One-Day Cup: Essex move to South Group top spot with win against Somerset
|Royal London One-Day Cup, The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton|
|Essex 334-6 (50 overs): Westley 100, Bopara 92*, Cook 65; Van der Merwe 2-67|
|Somerset 262 (43.2 overs): Allenby 77, Myburgh 57; Wagner 3-55, Harmer 3-56|
|Essex (2 pts) beat Somerset by 72 runs|
Essex have one foot in the One-Day Cup semi-finals after they leapfrogged South Group leaders Somerset to top spot with a 72-run win at Taunton.
Tom Westley's century and an unbeaten 92 from Ravi Bopara set Essex on their way to 334-6 from their 50 overs.
Johann Myburgh (57) got Somerset's chase off to a rocketing start with 50 from just 26 balls and captain Jim Allenby (77) also looked well set.
But he fell on 202-5 and the tail collapsed as Somerset made just 262.
Top spot in the South Group secures automatic qualification to the semi-finals. If Essex avoid defeat against Kent in their final group game on Wednesday at Canterbury they will progress to a home tie in the last four.
Despite defeat, results elsewhere on Sunday mean Somerset will finish in the top three and qualify for at least the quarter-final play-offs.
Westley (100) and former England captain Alastair Cook (65) put on 135 for the second wicket in Essex's innings, with Bopara (92 not out off 81 balls) on hand to push the accelerator in the closing overs.
Somerset raced out of the blocks in reply as Myburgh struck six fours and four sixes at the top. But, as partnerships looked well set, Essex picked up wickets at key intervals.
Neil Wagner (3-55) returned from international duty with New Zealand to good effect and Simon Harmer (3-56) proved a partnership breaker with his off-breaks.
Somerset's final group match is against Middlesex at Lord's on Wednesday.