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Rain ruins Essex’s Twenty20 friendly

PUBLISHED: 08:10 07 April 2016 | UPDATED: 08:10 07 April 2016

The 2016 first-class cricket season is underway (pic: Jonathan Brady/PA)

The 2016 first-class cricket season is underway (pic: Jonathan Brady/PA)

PA/Press Association Images

Hornchurch all-rounder makes debut against Middlesex

Hornchurch's Paul Walter was man of the match in the Essex League Cup final and spent time with Essex in Dubai ahead of the new seaon (pic: Sandra Rowse)Hornchurch's Paul Walter was man of the match in the Essex League Cup final and spent time with Essex in Dubai ahead of the new seaon (pic: Sandra Rowse)

Essex saw rain ruin their Twenty20 friendly with Middlesex at the County Ground.

Limited overs captain Ravi Bopara included Hornchurch all-rounder Paul Walter in his squad for the first time and after a delayed start the hosts were put into bat after losing the toss.

Bopara opened with Jesse Ryder, who scored eight runs in the first over but was then caught at mid-on in the second over.

Former Trinity High School pupil came in at number three and started his innings with an audacious ramp shot, racing to 22 as Essex reached 37-1 after three overs.

Lawrence lost his middle stump in the fifth over, without adding to his score, and Bopara holed out to deep mid-wicket to leave the hosts 43-3 in the sixth over.

Ashar Zaidi and Ryan ten Doeschate got Essex back on track, though, as they reached the midway point of their innings on 78-3.

Zaidi reached 34 before driving into the hands of mid-off, but ten Doeschate went on to reach his half-century from just 28 balls, having hit four sixes and five fours.

Essex were 147-4 with five overs remaining, but ten Doeschate fell for a splended 78 and Callum Taylor soon followed after hitting a six.

Stalwarts James Foster and Graham Napier saw Essex close on a respectable 198-6, but Middlesex scored 32 without loss from the first two overs of their reply.

Aaron Beard made the breakthrough, though, and Napier followed up with the scalp of Dawid Malan, then held on to a catch to dismiss Nick Gubbins.

A second wicket for Beard left the visitors 65-4 after six overs and David Masters got in on the act to leave them five down.

Middlesex slowed to 86-5 at the midway mark, but were still eight runs ahead of Essex at the same point in their innings.

Napier removed the middle stump of Toby Roland-Jones to make it 107-6 in the 14th over, but rain then stopped play and the sides were unable to return to the field.

The early finish could not dampen the spirits of 23-year-old Walter, who took a catch off the bowling of Beard.

He tweeted: “Delighted to make my debut today for @EssexCricket hopefully the first of many #eagles.”


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