NatWest Pro40 - Division Two
Northamptonshire Steelbacks 61 v Essex Eagles 64-2
Essex beat Northamptonshire by 8 wkts (D/L Method)
Essex strengthened their position as leaders of Division Two of the Pro40 League with a thumping eight-wicket victory over Northamptonshire at Southend.
Rain reduced the match to 37 overs per side but the Essex bowling attack needed just 21 of them to skittle out Northants for just 61 as the visitors found batting almost impossible on the Southend wicket.
Only Lance Klusener and David Sales reached double figures as they made 20 and 17 respectively as stand-in Essex skipper and wicket-keeper James Foster took four catches.
Graham Napier and David Masters both took two early wickets each to leave the Steelbacks reeling on 12-4 in just the sixth over.
Napier went on to record figures of 3-22 while Masters took 3-27, while Chris Wright later came on to grab an impressive 3-3 in his four overs - Ravi Bopara claimed the other wicket.
Essex suffered two setbacks in their easy run chase, with Varun Chopra and Napier both falling victim to Johan van der Wath.
The win was never in doubt though and Jason Gallian made 20 and Bopara hit 14 - including the boundary that sealed the victory in just the 15th over.