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Kent's winning run in Royal London One-Day Cup ends at Essex

By Josh Fordham

Kent’s winning run in the Royal London One-Day Cup ended with a heavy defeat at Essex on Wednesday.

The Spitfires had already made it through to the knockout stages going into the final group match but a win would have guaranteed them at least a home quarter-final, perhaps a semi-final place if results went their way.

Superb centuries from Dan Lawrence and Ravi Bopara did the damage for the Eagles, batting first, as they won by 153 runs.

Matt Henry. Picture: Andy Jones.
Matt Henry. Picture: Andy Jones.

Kent were unchanged following their five wins in a row in the competition and chose to field first after winning the toss.

Mitch Claydon was expensive in his first few overs but had a chance put down by Alex Blake off his bowling in the seventh over of the match. Adam Wheater skied a delivery and it seemed to take an age to come down, when it did Blake fumbled the chance.

The breakthrough did come two overs later when Chopra flicked a ball off his pads in Calum Haggett’s first over for 13 to make it 39-1.

That dropped catch was not too costly in the end as Wheater (25) missed a straight one off Matt Henry’s bowling.

There was another dropped catch in the 20th over, when Stevens couldn’t keep hold of the ball after Westley drilled it at him off his own bowling. A few balls later he got Westley (26) out for lbw putting Essex on the backfoot on 82-3.

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Tight bowling in the middle overs from Stevens (1-37) and Qayyum saw Kent keep the run rate down and after 30 overs Essex were 132-3.

Dan Lawrence and Ravi Bopara rebuilt the Essex innings putting on 187 for the fourth wicket before the former was caught by Kuhn off Henry for 115.

Bopara batted superbly for his 125 from 88 balls as he accelerated the innings in the closing stages to help his side reach 337-7.

Matt Henry (2-59) had to be taken out of the attack in the penultimate over after two deliveries over waist height. Claydon ended on 2-75 while Haggett took 2-90.

Kent’s run chase got off to a sluggish start with both Kuhn (4) and Daniel Bell-Drummond (12) falling in the first 10 overs.

Skipper Sam Billings (6) was then bowled by former Kent man Matt Coles with his first delivery of the match to leave the Spitfires 42-3.

Coles caused problems for the Kent batters in his first spell, also claiming the wicket of the in form Joe Denly for 22.

Alex Blake (41) and Sean Dickson (51) steadied the ship with an 83-run partnership to give their side a glimmer of hope.

Wickets fell consistently through the innings with Stevens (11), Haggett (2), Qayyum (4) all falling cheaply.

Jamie Porter was the pick of the Essex bowlers taking 4-37.

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