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Page last updated at 18:47 GMT, Wednesday, 20 May 2009 19:47 UK

Essex book return to Old Trafford

FRIENDS PROVIDENT TROPHY, GROUP D, Old Trafford
Essex 207-5 beat Lancashire 214-7 by 5 wickets (D/L).
Essex 2pts, Lancashire 0pts


Alastair Cook
England opener Alastair Cook struck five fours in his 94-ball 65

Holders Essex secured their second group win over Lancashire in this year's Friends Provident Trophy - only to book another date at Old Trafford.

Varun Chopra and Alastair Cook both hit 65 in a 124-run second-wicket stand as Essex chased a revised Duckworth/Lewis target of 207 from 46 overs.

Lancashire, who had already won Group D, made 214-7 from 50 overs, Francois du Plessis top scoring with 51.

But Essex were always in control, winning with three balls to spare.

And, having also beaten by six wickets at Chelmsford in their first meeting on 10 May (a game in which Chopra also hit a half century), Essex were then handed the chance to do it for a third time.

The quarter-final draw, conducted immediately after the game, paired Paul Grayson's side with a rapid return to Old Trafford on Saturday.


Essex coach Paul Grayson told BBC Radio Essex:

"It was a good performance in tricky conditions.

"Chopra and Cook both batted well but got out in quick succession.

"But Matt Walker played a good hand at the end and it was good for James Foster to hit the winning runs.

"We've beaten Lancashire twice now in the group stages so we'll come back here in confident mood."

Lancashire coach Peter Moores told BBC Radio Lancashire:

"It was a good game of cricket and I thought we did some things really well.

"It was a tough pitch and hard to score at any real rate but I thought batting-wise we did well to post a score and then I thought we bowled really well up front and fielded well.

"In the end they snuck home but it could have gone either way.

"Although we've been beaten we can't forget we've topped the group and we've got a home draw.

"When Essex came out part of me was really pleased because we want to have another go at them."



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