Downpour helps Essex slip into quarter-final

Essex took a place in the quarter-finals of the Friends Provident Trophy yesterday with a point from their cancelled match against Sussex at Hastings.

Umpires Jeremy Lloyds and Neil Mallender ruled that no play would be possible at Horntye Park following a third inspection at 2pm. Heavy rain overnight had made the square unplayable and the match, Sussex's first in Hastings for eight years, was called off with grey, threatening skies all around the ground.

Essex's point from the no result puts them two behind the leaders Kent, and they play their final match in the South East group against Middlesex at Lord's tomorrow.

Kent's final home match in the group stages against Middlesex was called off without a ball being bowled due to torrential overnight rain which left the outfield under water at Tunbridge Wells.

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