Bob Willis Trophy: Alastair Cook 129 not out as Essex draw with Hampshire

Alastair Cook
Sir Alastair Cook has scored 151 more runs than any other Essex batsman in the Bob Willis Trophy
Bob Willis Trophy, Arundel Castle (day four)
Essex 249-3: Cook 129*, Walter 43, Lawrence 37*
Hampshire: Did not bat
Essex (9 pts) drew with Hampshire (9 pts)

Sir Alastair Cook was left unbeaten on 129 as the weather prevented any play on the final day of Essex's Bob Willis Trophy game against Hampshire.

The match was abandoned as a draw at 14:15 BST following an inspection.

Both teams took nine points from the game at Arundel, with only one innings started over the four days.

Essex now head South Group with 70 points, but trail Somerset and Derbyshire, the leaders of the other groups, in the race for Lord's.

The two group winners with the best records will contest the five-day Bob Willis Trophy final, which begins on 23 September.

And Essex are keen to prove they are still county cricket's best red-ball side, after winning the Championship for the second time in three years in 2019.

Cook's 215-ball innings included 15 fours and he has scored 333 runs in their four matches so far, at an average of 55.

Essex are at home to Middlesex in their final group game, starting on 6 September, with Hampshire - who are 16 points behind them - away to Kent.

Hampshire head coach Adi Birrell:

"It has been frustrating. We came up against a good side and they probably got too many runs but we bowled well. The pitch played differently than the one the previous week, it was a lot more placid.

"We didn't get a lot of wickets but the guys toiled well. Alastair Cook was complimentary about how we bowled which I was pleased to hear.

"With only one team to go and two to qualify, that is probably gone. But it has been a very good tournament. We have learned a lot about our guys. Some have had an opportunity they probably wouldn't have had with a full side.

Essex captain Tom Westley:

"After taking over a very successful team from Tendo (Ryan ten Doeschate), there were high expectations and I'm chuffed to bits for the guys that we have continued that on so far.

"There is a bit more to being a captain than when I was a player but it is a huge honour to captain my county. That outweighs the small little things you have to do extra.

"We are very lucky at Essex that we have a lot of leaders in our team. There are a lot of guys who are thinking about cricket each ball and they approach me and make suggestions - which is fortunate for me."

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