CLYDESDALE BANK 40, Northampton:
Essex 199-1 (33.2 ovs) beat Northants 198-9 (40 ovs) by nine wickets
Bopara faced 89 balls for his unbeaten 88, hitting eight fours and two sixes
Ravi Bopara put his disappointment at missing out on a Test recall aside to lead Essex to a nine-wicket CB 40 win over Northants.
The England batsman hit an unbeaten 88 as Essex chased down their target of 199 with 40 balls to spare.
He was well supported by Mark Pettini (58) and Grant Flower (35 not out).
Earlier, Northants opener Rob Newton hit 66, but two wickets each from David Masters, Andy Carter and Flower saw the hosts restricted to 198-9.
Northants won the toss and opted to bat first only to lose opener Rob White in the fourth over. Newton, in only his third first-team appearance, and Alex Wakely (29) then added 61 runs.
However, wickets continued to fall regularly as Stephen Peters, skipper Andrew Hall, David Murphy and David Willey all failed to make telling contributions, leaving Northants short of 200.
Essex responded strongly with Pettini racing to a half-century before being caught off the bowling of Elton Chigumbura (1-44) at backward point on the drive.
Bopara soon reached his half-century with a huge six, then he and Zimbabwean veteran Flower cruised to victory.