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Yorkshire hold nerve to beat Essex in One-Day Cup play-off

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Royal London One-Day Cup, The Cloudfm County Ground
Yorkshire 259-7 (50 overs): Ballance 91, Leaning 57; Porter 3-25
Essex 234 (49.1 overs): Wheater 78; Patterson 4-36
Yorkshire beat Essex by 25 runs
Match scorecard

Yorkshire recovered from a poor start to beat Essex by 25 runs and set up a One-Day Cup semi-final at Hampshire.

The Tykes, missing five England players, limped to 45-4 at Chelmsford before Gary Ballance (91) and Jack Leaning (57) shared a 129-run stand.

Tim Bresnan (41) and Matt Fisher (35 not out) blasted Yorkshire up to 259-7.

Essex lost regular wickets in the chase and Adam Wheater’s impressive 78 off 70 balls came too late for the hosts as they were bowled out for 234.

The play-off game looked over with Essex on 159-8, but wicketkeeper Wheater and Neil Wagner launched an extraordinary counter-attack as they put on 57 in just 39 balls.

Captain Steven Patterson (4-36) ended any realistic hopes of an Essex comeback when he bowled Wheater with a slower ball at the end of the 45th over.

New Zealander Wagner continued to swing the bat but fell to Fisher in the final over for a valiant 35.

Yorkshire will now travel to Hampshire on Monday, with Kent taking on Worcestershire at New Road on Sunday in the other semi-final.

It took a fine re-building job from Yorkshire’s batsmen to get them to any sort of competitive total after Essex seamer Jamie Porter (3-25) tore through the top order.

Ballance and Leaning played with composure in their century stand, although Ballance was given a lifeline on 43 when Neil Wagner dropped him off his own bowling.

Wagner eventually had Ballance caught behind, nine runs short of his eighth List A century, and when Leaning went in the 42nd over, Yorkshire were only 188-6.

But Bresnan and Fisher added 71 off the final 49 balls to take the visitors to a competitive total.

If Yorkshire make the final at Lord’s on 30 June, they will be seeking a first limited-overs trophy since 2002 when they won the C&G Cup.

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