Ed Barnard made a dramatic impact when Worcestershire were finally able to taste some action against Essex in a 50 over match at the Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

The all-rounder picked up four early wickets to help reduce Essex to 46-5 after Worcestershire skipper Daryl Mitchell won the toss and elected to field.

But then the bad weather which had caused the T20 match with Essex to be abandoned without a ball being bowled returned and a huge deluge meant no more play was possible.

Barnard, who has worked on building up his body strength and adding extra pace to his game this winter, was soon into his stride today.

The former England Under-19 player took the new ball and finished with the splendid figures of 4-20 from six overs.

Barnard made the first breakthrough in his second over to dismiss Tom Westley (5).

The Essex second wicket pair of N. Browne and Ravi Bopara added 36 in six overs – but then four wickets fell for two runs.

Barnard accounted for Browne (23) and then Alex Hepburn held onto a return catch from Dan Lawrence (1).

A double success was then enjoyed by Barnard in his fifth over in sending back Bopara (15) and trapping Callum Taylor lbw (0).

Jaik Mickleburgh (23 not out) and Ben Foster (31 not out) set about a rebuilding job for Essex and featured in an unbroken half century unbroken stand.

Essex reached 103-5 from 20 overs when lightning caused the players to leave the field and a major downpour led to the game being abandoned.

Worcestershire included all-rounder George Rhodes in their line-up after a successful winter playing grade cricket for North Canberra Gungahlin.

Four other players who played abroad throughout this winter in Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Brett D'Oliveira,  Hepburn and Chris Russell were also part of the team.

SCORECARD

ESSEX – INNINGS

Browne c Whiteley b Barnard 23

Westley c Rhodes b Barnard 5

Bopara c Russell b Barnard 15

Lawrence c and b Hepburn 1

Mickleburgh not out 23

Taylor lbw Barnard 0

Foster not out 31

Extras 4

Total (for 5 wickets) 102 in 20 overs

FOW: 8 (Westley), 44 (Browne), 45 (Lawrence), 45, (Bopara), 46 (Taylor).

BOWLING

Shantry 4-0-28-0

Barnard 6-1-20-4

Hepburn 6-1-38-1

Russell 4-0-16-0

WORCS: Mitchell, Kohler-Cadmore, Clarke, Whiteley, D'Oliveira, Cox, Rhodes, Hepburn, Barnard, Shantry, Russell .

ESSEX: Browne, Westley, Bopara, Lawrence, Mickleburgh, Taylor, Foster, Nijjar, Beard, Winslade, Porter.