One-Day Cup: Somerset beat Essex to maintain winning start to campaign

Peter Trego (left) and Azhar Ali
Peter Trego and Azhar Ali added 217 runs for Somerset's second wicket
Royal London One-Day Cup, The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton
Somerset 353-5 (39 overs): Trego 141, Azhar 110; Siddle 4-60
Essex 154-6 (17 overs): Lawrence 51; Groenewald 3-32, C Overton 1-9
Somerset beat Essex by 36 runs (DLS method)

Centuries from Peter Trego and Azhar Ali helped Somerset beat Essex by 36 runs on a wet night in the One-Day Cup.

Trego hit 141 and Azhar 110 to help the hosts post 353-5 from 39 overs, before wet weather frequently interrupted the Essex reply.

Despite Dan Lawrence's 51 from 33 balls for the visitors, they were always well adrift of their adjusted targets, under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method.

The victory was Somerset's fourth from four cup matches so far this season.

Following opener Tom Banton's dismissal after facing just three balls, 37-year-old Trego and Azhar expertly steered the hosts to 220-1 before the Pakistan batsman was caught off the bowling of Paul Walter.

Trego hit 141 off just 101 deliveries, while Azhar's 110 came from 93 balls, as the pair hit a combined 10 sixes, totalling 30 boundaries between them.

After numerous suspensions amid the wet weather, when Essex resumed for the final time at around 20:25 BST, they ultimately needed a further 109 runs to win from five overs. But Tim Groenewald took 3-34 to remove any faint possibility of an extraordinary comeback.

Somerset have now won all six of their matches in all competitions so far in 2019. They are top of South Group on run rate from Hampshire, who have also won all their first four games.

Defeat for Essex leaves them sixth, with one win from four going into the home game with Hampshire on Sunday, when Somerset meet local rivals Gloucestershire at Nevil Road, Bristol.

Man of the match Peter Trego:

"At my age, any century could be my last so I was always going to enjoy it. It was nice to share a stand with my twin Azhar. Our team-mates find it hard to tell us apart in the field.

"The rain probably spoiled a classic. Essex have some big-hitting batsmen and had they been able to use all 39 overs it might have been some game.

"We never get tired of singing our victory song. It has been heard a lot already this season. We have started really well and hopefully there is a lot to look forward to."

Essex head coach Anthony McGrath:

"We didn't bowl well enough. Simple as that. It has been the story for us in the competition so far.

"The batsmen were left with an impossible task. Dan Lawrence and Ryan ten Doeschate played well but, when you go out with 109 needed off five overs. the game is over.

"We need to raise our game with the ball quickly. We have to come up with a line-up capable of beating Hampshire on Sunday if we are to have any hope of progressing."

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