London ball

Royal London Cup: Taylor Cornall leads Worcestershire to second victory in 48 hours

The southpaw, in his first season with Worcestershire, followed up his 61 in the win over Northamptonshire with another excellent contribution as the Rapids chased a target of 280 points.

New route: Essex 279-9, Worcestershire 280-3 – Worcestershire win by seven wickets


Taylor Cornall came within three innings of his first A Century list to lead Worcestershire Rapids to a second win in 48 hours as they overcame the Essex Eagles by seven wickets in a Royal London Cup encounter in New Road.

The southpaw, in his first season with Worcestershire, followed up his 61 in the win over Northamptonshire with another excellent contribution as the Rapids chased a 280 target with eight balls to spare. He shared a decisive second wicket of 158 from 28 overs with Gareth Roderick who hit his first list in half a century for Worcestershire.

Cornall was ultimately below Luc Benkenstein on 97, but Jake Libby and Ed Barnard saw the Rapids, who had lost their first five games, cross the finish line on an unbroken stand 57.

Robin Das and Luc Benkenstein, 17, also had their best scores in the competition with 63 and 55 respectively. Worcestershire captain Jake Libby opted to strike and Ben Gibbon made the first breakthrough when Josh Rymell drove in the arm left and edged Ed Pollock to the first slip.

Essex captain Tom Westley entered the game as his team’s top scorer in the competition with 335, but he kicked the first ball against Dillon Pennington on the following course. Grant Roelofsen and Feroze Khushi, Essex’s other in-form hitters, scored freely adding 55 in nine overs.

But Tongue entered the attack and was rewarded when Roelofsen at 31 ran through his stumps and was caught by goalkeeper Ben Cox on the side of the leg. There was more joy for Tongue when Khushi (43) went to shoot a delivery that came to him quicker than expected and Cox running back saved another chance on the side of the leg.

Worcestershire were firmly in the ascendancy when Nick Browne was chased away by Ed Barnard’s direct hit to the non-strikers after turning Dilllon Pennington into a pointer and out for a single. Essex were then 132 for 5 and Luc Benkenstein on three had a let go when he edged out Tongue on his return to attack and Cox couldn’t hold his chance.

It was a rare error from Cox whose two catches today took his dismissals in all crickets to the 600 mark. Tongue’s allowed quota of eight for his return match gave encouraging figures 2 for 41.


Luc Benkenstein has had an encouraging start to his career (Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Benkenstein also survived a strong Barnard chance in Libby’s midwicket and he and Das forced a recovery from Essex on a stand 83 from 13 overs. It took a good hold from Pollock running to the deep center wicket to break the stand after Das delivered a big blow to Barnard.

His A-list, best 63 of 64 balls, contained nine limits. Gibbon struck for the second time as Aron Nijjar picked Tongue in the middle and then Pennington took a good midwicket to dismiss Benkenstein from his own bowling after attempting a hook.

His 55 was also his highest score in List A cricket and came from 59 deliveries with seven limits. It became two wickets in two for Pennington as Jamal Richards was kicked off after playing an expansive drive before a few late shots from Shane Snater took the final tally to 279 for 9.

Pollock, recalled in place of the injured Azhar Ali, got off to a good start in the rapids innings and hit Snater above midwicket for six. He hit 34 for 25 for 50 before pushing to Jamal Richards and being thrown.

Cornall was joined by Gareth Roderick and the pair battered with great authority and kept the scoreline at the required pace throughout. Cornall ran to a half-century of 59 balls with Roderick needing just six more deliveries to hit his first A-list fifty for the Rapids.

Crimpers and spinners were not allowed to set up despite Cornall having had a life in 67 when he was dropped in the middle of Toole’s wicket. Roderick was full of improvisation, twice sweeping Westley for the boundaries, but the same blow eventually caused him to fall on 76 balls from 85.

He picked Jamal Richards off Benkenstein to end a 158-in-28-over partnership with Cornall. All eyes were now on Cornall to see if he could hit triple figures, but he fell terribly short when lbw at Benkenstein and left the field to a standing ovation.

Libby and Barnard ensured there were no late scares for the home side with an unbroken stand of 57.

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