Friends Provident Trophy - South/East Division
Essex 215 (V Chopra 79) v Surrey 219-2 (M A Butcher 66 no, S A Newman 52, U Afzaal 50 no)
Surrey beat Essex by 8 wkts
Surrey scored an eight-wicket Friends Provident Trophy win against Essex at Chelmsford, in the process keeping alive their slim hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the competition.
Essex in turn saw their aspirations of both winning the South-East Division and earning an automatic home tie dented, the home side being bowled out for 215 in a match reduced to 40 overs per side after heavy morning rain.
The visitors' reply got off to a strong start with James Benning striking the first legitimate ball of the innings over deep mid-on for six.
Benning and Scott Newman initially treated the bowlers with contempt and brought up the 50 partnership in less than six overs but, having taken the total onto 58, the former was bowled by David Masters for 38.
Essex captain Mark Pettini rotated his attack with five changes in the opening 15 overs but Newman was also in good form and brought up the 100 with a six over the deep mid-wicket.
He then completed a 41-ball half-century before being caught behind for 52 attempting to cut off-spinner Middlebrook.
Surrey needed 106 more runs from 24 overs and, in an unbeaten partnership of 109 runs, captain Mark Butcher and Usman Afzaal were able to ease their side to victory in comfortable fashion.
Essex were inserted by Surrey and the quick dismissals of Pettini and Ravi Bopara justified the visitors' decision, the pair respectively making just six runs and a duck.
Varun Chopra was the lynchpin of the home sides' innings, his knock of 79 including a fourth-wicket partnership of 47 with Ryan ten Doeschate and one of 60 runs with James Foster.
The departure of Foster for 32 saw the run-rate slow - 38 runs being added in the remaining nine overs as the home side lost their final four wickets.
Jade Dernbach was the most successful Surrey bowler, the paceman ending with figures of 3-31.