MATCH PREVIEW | Middlesex v Essex Eagles


Essex Eagles make the short journey to Lord’s where they face Middlesex on Thursday night in their latest NatWest T20 Blast contest.

The Eagles comprehensively beat Hampshire in their last completed match in the South Group before having to settle for a point in the wash-out at Cardiff against Glamorgan last Sunday.

Head Coach Chris Silverwood admits that the trip to the Principality was frustrating. “It was long way to go, only to be beaten by the weather,” he said.

“We had gone down there in good spirits and looking for two more points following the win over Hampshire and we all felt very positive but in the end, we had to settle for a point.

“Now we have to concentrate on the match with Middlesex on Thursday and the game with Gloucestershire two days later. Looking at the South Group table, the teams are all bunched up which is good because it is all to play for and at the moment. The quest for a place in the top-four looks wide open with only a few points separating the top team from the bottom team.

“We treat every game as a must-win game, that’s our mentality and philosophy and that’s how we will be approaching these forthcoming matches. If we keep playing to our strengths, then we’ll do alright.”

The Eagles will be without Tom Westley who is on England duty for the third Test match against South Africa and Chris admits he was delighted to see the batsman give his opportunity to experience Test cricket for the first time.

“County cricket is all about producing England cricketers,” he stated. “Obviously we take a lot of pride in seeing players go on and get their opportunity. To do that, guys have got to perform well for us in the first instance and Tom has done exactly that.

“We wish him all the best and I told him before he left that we are all very proud of him and look forward to seeing him wearing his Three Lions cap. It’s a very proud moment for the club to see him make the step up from playing for Essex to becoming an England cricketer  and we are all delighted for him.”

Essex Eagles squad:
Ryan ten Doeschate (27) Captain
James Foster (7) Wicket-keeper
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)
Adam Wheater (31)
Ashar Zaidi (99)