Essex lose to Hampshire as Rossouw strikes a century
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Essex 303/6 lost to Hampshire 304/4 by six wickets
Rilee Rossouw ended his Ageas Bowl hoodoo by scoring his first home century for Hampshire as they beat Essex Eagles by six wickets in the Royal London One-Day Cup today.
Batsman Rossouw scored 99 on his debut for Hampshire and 90 during Monday night’s victory over Surrey, but his only hundred had come on the road, at Somerset last year.
But he collected 111 against the Eagles to send Hampshire top of the South Group as they kept up their 100 per cent record in the competition.
Hampshire, who had lost five of their last six List A matches against Essex, had been set 304 to win after Adam Wheater, Tom Westley, Ravi Bopara and Ashar Zaidi had all plundered half centuries.
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Sam Cook managed to strike early to dismiss Hashim Amla, the South African flicking around the corner to Dutch debutant Shane Snater at short fine leg.
But Rossouw and James Vince comfortably complied no-risk runs as the pitch flattened.
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Both scored half centuries, Rossouw in an uncharacteristically restrained 62 balls while Vince only needed 41 balls, in a stand of 126 of the second wicket.
Vince tickled behind to end on 66 and Joe Weatherley was bowled, both by Ravi Bopara, however Rossouw, who passed his 5,000 List A run, wasn’t to be stopped as easily.
The South African did have one minor scare on his way to three figures when he required medical attention after diving into the crease while taking a quick single on 92. But composed himself after a ten minute delay to reach the milestone.
Rossouw was eventually bowled by Bopara, who ended with figures of three for 49, for 111 but Jimmy Adams, striking an effortless run-a-ball 51, and Brad Taylor scored the remaining 51 runs.
Earlier, Hampshire captain Vince won the toss and inserted Essex on a used track, which slowed throughout Monday night’s game with Surrey.
Varun Chopra and Wheater negotiated the power-play comfortably, but leg spinner Mason Crane’s introduction to the attack in the 11th over broke the 67-run opening partnership when he deceived the former with a googly.
Wheater appeared in fine fettle for a brisk 70, his half century coming off 49 balls, as he used a lightening quick outfield to his advantage.
But after a 76-run stand with Westley he failed to hook a Brad Wheal bouncer away from the prying hands of Vince at mid-on.
The loss of Dan Lawrence, run out by Brad Taylor’s direct hit at point, two overs later saw Essex stick to an almost regiment six runs an over for the remainder of the innings.
Westley clocked his fifty in 48 deliveries, brought up with slog-sweep maximum, before he was bowled by off-spinner Taylor.
Skipper Ryan ten Doeschate edged Gareth Berg behind, to start an 84-run collective between Bopara and Zaidi.
Both attempted to push the run-rate up, Zaidi cleanly striking a pair of maximums with Bopara bring up his half century, from 58-balls.
But despite Zaidi, who ended up 57 not out from 43 balls, Essex seemed below par as they posted 303 for six – Bopara the last wicket to fall in the innings as he ballooned to Vince at long-on.
And so it proved as Rossouw’s century made sure Hampshire chased them down with 16 balls to spare.