Natwest T20 Blast: Mark Pettini hits career-best 95 as Ravi Bopara helps Essex to eight-wicket victory over Middlesex in Lord's double-header

Pettini leads the charge as Essex hunt down Middlesex's 180-5 with seven balls to spare

Lord's

Ravi Bopara and Mark Pettini combined to lead Essex to victory over Middlesex in the first of two Natwest T20 Blast fixtures at Lord's on Saturday.

Pettini had set up a strong platform as the visitors responded to Middlesex's 180 for five, before Bopara added the late firepower to secure an eight-wicket victory.

Pettini hit the winning runs with seven balls to spare as he set his new format best of 95, while Bopara smashed three fours and three sixes - including 16 runs from three James Harris deliveries in the 19th over - in his 24-ball 45.

Dawid Malan and Eoin Morgan had earlier put on 118 for Middlesex's second wicket.

Opener Malan carried his bat for a terrific 86, while England international Morgan bludgeoned 77 from just 43 deliveries as the hosts had been put into bat.

Morgan, who came to the crease with the hosts 21 for one after Paul Stirling saw his off-stump removed by Oliver Newby, raced to his 12th 20-over 50 before eventually succumbing to Graham Napier in the 16th over, holing out to Newby at long-on.

Reece Topley struck three times late on to stop Morgan's side threatening the 200-mark, including the removal of Joe Denly and Dan Christian in successive deliveries, the latter falling first ball on his Middlesex debut.

Essex skipper Pettini dominated an opening stand of 81 in reply, with England's Test and one-day captain Alastair Cook never really looking comfortable in his 22 from 21 balls.

He eventually fell to Ravi Patel, pulling straight to Morgan at midwicket.

Patel struck again - New Zealand international Jesse Ryder snared by Toby Roland-Jones at long-off after making 15 on his debut - as Middlesex successfully dried up the runs.

But with a tight finish looking certain, Bopara punished Harris and left Middlesex nursing a defeat ahead of their second game of the day against Sussex.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back