Essex will be back in action this afternoon when they meet Hampshire at The Cloudfm County Ground in a Vitality Blast fixture that starts at 5pm.

It was less than 24 hours ago that the Eagles collected a point from their match with Gloucestershire in Cheltenham, after rain forced the abandonment of the game with Essexs, who had been put into bat, still in the penultimate over of their innings.

That point lifted the Eagles up one place in the South Division and they start today’s contest in seventh place, against opponents who are currently propping up the table despite last night’s win against Middlesex, although they have played one match fewer than most teams in the group.

Eagles Head Coach Anthony McGrath is looking for his side to improve on their record so far in the competition, a record that has seen them collect just three points from their first five matches.

“This South Group is evenly matched, anyone can beat anyone but we do need a win just to give us some momentum going into the second part of the competition.” he acknowledged.

“It’s going to be a really important fixture for us but it’s a tough game. Hampshire has not started their T20 season well either and we’ll have a look at the pitch before deciding what our side is going to be. I believe we will be using the pitch that we used against Glamorgan which means it might spin a bit more but we’ll have to wait and see before deciding our starting line-up.”

On a number of occasions in the Vitality Blast this season, the middle-order have failed to build on a good start to the innings and that has left the Eagles short of an acceptable par-score.

“We need to address the way we are going about our innings at the moment, we really do need to get some impetus going, I keep repeating myself here but we do need someone to go on and get an 80 or 90 and put in a match-winning performance.” McGrath continued.

“We need to turn things around. We’ve got nine games left and we are going to have to win more than we lose to go through in this competition, that’s a fact.”


Ryan ten Doeschate (27) Captain
Adam Wheater (31) wicket-keeper
Ravi Bopara (25)
Varun Chopra (6)
Matt Coles (1)
Sam Cook (16)
Simon Harmer (11)
Dan Lawrence (28)
Jamie Porter (44)
Matt Quinn (94)
Neil Wagner (13)
Tom Westley (21)
Ashar Zaidi (99)
Adam Zampa (88)