday’s win over Notts Outlaws at the same venue.
“We were always quite a few light there on the runs,” said Stephen Moore, who continued his impressive record in 40-over cricket for the county since his move from Worcester, falling within one run of a half-century.
“We got off to a nice start. But, unfortunately, neither Browny nor myself could go on to the three figures that would have given us a decent total to defend.
“It showed that if you lose a few wickets, it’s difficult to find your momentum in a one-day innings if the fielders and bowlers put you under pressure. As a batting unit, the options we chose weren’t great.”
Brown and Moore, in particular, had raced out of the blocks, bringing up their side’s 50 after only seven overs.
They took three boundaries off Tsotsobe’s first over, but the Essex overseas man recovered well to get Brown and stand-in captain Steven Croft both caught at cover by Jaik Mickleburgh in successive overs to leave the score at 109-3 in the 21st over.
He later bowled Sajid Mahmood and had Luke Procter caught at long-on.
Bopara trapped Paul Horton lbw and bowled Farveez Maharoof within the space of three balls in the 23rd over before trapping Simon Kerrigan in front.
Left-arm spinner Tim Phillips also picked up two wickets for the hosts – those of Moore and Gareth Cross.
Mahmood snared the scalps of Mark Pettini, lbw, and England’s Ashes star Alastair Cook, caught at deep square-leg by Procter, to leave the score at 32-2 in the seventh over of the Essex reply.
But Bopara and Foster then added a calming third wicket partnership of 135 inside 24 overs to seal the win. They were quite happy to accumulate the ones and twos before accelerating with the winning line in sight.
Bopara was dropped by Cross off the bowling of Stephen Parry on 17. Kerrigan had Foster stumped by Cross in the 32nd over - but it was too late. Mahmood finished with impressive figures of 2-28 from his eight overs.
“Unless we took a number of early wickets to put them under the pump, we were always going to struggle,” added Moore. “We’ve got to put it behind us and come out fighting in our next game against Somerset (in just under a fortnight’s time).”
Photo (c) PA Images
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