FRIENDS PROVIDENT TROPHY
Chelmsford: Essex 291-8 (50 ovs) bt Sussex 141-6 (24/24 ovs) by 14 runs (D/L method)
Points: Essex 2, Sussex 0
Matt Prior's half-century ended up counting for nothing as Essex recorded a 14-run victory over Sussex under the Duckworth/Lewis method at Chelmsford.
Batting first, Essex made 291-8 with Grant Flower (75), Ryan ten Doeschate (61) and Ravi Bopara (59) in fine form.
Sussex reached 31-0 from eight overs before rain forced a long stoppage and when play resumed the visitors found themselves requiring 156 from 24 overs.
Prior hit 50 from 57 balls but once he fell Sussex faded, finishing on 141-6.
Although finishing wicketless, it was Andre Nel who arguably played the most prominent role in Essex's triumph, the South African paceman conceding just 16 runs in his allocation of five overs.
The hosts' total was built predominantly by Bopara, Flower and ten Doeschate after Alastair Cook had once again failed to make an impact.
The England left-handed opener scored a total of 48 against Derbyshire in the County Championship and on this occasion he made just eight before falling lbw to Robin Martin-Jenkins.
But Bopara, who has now scored 506 runs in six innings, maintained his magnificent start to the summer with a stylish 59 from 71 balls.
The 22-year-old shared in a stand of 115 for the third wicket with Flower and after the Zimbabwean's departure ten Doeschate heaped further misery on a toiling Sussex attack - smashing 61 from 53 deliveries.
Mushtaq Ahmed, the veteran leg-spinner, for once went wicketless during his 10 overs while conceding 55, and it was left to Robin Martin-Jenkins, James Kirtley and Michael Yardy to emerge as Sussex's most successful bowlers with two wickets each.