Match Report | Essex Eagles v Kent Spitfires


Essex Eagles v Kent Spitfires
Vitality Blast
Friday 17 August
The Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford

Essex Eagles Team | Varun Chopra (6), Adam Wheater (31) (wk), Paul Walter (22), Dan Lawrence (28), Ravi Bopara (25), Ashar Zaidi (99), Michael Pepper (19), Matt Coles (1), Simon Harmer (13) (c), Aron Nijjar (24), Shane Snater (29).

Kent Spitfires | Joe Denly (6), Daniel Bell-Drummond (23), Heino Kuhn (4), Sam Billings (7) (c & wk), Alex Blake (10), Sean Dickson (58), Greg Stewart (9), Callum Haggett (25), Adam Milne (20), Mitch Claydon (8), Imran Qayyum (11).

Toss | Kent Spitfires who elected to field.

Umpires | Ian Blackwell & Jeff Evans

Result | Kent Spitfires win by 5 wickets

Match Report | Essex Eagles were on the wrong side of a thrilling Vitality Blast clash at The Cloudfm County Ground as Kent Spitfires emerged victorious with just one delivery to spare. Replying to a total of 201 for 6, the visitors achieved victory by five wickets to clinch a home draw in the quarter-finals.

It ended up as a bitter-sweet experience for Essex Eagles all-rounder Ravi Bopara. First he struck an unbeaten 25 from only ten balls and then was able to celebrate his 200th wicket in this format of the game while being the pick of the Essex bowlers with one for 22 from his four overs.

It was also Ravi’s 300th appearance in domestic T20 around the world, one in which he has amassed 5,993 runs.

Essex Eagles, who were put into bat, got off to a flying start through Varun Chopra and Adam Wheater, the pair sharing in an opening stand of 72 before the latter holed out to deep mid-wicket for 40 from 26 deliveries, an effort containing a six among his seven boundaries.

Chopra was bowled by Joe Denly for 37 while Paul Walter and Ashar Zaidi made their presence felt by entering the 20’s before they were dismissed.

Faced with a testing target, Daniel Bell-Drummond and Denly wasted no time in setting about the Essex Eagles bowlers.

They raised the 50 in the fifth over and had progressed to 98 before being separated in the 9th over, Denly being caught on the long-off boundary when five runs short of his half-century.

Bopara arrived on the scene and bowled Heino Kuhn in the next over to claim his slice of history, a dismissal that paved the way for Sam Billings to hit a quick fire 33 from nineteen balls. It contained two sixes and four fours before he was removed by off-spinner Simon Harmer, who was skippering the Eagles in the absence of the rested Ryan ten Doeschate.

Alex Blake scored 19 that helped carry the Spitfires to 182 before he became the fourth wicket to fall before he picked out Matt Coles when facing the bowling of Shane Snater.

Thirty-three runs were required from the last three overs with Bell-Drummond still at the crease as he continued to gather his runs in confident style. He was still there when Coles began the final over against his former colleagues with Kent Spitfires still needing nine runs.

Bell-Drummond struck the first delivery to the boundary but was caught in the deep off the next ball after contributing 80 from fifty one deliveries with the aid of three 6’s and eight 4’s.

Two singles came off the next two balls before Grant Stewart found the boundary to condemn Essex to their season 8th defeat of the Vitality Blast season.