Worcestershire Rapids suffered an eight wicket defeat when they opened their Royal London One-Day Cup campaign against Essex Eagles at New Road today.

The Rapids were indebted to Joe Leach and Shaaiq Choudhry for being able to set a 239 target.

The duo came together at 145-7 and plundered an unbroken 93 off the final 11 overs to lift the Rapids to 238-7 in their 50 overs.

Leach finished unbeaten on 45 from 34 balls with six fours and Choudhry 44 not out from 36 deliveries with seven boundaries.

But Essex clinched victory with 7.4 overs to spare as opener Mark Pettini hit an unbeaten hundred and shared century partnerships with Ravi Bopara and Jesse Ryder.

The Rapids were put into bat on the same wicket used for Friday's NatWest T20 Blast clash with Derbyshire and lost two wickets to the opening two deliveries of the match from Graham Napier.

The Eagles paceman trapped Richard Oliver (0) with his first ball and bowled Tom Fell (0) with the second.

Alexei Kervezee blocked the hat-trick ball and then despatched the next delivery – a leg stump half volley – for four.

The Dutch international and skipper Daryl Mitchell set about repairing the innings and the Rapids reached 36-2 by the end of the first 10 over powerplay.

Mitchell cut David Masters for four as the 50 came up in the 13th over. The stand was worth 59 in 13 overs when Kervezee, having made an aggressive 37 off 39 balls with four fours, played back to spinner Tim Phillips in his first over and was adjudged lbw.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore got into his stride by pulling and straight-driving Napier for four after he returned to the attack and he also picked up two boundaries in an over from Jesse Ryder.

Mitchell looked set for a lengthy innings but after making 28 he became Phillips' second lbw victim with the total on 84 in the 20th over.

Spinners Phillips, Tom Westley and Greg Smith conceded only 42 runs in a 15 over mid innings spell in tandem.

Kohler-Cadmore made 34 from 54 balls with five fours before he fell victim to a fine leg side stumping by James Foster off Westley.

Worcestershire took the powerplay at 126-5 off 35 overs. Friday's hero Ross Whiteley survived a run-out mix-up with Ben Cox after Masters dropped the throw at the non-strikers end.

Cox (20) was caught on the mid wicket boundary from the first ball of Napier's third spell and in the same over Whiteley edged to Foster to leave Worcestershire on 145-7 in the 39th over.

Choudhry and Leach joined forces and the former employed the scoop shot to good effect to collect four off Napier.

Leach lofted the same bowler over long on for a boundary as the 50 stand came up in seven overs and the 200th in the 46th.

The eighth wicket duo continued to score freely until the end of the innings. Napier finished with 4-59 from 10 overs and Phillips 2-31 from 10.

Mitchell McClenaghan struck an early blow for Worcestershire when Tom Westley (5) tried to pull a delivery which looped up on the on side and Cox took a fine diving catch away to his left.

Bopara and Pettini then shared a partnership of 109 in 24 overs for the second wicket. Bopara reached his half century off 67 balls with five fours but after making 59 he was bowled by Leach for 59 after looking to work the ball to mid-wicket.

Jesse Ryder came to the wicket and the New Zealander was in aggressive mood in hitting four sixes and four fours in his half century from 38 balls.

Pettini's 100 came up off 112 balls with 10 fours and Ryer finished unbeaten on 68 from 51 deliveries with fives sixes and six fours.

Worcestershire will now look to bounce back in Tuesday's clash with Northamptonshire Steelbacks at Milton Keynes.