Match Preview: Essex Eagles v Kent Spitfires


Essex Eagles v Kent Spitfires

Vitality Blast
The Kia Oval, London
Saturday 05 September
1:05pm start

The Eagles continue their Vitality Blast campaign with a home match against the Kent Spitfires, although the game is being staged at the neutral venue of The Kia Oval. That has been arranged to enable Sky TV to broadcast the match as part of their double-header bill which will also include the Surrey v Middlesex clash.

The Eagles were left still seeking their first win in the competition after Middlesex claimed victory by 11 runs at Lord’s on Thursday night.

Harmer’s View

Simon Harmer is urging the Eagles to find the winning thread and kick start their campaign in the white-ball format.

The skipper said: “There are still 6 games left and we’ve got to put this game behind us and look forward to Saturday’s fixture at the Oval.

“I think we did really well to restrict them to under 170 after the start they got off to. That little period from overs 10-18, we really bossed and did well to pick up so many wickets, although we maybe leaked a few at the death.

“The wicket was pretty good, but we just can’t put a full game together at the moment. We just need somebody to jump out of the pack and put their hand up and take it home for the team, which hasn’t really happened in the 4 games we’ve played so far.”

Squad News

The Eagles have no injury worries ahead of the match and have a 14-man squad to travel to London.

1000 x 1000 SQUAD

The Opposition

The Spitfires go into Saturday’s clash with their old adversaries having beaten Sussex Sharks on Thursday in a thriller at Hove.

England batsman Zak Crawley made an impressive 67 for the Spitfires and the Sharks were left chasing 196 for victory.

With just two deliveries to be bowled, they needed only two runs for victory but former Essex all-rounder Ravi Bopara gloved the first of those to the wicket-keeper then Sussex lost another wicket seeking to scramble a run that would have seen the match tied.

Crawley has now accumulated 152 runs for the Spitfires in the competition this year whilst Daniel Bell-Drummond has aggregated 147 runs.

The Spitfires are without the services of Sam Billings and Joe Denly who are both in England’s white-ball squads for the matches against Australia.

They will be led by stand-in skipper Daniel Bell-Drummond and have named a 14-man squad.

Kent Spitfires Squad

Daniel Bell-Drummond (C), Alex Blake, Jordan Cox (WK), Zak Crawley, Tim Groenewald, Callum Haggett, Fred Klaaasen, Heino Kuhn, Jack Leaning, Matt Millnes, Marcus O’Riordan, Imran Quyyum, Ollie Robinson, Grant Stewart.

Record Between The Sides

When the two sides last met in T20 cricket, The Eagles emerged triumphant with the 10 runs win at The Cloudfm County Ground on a night of high tension.

It was a match that the Eagles had to win to stand any chance of qualifying for the knockout stages of the 2019 tournament and thanks to 64 from Cameron Delport and an unbeaten 47 from Ravi Bopara, the Eagles posted 189-6.

A fine innings of 89 by Zak Crawley threatened the Eagles hopes but only two other Spitfires batsmen managed double figures and in the last 5 overs, the Eagles attack grabbed the last 7 wickets for just 43 runs to book a place in the quarter-finals.

The defeat for the Spitfires meant elimination from the competition after they had led the South Division for much of the tournament before their form deserted them at the vital stage and they failed to win any of their last 7 games.