CB40: Essex 188-4 beat Gloucestershire 184-8 by six wickets
Gloucestershire didn't bat well enough and lost a crucial Clydesdale Bank 40 League match that leaves them relying on other results for qualification from Group B.
Wickets fell incredibly cheaply after an excellent start - Alex Gidman and Will Porterfield again combined well as an opening pair. But no-one had the discipline to stay with James Franklin, whose 70 not out was the basis of a solid total but nothing was built around his measured knock.
Defending a small score, Gloucestershire didn't get the fortune they needed in the field - a host of edges went wide of fielders that on a better day would have produced half chances. But Essex had more than enough. Ravi Bopara was a joy to watch and it was a shame that couldn't take his innings further - he was given out caught behind; replays showed he had clearly missed the delivery.
The visitors had plenty in reserve and Gloucestershire needed above 200 to be really competitive. They should have got there. An excellent start was wasted - particularly by Hamish Marshall who played a poor shot and dragged on.
Franklin simply occupied the crease and made 70. He did nothing special so why anyone else down the order couldn't follow suit was a mystery: all the Essex batsmen did. Steve Snell threatened to, before he tried to attack the first ball of a new Ryan ten Doeschate over and chipped an easy catch to extra-cover.
The partnership between Snell and Franklin was very comfortable and needed to continue. Snell's demise saw another flurry of wickets with Richard Dawson, Ed Young and Jon Lewis falling quickly. Mercifully David Payne managed to get through a few overs to allow Franklin to stretch the total but Gloucestershire were short of runs.