Bopara comes down to earth but win lifts Essex to summit

England centurion scores only two but snatches vital wicket of Prince in victory
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The Independent Online

Essex coasted to a six-wicket victory over Lancashire to leapfrog their opponents at the top of the Friends Provident Trophy Group D with minimal assistance from the bat of new England No 3 Ravi Bopara. After his crucial hundred in the first-Test win at Lord's, Bopara was granted the opportunity to play for his county yesterday. The extra innings brought him only two runs before he was seen off by Glen Chapple, as Essex passed a target of only 157 at Chelmsford with almost six overs to spare. Bopara did make a contribution with the ball, snapping up the key wicket of Ashwell Prince as Lancashire collapsed.

At Wantage Road in Group D, Derbyshire kept in touch with the top two via a 21-run win over Northamptonshire. Stuart Law's share of Derbyshire's 286 for nine was 95 off 113 balls. There was also 57 for Wavell Hinds, following Law's century stand with new captain, Chris Rogers.

Kent went level on points with Group B leaders Somerset, thanks to a four-wicket win against Warwickshire at Canterbury. The visitors could muster only 218 all out after they had chosen to bat first. Ian Bell was unable to celebrate his recall to the England squad for Chester-le-Street as he was bowled for a duck by Wayne Parnell.

Championship leaders Nottinghamshire kept their cool against Worcestershire at Trent Bridge to go above their Group A rivals at the top. After being put in, Worcestershire were indebted to Moeen Ali (58) and Daryl Mitchell (59) in their 209 for eight. But Notts still got home with four wickets and five overs to spare.

Table-toppers Gloucestershire upheld the form book with a landslide defeat of bottom club Durham at Bristol while Surrey made a much better fist of a tough run chase in a thrilling match against Sussex at Hove. They fell only two runs short of 313 for seven.