Match Preview: Essex Eagles v Sussex Sharks


Essex Eagles v Sussex Sharks

Vitality Blast
The Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford
Tuesday 15 June
7pm start

Essex Eagles entertain Sussex Sharks in the Vitality Blast on Tuesday evening with play getting underway at 7pm.

The two sides head into the match with contrasting fortunes in the competition thus far. After winning the opening match with Somerset, the Eagles will now be looking to bounce back following two successive defeat against Glamorgan and Hampshire in the past four days.

Meanwhile, the Sharks arrive with a 100 percent record having beaten Gloucestershire by 5 wickets, followed by a 9-wicket thrashing of Hampshire Hawks on Saturday.

Phil Salt has been in sparkling form for the visitors hitting unbeaten scores of 77 and 72 in the victories.



Sussex Sharks Squad:
Luke Wright (C), Will Beer, Ravi Bopara, Oli Carter, Henry Crocombe, George Garton, Travis Head, Chris Jordan, Archie Lenham, Tymal Mills, Delray Rawlins, Phil Salt, Aaron Thomason, David Wiese.

Head Coach’s View:

“We were probably 15 runs short of the score we wanted on Sunday and so the key was to get wickets early in the powerplay”, said Antony McGrath.

“We didn’t manage to do that and once Glamorgan got past the 100 with only one wicket down, the game was pretty much gone. They accelerated and didn’t give us much chance.

“When we batted, we lost wickets at crucial points and really, you need one of your top four to go and get a 60, 70 or 80 and when you keep losing wickets constantly, the run-rate drops and you lose momentum.

“We were without Adam [Wheater] and Ryan [ten Doeschate] who are two very experienced cricketers who played a big part when we won the competition in 2019, but these things happen.

“So, yes it was disappointing to lose both on Sunday and last Friday.

“In fact, I think we should have won against Hampshire which would have given us two wins out of two. You have to close those games out when you are on top like we were.

“In Twenty20 matches, sometimes you can get outplayed which I thought we were on Sunday with bat and ball, but we should have beaten Hampshire on Friday given the position we were in.

“But those games are gone and we now have two home games to look forward to. We saw in 2019 when we got on a run that we were difficult to stop so that’s what the immediate target is in front of us, to put together two or three wins which lifts everyone’s confidence.

There’s plenty of time to get a run going, there are eleven games still to go and that’s a lot of cricket to be played.”

Injury/Absentees News:

Adam Wheater still remains on the sidelines through injury, whilst Dan Lawrence will return soon from international duty.


Coach: James Kirtley
Captain: Luke Wright

Last Year’s Performance: Quarter-finalists
2020 Leading Run Scorer: David Wiese (281 @ 40.14)
2020 Leading Wicket Taker: George Garton (14 @ 16.5)

Overseas players: Rashid Khan (available from June 27), David Wiese and Travis Head (both available for the whole tournament).

Key man: Ravi Bopara – The former Eagle will make another return to Chelmsford after his move South in 2019. Ravi is one of the dangermen in the Sharks ranks and struck his first half-century for the Club on Saturday against Hampshire.

Flies under the radar: George Garton – He was outstanding in 2020 with 14 wickets and the best economy rate of Sussex’s seamers. He took 20 off a Steve Finn over to beat Middlesex and underline his batting potential.

Best Player Under 24: Archie Lenham – At just 16-years-old, it has been a memorable start of the campaign from Lenham who took 1/34 on debut, and followed it up with a man of the match performance against Hampshire Hawks with figures of 3/14.

Blast expectations: Sussex Sharks look to have all bases covered and it will be one of the favourites for the knockout stages.

Even at 36, skipper Luke Wright still has a lot to offer and commands enviable resources, even without Jofra Archer and with Chris Jordan’s appearances likely to be limited by England commitments.

Travis Head will bring runs and big-match experience and Ravi Bopara is too good a player not to improve on a disappointing 2020.


When the teams met at Chelmsford last year, the Sharks won by 4 wickets with 10 balls to spare. Paul Walter batted splendidly for the Eagles holding the innings together with a valiant 76 in a total of 136 for 9.

The visitors started with a wobble in their reply losing half their side for 59 but Calum MacLeod and George Garton staged a 73-run partnership. When they were finally parted with the score on 132, Sussex were on the cusp of victory.

It’s a tight record between the two Clubs in Twenty20 cricket over the course of 28 meetings – Essex Eagles have claimed 13 victories with Sussex Sharks just ahead on 15.

How To Watch:

There will be a Live Stream service from The Cloudfm County Ground, which will be broadcasting from 6:30pm ahead of play which is scheduled to start at 7pm.

Host, Simon Ward will be joined by Graham Gooch and opening batsman, Nick Browne for the match and can be viewed via the Essex Cricket TV YouTube channel and Essex Cricket Matchzone.

Access via the Essex Cricket Matchzone is available here.