Eagles get time in the middle ahead of Semi-Final


Essex welcomed the Netherlands to the county for the opening match of a festival of International cricket in Southend, which will also see Denmark compete in a 50-over format. The three-day festival celebrated twelve years of the Essex and Southend Sports Trust (EASST) fundraising for the development of cricket facilities at Garon Park, Southend.

With Friday’s Royal London One-Day Cup Semi-Final with Notts Outlaws at Chelmsford in mind, Essex Head Coach Chris Silverwood rotated a strong squad consisting of fifteen players in a match which saw Ravi Bopara hit an unbeaten 121 as Essex overcame the Netherlands in the 50-over friendly.

Having won the toss, the Netherlands posted a modest 294 from 49.5 overs. Michael Rippon top scored retiring out on 100, while Ben Cooper hit an impressive 88 from 71 balls before he was caught by Aaron Beard, Ashir Zaidi the man to profit with the ball.

Essex used eight bowlers, with both Zaidi and Jamie Porter taking 2/22 and 2/24 respectively, while Neil Wagner and Simon Harmer were also amongst the wickets.

The Essex response got off to a slow start with Varun Chopra, Dan Lawrence and Tom Westley all removed relatively cheaply leaving the host’s struggling on 41/3.

Ravi Bopara and Ryan ten Doeschate carried the fight, putting on 109 for the fourth wicket. The latter next to depart, run out two runs shy of his half-century.

Zaidi hit 50 off 35 deliveries, while Paul Walter scored 22* as Essex continued the chase. But it was Forest Gate-born Bopara who spectacularly carried Essex over the line, hitting 28 of 31 runs scored off the penultimate over, Logan van Beek the unfortunate Dutch bowler to suffer at the all-rounder’s hands.

Essex Head Coach Silverwood believed the match had been the perfect preparation for Friday’s last-four encounter.

Silverwood said after play, “That’s what we were looking for, revisiting the plans that we’ve been using in the group stages, bring the group back together and work on things that worked well for us. It’s been a great exercise.”

Essex team | Dan Lawrence, Varun Chopra, Ravi Bopara, Tom Westley, Simon Harmer, Ryan ten Doeschate, Ashar Zaidi, James Foster +, Paul Walter, Neil Wagner, Jamie Porter.

This match report is courtesy of Brian Jeeves – Yellow Advertiser. View the full report and reaction – here