The Eagles get prepared for Vitality Blast with Club’s warm-up match


Essex Eagles got some valuable time in the middle ahead of the upcoming Vitality Blast competition with a 98 run victory of a Premier Leagues XI at The Cloudfm County Ground on Monday night.

Tom Westley struck 70, supported by 49 from Ryan ten Doeschate, and also a typical aggressive unbeaten 41 by Ashar Zaidi carried Essex to 196 for 5 at the end of the 20 overs.

But the Leagues XI struggled throughout losing wickets at regular intervals including an immediate wicket for overseas recruit Adam Zampa who returned 2 for 10 from 3 overs on his first appearance in an Eagles shirt.

At the conclusion of their allotted overs, they had reached 99 for 8.

The Eagles lost both openers in Chopra and Wheater with only 5 runs on the board but Westley and ten Doeschate combined in a stand of 11 for the third wicket in 11 overs, before the Eagles skipper retired on 49 having struck 7 fours.

Westley had reached 70 from 38 balls when he opted to retire to leave Zaidi and Ravi Bopara batting practice ahead of the Eagles opening Vitality Blast match against Sussex on Wednesday.

Together, the pair added 60 in 5 and half overs before Bopara was bowled for 22 to give Tom Oxley (Swardeston CC) a second wicket.

Easily the League’s most impressive bowler, he finished with figures of 2 for 20 from his 4 overs.

Sam Cook started the Leagues XI downfall with a wicket in the opening over in when he had Aaron West (Brentwood CC) caught in the deep by Matt Coles and by the time the 50 came up in the tenth over, five wickets had fallen.

That included a wicket for Zampa when the Australian leg spinner claimed Ian Blignault (Penzance CC) who pushed forward and was bowled. He also had Chris Benjamin (Cambridge Granta CC) caught in his next over.

Chris Green (Sunbury CC) offered some token resistance before he was bowled by Bopara for 17 (the highest score of the innings) to leave the select side 66 for 7. Another wicket fell 9 runs later but the ninth wicket pair of Ashley Watson (Norwich CC) and Alan Jones (Shenfield CC) held out for the remaining 4 and a half overs ending with 12 runs each.

Apart from Zampa, there were two wickets for Bopara (2-11) while Jamie Porter and Matt Coles both took 1-23, Sam Cook (1-17) and Simon Harmer 1-7 were also wicket-takers.


Watch the Eagles’ opener against Sussex Sharks this week! The action starts at 7pm with gates open from 5pm for another special night under the lights at Chelmsford. Purchase your tickets now!