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Cook effort in vain due to rain

The Kent weather ruined the start of the Twenty20 season at Canterbury after England's Alastair Cook appeared to have set Essex on course for victory.

Cook smashed 80 off 56 balls, hitting six fours and a six, sharing a 63-run opening stand with skipper Mark Pettini (31), while James Foster made 22.

That helped the visitors pile up 187-7, the highest score of the first evening of this year's Twenty20 Cup.

But rain intervened after just 20 balls of the Kent reply, with the score 16-0.

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