One-Day Cup: Leicestershire beat Essex in low-scoring contest
Royal London One-Day Cup, Chelmsford
Leicestershire 142 (40.3 overs) beat Essex 108 (32.3 overs) by 34 runs
Leicestershire completed a 34-run victory over Essex in a low-scoring One-Day Cup match at Chelmsford.
Graeme Napier took 5-43 as the visitors struggled to 142 all out from 40.3 overs, with Scott Styris' unbeaten 44 their top score.
But seamer Anthony Ireland (4-31) then tore through the Essex top order as they limped to 6-3 in reply.
And the hosts were unable to recover, eventually crumbling to 108 all out in only 32.3 overs.
Shiv Thakor (3-21) and Charlie Shreck (3-33) supported Ireland superbly, helping their team to their first One-Day Cup win of the summer.
But it was a disappointing display from Ryan ten Doeschate's side, who had piled up 242-2 on their way to trouncing Worcestershire at New Road earlier this week.
Few could have predicted the flurry of wickets that were to fall at Chelmsford when Angus Robson (28) and Greg Smith (20) eased Leicestershire to 46-1.
Once Smith was bowled by Tim Phillips (2-30), however, Napier took over to rip through the Foxes line-up and knock them over with nearly 10 overs remaining.
But Essex faired no better, with Phillips' 49-ball 27, in a partnership of 23 with number 11 Matt Salisbury, the only genuine resistance as Leicestershire recorded a fine victory.
Essex head coach Paul Grayson:
"We were very good with the ball and in the field but we were disappointing with the bat.
"There was some poor thinking, a bit of kamikaze cricket up front losing three wickets for not many.
"Everybody is very disappointed because its a game we should have won, but we've lost."
Leicestershire seam bowler Anthony Ireland:
"It was a modest total that we had to defend and at the halfway stage of the match, we couldn't be too confident that we would win.
"We needed and got early wickets and we've worked hard to get our rewards.
"We haven't done well this year and everyone will stick their hands up to that but this will give us confidence and hopefully it will kick-start our season in 50-overs competition."