It cannot have been too testing to name Will Jefferson as man of the match at Trent Bridge after he opened the batting for Essex and scored one more run than Nottinghamshire could muster as the visitors won their C & G Trophy third-round encounter by 184 runs.
Putting Essex in will not rate as one of Jason Gallian's best decisions. Jefferson, who scored 126 off 125 balls, and the Zimbabwean Andy Flower, who made 106, compiled an opening stand of 248 but a few late stutters restricted Essex to 309. After Paul Franks had been run out at 45 when Darren Gough deflected a Gallian drive on to the stumps, the home side had no chance.
Essex may not find life so easy in the quarter-finals against Worcestershire, who were similarly dismissive in their treatment of Somerset at New Road.
Somerset's innings followed a similar pattern to Nottinghamshire's once play started after a rain delay. They made a reasonable opening thanks to Kabir Ali struggling on his return after a double hernia operation. His two overs went for 29 but then Andy Bichel stepped into the fray and removed the England opener Marcus Trescothick and Somerset's captain Michael Burns.
The Australian finished with 4 for 17 and David Leatherdale 3 for 9 as Somerset succumbed for 95. After early Worcestershire hiccups, Bichel hit a brisk 38, completing an eight-wicket victory with a six.
Jamie Dalrymple and Ed Joyce hit centuries to steer Middlesex to a six-wicket win over Glamorgan at Lord's.
Dalrymple, who scored 104 in the second-round victory over Wales Minor Counties, made 107, reaching his century off 98 balls. The square-drive that took him into three figures came off Simon Jones, who then had him caught behind with Middlesex 14 short.
He put on 220 for the fourth wicket with Joyce, who took the honour of finishing the chase for the 257 needed for victory. He completed his own century with the stroke that brought the winning runs with 23 balls to spare.
In Harare, Australia overpowered Zimbabwe and completed a whitewash of their one-day series. The result had looked a formality once Zimbabwe were reduced to 61 for 6, but they did reach 196 thanks to Elton Chigumbura, with 77, and Mluleki Nkala, with 47. A maiden ODI century by Australia's Michael Clarke secured an eight-wicket win.
In St Lucia, Bangladesh heaped more misery on West Indies by compiling their highest Test score. They were 406 for 9 when rain and bad light brought the second day of the first Test to an end after the left-handed No 9, Mohammad Raffique, had hit Ramnaresh Sarwan for four through the covers to reach 103 not out, his maiden Test century.Reuse content