Essex win opening one-day friendly

ESSEX beat Surrey by three wickets at Chelmsford yesterday in the first of a series of one-day friendly matches, reaching the challenging total of 297 for victory in the 50-overs, with 13 balls to spare.

ESSEX beat Surrey by three wickets at Chelmsford yesterday in the first of a series of one-day friendly matches, reaching the challenging total of 297 for victory in the 50-overs, with 13 balls to spare.

Grant Flower proved the Essex match-winner, following up a tidy spell of bowling by hitting 69 not out and his unbroken 50-run partnership with Ryan ten Doeschate completed the home side's victory. That was one of five half-century stands during the Essex innings, with James Foster striking a six and eight other boundaries in his 63, while Mark Pettini found the boundary ropes 13 times on his way to 62.

Flower dominated proceedings from the moment he arrived at the crease to reach a 42-ball 50 and fittingly, he struck the winning runs.

Essex had found Mark Ramprakash still a force to be reckoned with as the former England batsman hit 126 to underpin the visitors' innings.


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The batsman took a classy century off the Essex attack that included trialist Steven Clark who was formerly with Leicestershire.

Ramprakash captured the attentions of millions when winning the BBC Television series, Strictly Come Dancing during the winter and showed equally impressive footwork with the bat during his 138-ball innings that included five sixes among his tally of 14 boundaries. He was finally dismissed in the penultimate over of the innings when waltzing down the track to Ryan ten Doeschate allowing James Foster a simple stumping.

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Alex Tudor proved expensive returning two for 67 from 10 overs, medium-pacer Clark one for 37 from six overs, but pick of the Essex attack was Flower who bowled tidily taking two for 32 before turning his attentions to batting dexterity.

Scoreboard

Surrey: 296 for 9 (Ramprakash 126, Brown 40, Benning 31, Clarke 31).

Essex: 298 for 7 (G. Flower 69 not out, Foster 63, Pettini 62, Akram 3-50). Essex won by three wickets.

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