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Saltires to open against Essex

Scotland will launch their 2013 CB40 campaign with their first competitive match against Essex for nine years.

The Chelmsford side will head north on May 12 as the Saltires look to make a winning start to what will be their final season in the competition.

Pete Steindl's men have a point to prove after the ECB last month ditched them from a revamped 50-over competition from 2014. Saltires will also face the holders Hampshire and the 2011 winners Surrey during their swansong on the county circuit. The full fixture list and venues will be announced next week.

n Michael Papps, the former Ayr professional, hit the highest score of his career for Wellington yesterday and still ended on the losing side. He scored a superb, unbeaten 206 in the Plunket Shield match but Canterbury, featuring the former Saltires man George Worker, won by six wickets. Papps played for Ayr from 2009-11, scoring 2727 runs at an average of 91.

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