MATCH PREVIEW | Essex Eagles v Somerset


Eagles Head Coach Anthony McGrath is urging his side to return to winning ways when they face Somerset at The Cloudfm County Ground on Friday in the Royal London One-Day Cup.

The Eagles have lost their last two matches in the competition and currently lie in sixth place but only one win behind second place Somerset who have recorded two victories from their three matches.

Hampshire’s success on Wednesday against the Eagles took them to the top of the South Group with maximum points from their three matches but McGrath was far from happy with his side’s performance.

“Yes, I was particularly disappointed with the defeat and I’ve let the players know that,” he admitted. “You have to say well played to Hampshire but I felt we contributed to our own downfall.

“In fact, it was probably the first time this season that I’ve been really dissatisfied with our overall levels of performance and I’m looking for a big reaction against Somerset.

“Looking back to the Hampshire game, we came up short in our batting, we had a number of batters who made good individual contributions but we needed one of those to go on and play a substantial innings and that didn’t happen on what was an excellent batting wicket.

“Our bowlers sent down too many poor balls which took any pressure of the opposition batters and in the field, we need to be far more aggressive; we were conceding too many singles within the inner ring.

“So all in all, it was a bad day for us but the games come thick and fast and there’s no point in sitting around licking our wounds, we have to go out and put those setbacks behind us. But these players are an honest bunch and I’m looking for a positive reaction.

“We knew that to start the competition with three away matches would be difficult but now we have three home matches in succession. Looking at the league table, you can see how tight the league is at present and if we can win those next three games, then we are right back in contention but we need to kick-start with a win on Friday.

“We played some good cricket against Middlesex when we won our opening match in the competition and now we need to return to that level of form. I know that we are a better side than we showed against in the defeats to Gloucestershire and Hampshire.”

A number of players have been sidelined recently with injuries although some are nearing a return to first team availability.

“A couple have been playing for the second team this week so we’ll wait for an up-to-date-progress report on them plus an assessment on the walking wounded from our physio before we name our squad,” McGrath explained.

“But the encouraging news is that we are expecting one or two at least to be back in our squad very soon and that will freshen things up.”

27 Ryan ten Doeschate (C)
25 Ravi Bopara
6 Varun Chopra
1 Matt Coles
16 Sam Cook
7 James Foster (WK)
11 Simon Harmer
28 Dan Lawrence
19 Michael Pepper (WK)
29 Shane Snater
67 Callum Taylor
13 Neil Wagner
21 Tom Westley
31 Adam Wheater (WK)
99 Ashar Zaidi