ESSEX Eagles suffered a third affected no result in the Vitality Blast as rain only allowed 7.5 overs of play against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.

The Eagles, who also had a rain affected County Championship draw at the Ageas Bowl earlier in the summer, managed to reach 72/4 before the game was called off.

And Essex head coach Anthony McGrath confirmed he was frustrated by the abandonment.

McGrath said: “After the washout on Friday (against Gloucestershire), it was disappointing to come here and virtually have the same experience.

“Practice in the middle is always invaluable and with the Championship starting next week we wanted to take the opportunity of meaningful practice.

“Although it is too late for us to do anything in the competition this season, we still have pride to play for, and it is great practice for next season.”

Hampshire captain James Vince had won the delayed toss and elected to bowl first for a scheduled 18 overs-a-side game.

The 7.5 overs which were played provided plenty of action for the crowd who did risk the weather.

With the fourth ball, Hampshire old boy Adam Wheater skewed his former team-mate Chris Wood straight up in the air and Gareth Berg took a simple catch at mid-off to send Wheater back to the pavilion for a solitary run.

Varun Chopra deposited left-arm fast bowler Wood into the burger tent at the back of the square-leg boundary stand.

But the bowler had revenge when Chopra cut powerfully to Rilee Rossouw, who pulled off a sublime diving catch at backward-point.

Essex reached 50 off the 5.2 over powerplay, but the Billericay-born Paul Walter was next to depart - off spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman’s first delivery - after adding 22 to the total.

Ryan ten Doeschate was run out by Gareth Berg, having mixed up with Dan Lawrence.

But as the Essex captain started walking off the pitch the heavens opened and within an hour the sodden outfield meant umpires Michael Gough and Graham Lloyd had no choice but to abandon the fixture.

Hampshire and Essex had already been eliminated from the competition and remain second and third from bottom of the South Group.