MATCH REPORT | Essex Eagles v Premier Leagues XI


Essex Eagles ran out 51-run victors in the annual T20 warm-up match against a Premier League XI last night.

Representatives from the Essex Premier League and East Anglian Premier League descended on Chelmsford to aid the Eagles preparations ahead of the curtain raiser against Surrey on Friday.

The home side batted first at The Cloudfm County Ground and lost Varun Chopra early to the impressive Dustin Melton. His opening partner Dan Lawrence departed not long after, again to Melton, for a quick-fire 16.

Tom Westley was joined by Ravi Bopara at the crease and both looked to continue the high run rate. Westley took Ben Allison for 10 in an over, while Bopara played a back seat role.

Essex’s vice-captain continued to look fluent but was caught by Browne after hitting Clifford for a four and six and departed for 69.

Captain ten Doeschate scored a brisk 30 from 15 balls, taking a particular liking to Mike Jones, but was eventually caught at short third-man.

A small collapse followed as Zaidi got off the mark with a six but then went to a stunning catch at fine-leg from Melton. Walter and Harmer followed quickly and it was left to experienced wicket-keeper Foster to keep the score ticking over.

Foster hit Westfield into the pavilion but then next ball was cleaned up by a yorker and the final over was faced by Jamie Porter and Matt Dixon.

Singles followed to finish the innings and Essex Eagles ended on a daunting target of 186/9 from their 20 overs.

Essex opening batsman and Premier League XI Captain for the day, Nick Browne, started the response and quickly hit Mohammad Amir for two boundaries in the opening over.

Hasshan Chowdhury met Porter with a 4 back over his head but Porter got his revenge by picking up the wicket of his Essex teammate Browne.

Star spinner Simon Harmer came into the attack and immediately picked up a wicket as Aaron West tried to reverse-sweep him but only succeeded in being trapped LBW.

Zaidi got in the act, with Plater bowled for 1 and Paul Walter then took two wickets in two balls with Chowdhury caught by Zaidi and Reynolds bowled.

Golden arm ten Doeschate joined the attack and picked up the wickets of Will Buttleman and Mervyn Westfield in consecutive deliveries. Westfield scored a brisk 33 before being caught on the boundary.

Vickery and Jones tried to get the Premier League XI closer to the target with some trickery and delicate shots but the visitors finished short on 135/9.

A great run out for The Eagles ahead of the sold-out NatWest T20 Blast opener against rivals Surrey on Friday.