Essex Eagles v Worcestershire Rapids
Royal London Cup
Thursday 29 July, 2pm
The Cloudfm County Ground
Essex Eagles: Will Buttleman, Alastair Cook, Tom Westley (c), Michael Pepper, Ryan ten Doeschate, Adam Wheater (wk), Simon Harmer, Aron Nijjar, Shane Snater, Ben Allison, Jack Plom.
Worcestershire Rapids: Jack Haynes, Brett D’Oliveira, Tom Fell, Jake Libby, Gareth Roderick (wk), Ed Barnard, Joshua Dell, Joe Leach (c), Josh Baker, Charlie Morris, Adam Finch.
Umpires: Chris Watts & Richard Illingworth
Toss: Essex Eagles, who elected to field
Result: Worcestershire Rapids won by 182 runs
Match Reaction: Anthony McGrath
Essex Eagles crashed to their heaviest defeat in List A cricket when Worcestershire Rapids won the Royal London Cup fixture at The Cloudfm County Ground by 182 runs.
Faced with a total of 338-7, they were tumbled out for 156 in 31.3 overs with only Adam Wheater giving the Eagles supporters something to cheer about with a swashbuckling 77 from 82 balls.
The Rapids openers, Josh Haynes and Brett D’Oliveira both scored centuries and posted a first-wicket stand of 243 to take the initiative for their side who proceeded to post the fourth highest List A total against Essex.
The Eagles were plunged into trouble when losing their first 4 wickets for a mere 17 runs inside the first 6 overs as Will Buttleman, Michael Pepper and Ryan ten Doeschate each departed without troubling the scorers.
The other wicket to fall in that sequence was skipper Tom Westley who had made 14 when he had his middle stump knocked back by Joe Leach.
Leach also claimed two of the other wickets with his successes underlining the value of maintaining a good line and length.
The nagging accuracy of the entire Rapids attack also brought pressure to the home side and the visitors might have completed an even greater margin of success but for lapses in the field.
Wheater was twice dropped in the covers by Josh Dell during a partnership worth 70 with Alastair Cook, firstly on 16 and then 7 runs later with slow left-arm spinner Josh Baker the unlucky bowler.
The stand was brought to an end when Cook put up a simple catch to mid-on after contributing 42 in 51 deliveries and containing only 3 fours.
Following his departure, Wheater opened up to score freely reaching arriving at his half-century from 67 balls that embraced 5 boundaries.
But his innings came to an end when he hoisted leg-spinner Brett D’Oliveira to deep mid-on and the bowler was to bring the innings to a swift close with figures of 3/8 from 2.3 overs.
Worcestershire were put into bat and made serene progress through the opening pair who batted beautifully throughout their effective and impressive liaison that represented the highest opening stand for their County in List A cricket. It was also the highest Worcestershire stand for any wicket against Essex in the format.
It came to an end when D’Oliveira fell to Shane Snater for 123 which arrived from 116 balls and included 13 fours and a six. He was the third generation of the D’Oliveira family to score a century at Chelmsford.
His opening partner, 20-year-old Haynes, who had scored half-centuries in his two previous Royal London Cup innings this summer, went on to collect 153 from 128 balls that included 19 fours and 2 sixes before he was stumped to provide Simon Harmer with one of his 2 wickets at a cost of 54 runs.
Once the breakthrough arrived, 6 more wickets fell for just 68 runs in 10 overs but the damage had been wreaked by the opening batsmen.