Match Preview | Essex Eagles v Middlesex


Essex Eagles continue the Royal London One-Day Cup involvement on Friday when they entertain Middlesex in a Day/Night contest at The Cloudfm County Ground with play scheduled to start at 2pm.

Somerset and Essex, who meet at Taunton on Sunday, are level on points with identical records having played five and won four of their qualifying matches thus far, with only a superior run-rate allowing the West Country side to top the table.

The prize for each of the two Group winners is a guaranteed place in the semi-finals whilst the runners-up and third place teams will meet in a quarter-final to decide the remaining two teams in the last four stage.

The Eagles have named a 15-man squad for Friday’s match. All-rounder Ravi Bopara, who was forced to sit out Wednesday’s victory with a slight groin strain, will undergo a late fitness test.

Eagles batting coach Anthony McGrath admits that, although the county has only suffered one defeat in all competitions this season, they have not yet been firing on all cylinders.

“It was a narrow win over Sussex but that has been the trend of our season so far,” he said.

“We are nowhere near our best yet and I think that everyone can see that. We do tend to make things more difficult than they should be but at the end of the day, we’ve won again and that makes it four wins out of five in the Royal London One-Day Cup and that has put us into a terrific position.

“Before the start of the game, Sussex were up there with us in the table, Somerset also lost on Wednesday and so it really was a good day for us.

“Having said that, there are still three matches left and anything can happen. But, as I said, we are in a really good position to build on from here. We could pick out quite a few things that didn’t go so well for us on Wednesday but I’d rather talk about the positives. Those two innings from Ryan (ten Doeschate) and Alastair (Cook) were absolutely phenomenal really to get us up to 290 odd from 29 for three.

“They really set up the game for us and then we bowled well up to the 40th over and we all know what happened then. But we have won four out of five in the competition and that’s the most important statistic. A win is a win and we are delighted with that.

“There is a lot of improvement to come and I can’t wait to see what we can do when we get it right!”

Essex Eagles squad:
Varun Chopra (6) (Ilford)
James Foster (7) (Wanstead)
Nick Browne (10) (South Woodford)
Simon Harmer (11)
Tom Westley (21) (Mildenhall)
Paul Walter (22) (Billericay)
Ravi Bopara (25) (Hainault & Clayhall)
Alastair Cook (26) (Maldon)
Ryan ten Doeschate (27) (Harwich) Captain
Dan Lawrence (28) (Chingford)
Adam Wheater (31) (Woodford Wells)
Jamie Porter (44) (Chingford)
Callum Taylor (67) (Swardeston)
Matt Quinn (94) (South Woodford)
Ashar Zaidi (99) (Ilford)

Middlesex squad: James Franklin (Captain), Nick Compton, Stephen Eskinazi, Steven Finn, James Fuller, Nick Gubbins, Tom Helm, Ryan Higgins, Dawid Malan, Ravi Patel, Ollie Rayner, Toby Roland-Jones, John Simpson (Wicket Keeper), Adam Voges.

Tickets are on sale now for this match, priced £15 Adults, £10 Students/Young Adults and £5 Juniors (U18s). Get a discount when purchasing in advance here or buy on the gate from 1pm, priced £20 for Adults.