Match Preview: Middlesex v Essex Eagles


Essex Eagles get the Vitality Blast campaign underway on Thursday with a trip to London where they face Middlesex in front of an anticipated 20,000 crowd.

New signings Adam Zampa and Cameron Delport will both be in line to appear at Lord’s, but Mohammad Amir will unfortunately now miss out on the trip, with the Home Office still yet to clear his UK sporting visa.

Zampa was a member of Australia’s World Cup squad and he led the Eagles bowling averages last year when he took 12 wickets in 10 matches at 20.75.

From Delport, fans can expect to see fireworks. The South African born left-hander is one of the stalwarts of T20 cricket around the world. He played for Leicestershire Foxes in 2017 and in addition to being a powerful hitter in the top-order, he is a useful medium-pace bowler and an excellent fielder.

Simon Harmer takes over the T20 captaincy this year from Ryan ten Doeschate and the South African is looking forward to the responsibility of improving the Eagles fortunes in the competition.

Harmer said: “The Club felt that they needed a change of direction and hopefully I can try to do my best to get us through and realise our focus which is to reach Finals Day.

“Over the last few years, I think that Tendo has been one of our best performing cricketers but there has been a lot of weight on his shoulders with the responsibility of captaincy. He is a terrific cricketer and now he has the opportunity to just concentrate on his own game.

“Taking on the captaincy is an exciting challenge for me, I think there’s going to be a lot of expectation as we haven’t performed to the levels we know we’re capable of, but it’s a challenge that I wanted.

“T20 is about being able to nail or execute the skills, slower balls and stuff like that and I’m really looking forward to leading the team in the right direction.”

Essex Eagles squad to face Middlesex:

Simon Harmer (11) (Captain)
Aaron Beard (14)
Ravi Bopara (25)
Varun Chopra (6)
Cameron Delport (89)
Dan Lawrence (28)
Matt Quinn (94)
Shane Snater (29)
Ryan ten Doeschate (27)
Paul Walter (22)
Tom Westley (21)
Adam Wheater (31) (Wicket-keeper)
Adam Zampa (88)