Adam Wheater stars but Essex fall short as Yorkshire advance to Royal London Cup last four
Yorkshire Vikings (259-7) beat Essex Eagles (234) by 25 runs
Gary Ballance set up Yorkshire with a Royal London Cup semi-final showdown against Hampshire on Monday courtesy of a match-winning innings that knocked the wind out of Essex’s sails, writes Martin Smith.
The Vikings’ 259 for seven was underpinned by a fifth-wicket stand of 129 in 29 overs between Ballance, who hit an 113-ball 91 with seven fours and two sixes, and the comparatively pedestrian Jack Leaning, who managed 57 from 91 balls.
Captain Steven Patterson made sure Yorkshire head to Southampton next week with four wickets for 36 as Essex laboured.
Only Adam Wheater, coming in at No6, offered any resistance with his fourth fifty in nine Royal London innings this season. Wheater was ninth out for 78 from 70 balls when he was bowled by Patterson.
The tone for Essex’s response was set when Alastair Cook attempted to slog Ben Coad out of the ground, but only succeeded in sending up a steepler to mid-off which Patterson took a shoulder-height.
Cook was quickly followed by Tom Westley, who went for two, run out as Coad deflected Chopra’s straight drive on the stumps at the non-striker’s end.
Chopra, having passed 500 runs in this season’s competition with 37 from 18 overs, then swept Karl Carver carelessly to Leaning just inside the boundary.
Dan Lawrence lasted 24 balls for his 15 before he was lbw to Patterson. And when Bopara tried to force the pace he only managed to clip Patterson to a diving Brook at deep midwicket.
A measure of the speed of Essex’s response was that they only moved into three-figures in the 27th over, courtesy of Wheater’s ramp shot for four.
The wicketkeeper later twice deposited Bresnan for sixes. He put on 34 in eight overs with Ashar Zaidi before Patterson bowled the left-hander around his legs to leave Essex dangling at 123 for six.
The end was in sight when Harmer gave Carver his second wicket by dragging on. Coles wafted at Fisher, Wheater fell to Patterson and Wagner’s attempt at a ramp shot ended in him being bowled by Fisher.