MATCH PREVIEW | Essex Eagles v Hampshire


Essex Eagles continue their NatWest T20 Blast involvement when they meet Hampshire on Friday night at The Cloudfm County Ground with a scheduled start time of 7pm.

The Eagles have made a disappointing start to the competition and a 10 run defeat to a Kevin Pietersen-inspired Surrey team at the Kia Oval on Wednesday left them with their fourth defeat from five matches.

The former England batting star made his return for Surrey and his arrival proved timely as he scored 52; the only half-century of the match and a contribution that proved defining in the final reckoning.

Essex now have the proverbial mountain to climb if they are to figure in the knockout stages of this year’s competition.

Head Coach Chris Silverwood admitted that the latest reverse was particularly disappointing. “It was a match I expected to win and I think we all did at the halfway stage after restricting Surrey to 150 for 9. I thought we bowled well and I expected us to chase their total down bearing in mind that we went in with the extra batter. But it wasn’t to be so yes, it was a disappointing defeat.

“There is some positives to be taken from the game, I thought Mohammad Amir bowled beautifully and showed again what a world-class bowler he is. Paul Walter continues to continue his upward trend of improving and pushing forward. Those are the two bonuses from our point of view which is fantastic.

“But still, there is a lot to work on as well.

“From the batting perspective, I felt we needed to be braver in the first ten overs, we needed to go at it and make sure that we got in front of the game. If you fell behind, it was always going to be difficult to score at ten an over on that wicket and so it proved. We needed to be up with the rate throughout and we weren’t.”

And the Eagles Coach indicated that changes can be expected to the starting line-up.

“There’s going to be opportunities coming up for players because it’s obvious that we cannot afford to carry on as we are,” he insisted. “We’ve lost four games now and we can’t afford to lose any more. So we need to look at where we go from here and make changes to try and turn things around.

“Things have got to improve.”

Essex Eagles squad
Ryan ten Doeschate (27) Captain
James Foster (7) WK
Mohammad Amir (5)
Ravi Bopara (25)
Varun Chopra (6)
Matt Dixon (30)
Simon Harmer (11)
Dan Lawrence (28)
Jamie Porter (44)
Callum Taylor (67)
Paul Walter (22)
Tom Westley (21)
Adam Wheater (31)
Ashar Zaidi (99)