One-Day Cup: Nathan Sowter spins Middlesex to victory over Essex
|Royal London One-Day Cup, Cloudfm County Ground|
|Middlesex 366-8 (50 overs): Malan 95, Scott 63, Gubbins 56; Siddle 3-71|
|Essex 328 (49.2 overs): Chopra 127, Westley 77; Sowter 6-62|
|Middlesex (2 pts) won by 38 runs|
Varun Chopra's century was not enough for Essex as leg-spinner Nathan Sowter bowled Middlesex to victory at Chelmsford with a six-wicket haul.
Australia-born Sowter blew away the Essex tail to claim career-best List A figures of 6-62 in 9.2 overs.
That was despite a run-a-ball 127 from opener Chopra as Essex chased 367.
England hopeful Dawid Malan had earlier made 95 in Middlesex's 366-8 with George Scott blasting 63 in just 30 balls and Nick Gubbins scoring 56.
Gubbins shared a fifth-wicket stand of 69 with Malan before adding 57 for the sixth wicket with Scott, who hit three fours and five sixes.
Australia paceman Peter Siddle claimed 3-71 for Essex, who were given hope by Chopra's innings after former England captain Alastair Cook made just 16.
Tom Westley hit 77 from just 59 balls and shared in a 158-run second-wicket stand with Chopra.
Essex were still in the hunt with seven overs remaining, but they lost four wickets for 12 runs in the space of two overs, including three for Sowter, to hand Middlesex the game.
Essex opener Varun Chopra:
"It was not our best performance. It was pretty poor in the first 15 overs and with the bat we were doing already up until about 35 overs and we were right in there but then we just fell away.
"I am obviously disappointed to be on the losing side after scoring a century but that is cricket.
"Losing my wicket and Ravi's in the same over knocked the stuffing out of us and passed the initiative back to them. But credit to Middlesex because they played well and deserved to win."
Middlesex head coach Stuart Law:
"It was a tough game of cricket but congratulations to the ground staff here. It was a fantastic cricket pitch, a beautiful outfield and short fast boundaries.
"The scores indicate just how good the wicket was and how good the talent on show was. To win was great. It was a tremendous fight from our boys playing their first game in this format under a new regime.
"We sat down and pinpointed a few areas that needed working on and we went out there and did really well. I was very vocal in stressing my views. As you can see the boys gave me a perfect response.