Match Preview: Essex Eagles v Surrey


Essex Eagles entertain Surrey at The Cloudfm County Ground this evening and are looking to get straight back to winning ways.

The Eagles suffered defeat to Middlesex at Lord’s yesterday by 7 wickets in the opening match of their Vitality Blast campaign, after AB de Villiers blasted an unbeaten 88 from just 43 balls.

It was not the start that newly appointed Eagles captain Simon Harmer would have scripted but he remained positive.

Harmer said: “Yes, it was disappointing not to get off to a win and there is definitely room for improvement, but it was the first game of the tournament and there is plenty of stuff to work on.

“The majority of our bowlers bowled really well and I thought our score of 164 was a good score because I thought around 150 was par, so with our score, I thought we really were in with a shout.

“But when AB comes off, I don’t think even 250 would have been enough, he is one of the greatest T20 batsmen and he outfoxed us on this occasion.

“We can’t afford to dwell on the defeat for too long because we’ve got another match tonight and we have to pick ourselves up. We really want to get a win under our belt in front of our own crowd and hopefully we can put in a good performance for them.

The match with Surrey offers Eagles fans their first opportunity to see new signing Cameron Delport in action at The Cloudfm County Ground and the blast away batsman is relishing the opportunity to play at the compact venue. 

Delport said: “I remember playing here a few years ago when I was a kid and I think I hit a few over the boundary then.”

The 30-year-old all-rounder is a renowned performer in T20 cricket around the globe and he is delighted to be experiencing another taste of the quickfire action in this country having previously represented Leicestershire Foxes.

Born in South Africa, Delport blasted a 49-ball ton for Islamabad United against Lahore Qalandars back in March to set new figures for the fastest century scored in Pakistan Super League history.

Now he is eyeing the short distance from the crease to the boundary at Chelmsford and he admits that he cannot wait to make his acquaintance with the home faithful.

“The club has such an amazing history and tradition so I’m proud to be given the opportunity to get involved. Hopefully I can play my part and get the Eagles through to Finals Day.”

Essex Eagles squad to face Surrey:

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