Essex Eagles begin their Royal London One-Day Cup campaign on Wednesday when they take on Glamorgan at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.

The Eagles have taken a 14-man squad to Wales for Wednesday’s match, which includes all-rounder Ravi Bopara, who missed the most recent Championship match against Surrey because of a back problem.

Head Coach Anthony McGrath believes that the two fixtures in the 50-over competition this week will offer a benchmark as his side concentrate on white-ball cricket for the next three weeks.

McGrath said: “These first two matches will offer us a good measure of where we are at. We are certainly looking forward to the competition but coming off the back of red-ball cricket, there has not been a lot of time to practice.

“With only a short number of games to qualify (for the knock out stages), these first two games are going to be key. We’ve come close over the last three years and reached the semi-final, but we want to go further, we want to reach the final and win it.

“We feel that we’ve got a very experienced team who can be a match for anyone, it’s just a matter of getting consistency in our performances. We’ve said before that the South Group is a tough one with three teams out of the nine qualifying, so you do have to get off to a good start.”

The Eagles were involved in a thrilling game on their previous visit to the Cardiff for a List A fixture two years ago.

A superb 142 by Colin Ingram underpinned the home side’s 281 for 7 but centurion Varun Chopra and Ravi Bopara looked set to put the visitors on course for victory with a stand of 108 in 18 overs. Needing 68 from 8.5 overs, Chopra then drilled a ball straight back towards Craig Meschede who deflected the ball onto the stumps, leaving Bopara, who was backing up, stranded out of his ground. Two balls later, Chopra played a ball from Meschede onto his stumps.

Those two dismissals unsettled the Eagles and they entered the final over with two wickets standing and needing seven runs to win. But assisted by a run out, Glamorgan clinched a nail-biting victory by one run as the Eagles reached 280 for 9.

There was a revenge success for the Eagles last summer when the two teams clashed in the One-Day Cup at Chelmsford. Ryan ten Doeschate’s side recorded victory by nine wickets with 18 overs to spare.

Chopra made an unbeaten 98 and Adam Wheater scored 88 as the pair posted 189 for the first wicket after Jamie Porter had returned figures of 4-29, as Glamorgan were bowled out for 200.

Essex Eagles squad to face Glamorgan:

Ryan ten Doeschate (27), (captain)
Ravi Bopara (25)
Varun Chopra (6)
Alastair Cook (26)
Sam Cook (16)
Simon Harmer (11)
Dan Lawrence (28)
Aron Nijjar (24)
Jamie Porter (44)
Matt Quinn (94)
Peter Siddle (64)
Paul Walter (22)
Tom Westley (21)
Robbie White (4), (wicket-keeper)