Match Preview: Essex Eagles v Hampshire Hawks


Essex Eagles v Hampshire Hawks

Vitality Blast
The Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford
Friday 11 June
7pm start


Essex Eagles entertain Hampshire Hawks in the Vitality Blast competition at The Cloudfm County Ground on Friday night with the match scheduled to start at 7pm.

The game will be played in front of up to 600 Members who were successful in the ballot for the first of 7 home matches in the T20 campaign this season.

The Eagles go into the match high in confidence following the win against Somerset at Taunton on Wednesday night, whilst the Hawks will be looking to bounce back following their 38-run defeat to Kent Spitfires at Canterbury.



Hampshire Squad:
14. James Vince, 18. Lewis McManus, 87. Kyle Abbott, 21. D’Arcy Short, 9. Tom Alsop, 5. Joe Weatherley, 26. James Fuller, 58. Brad Wheal, 8. Liam Dawson, 17. Sam Northeast, 22. Ian Holland, 32. Mason Crane, 25. Chris Wood, 47. Ryan Stevenson, (-) Tom Prest.

The Coaches View:

Commenting on the Eagles win at Taunton, Head Coach Anthony McGrath reflected: “It was an incredible fightback.

“Somerset were 57 for 0 after 3 overs at the start of a new competition so that was not ideal for us. There have been a number of 200+ scores at Taunton over the years and this looked to be heading that way. But Sam [Cook] and Jamie [Porter] bowled the next three overs and between them reigned it back in.

“Two of our overs in the Somerset innings went for 57 runs so you can see how well the lads bowled in the remainder.

“We thought their score was about par and, of course, we successfully chased it down.”

Speaking about new signing Jimmy Neesham, who launched his Essex career with a match-winning innings, McGrath revealed: “Jimmy was disappointed with the last over that he bowled (21 runs came from it), and said he was going to make up for it.

“He certainly did that!

“After last season, we identified the all-rounder role that we were missing, somebody who could go in and set up or finish the innings in the 5 or 6 role.

“He’s done that countless times for New Zealand and he finished the game for us at Taunton.

“Now we have to focus on Hampshire. They will present a challenge because you only have to look at their line-up but it’s nice to be able to go into that match with points on the board.”

Injury/Absentees News:

Dan Lawrence continues to miss out and won’t feature in the beginning of the Vitality Blast campaign whilst on International duty with England.


Coach: Adi Birrell
Captain: James Vince
Last Year’s Performance: Bottom (South Group)
2020 Leading Runscorer: James Fuller (205 @ 34.16)
2020 Leading Wicket Taker: Mason Crane (9 @ 22)

Overseas players: D’Arcy Short (Australia)

Key man: James Vince – After helping Sydney Sixers win the Australian Big Bash, the Hawks skipper will be desperate to repeat that success on home soil.

Flies under the radar: Ian Holland – The American-born, Australian all-rounder has been in fine form with the bat in the LV= Insurance County Championship and is a decent but unheralded seam bowler.

Young Gun: Tom Prest – The hugely exciting 18-year-old batsman could be given the chance to transfer his prolific 2nd XI form – where he scored a triple century last month – to the Blast.

Blast expectations: After a bitterly disappointing 2020 season that produced just two wins from 10 matches and a last-placed group finish, the newly-rebranded Hawks will be confident of a much-improved campaign as they look to win a third Blast title. Big-hitting opener Short is expected to deliver runs at the top of the order and canny all-rounder de Grandhomme control and accuracy with the ball but misses out this match whilst with New Zealand. With Crane, Vince, Fuller and Liam Dawson in their ranks, they certainly have a balanced squad on paper this season.


When the two teams met at Chelmsford last year, Hampshire won by 5 wickets with a ball to spare.

The Eagles posted 139-6 led by an unbeaten 37 from Ryan ten Doeschate and 36 by Cameron Delport.

Tom Alsop and George Munsey launched the visitors’ reply with a stand of 51. Munsey was dismissed for 32 and Alsop 29 before Joe Weatherley added 27 and when the final over arrived, just 6 runs were required. It was Ian Holland who got his side over the finishing line with a single off the penultimate ball of Matt Quinn’s over.

The two teams have met on 33 occasions in the competition with both recording 13 wins apiece. Three matches have ended in ties whilst four have been no results.

How To Watch:

There will be a Live Stream service from The Cloudfm County Ground, which will be broadcasting ahead of play from 6:30pm via the Essex Cricket TV YouTube channel and Essex Cricket Matchzone. Host Simon Ward will be joined by Graham Gooch for the return of our multi-camera production which also includes player stats, scorecards and clips.

Access via the Essex Cricket Matchzone is available here.