Match Preview: Essex Eagles v Gloucestershire


Essex Eagles v Gloucestershire

Vitality Blast
The Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford
Friday 18 June
7pm start

Essex Eagles host Gloucestershire in the Vitality Blast on Friday evening with the match scheduled to get underway at 7pm.

The home side will be eager to rediscover the winning trail. After beating Somerset in their opening match in the competition, they have been on the wrong end of results in their next three matches.

The latest of those reverses came in front of an 800-strong crowd at The Cloudfm County Ground on Tuesday where Sussex Sharks maintained their unbeaten start to the campaign with a comprehensive 7-wicket success.

However, the Eagles welcome back Dan Lawrence from his England duties on Friday and the 23-year-old is set to bolster the Eagles batting when he makes his first appearance of the T20 season.

Visitors Gloucestershire won their opening fixture beating Glamorgan by 4 runs before suffering defeats to Sussex Sharks (by 5 wickets) and Kent Spitfires (by 5 runs).


Essex Eagles:


Hammond, Dent, Cockbain, Phillips, J Taylor (c), Higgins, Howell, van Buuren, Smith, Payne, M Taylor, Bracey (wk), Shaw, Worrall.

Hear from Pepper:

Reflecting on the defeat by Sussex Sharks, Michael Pepper, who top-scored for the Eagles hitting 36, said: “It was very disappointing.

“On the batting front, there were just nowhere near enough runs and losing wickets at the wrong time meant we couldn’t get enough partnerships together.

“It was quite a hard wicket to get started on and you are never going to defend a total of 128 on it playing against Sussex with their batting line-up.

“I think on that hybrid pitch, we are looking to score around 150 to 160 and then if you do that, your bowling attack has different plans of going about it. You actually have some runs to back you up as you try to go for wickets.

“So, it was a disappointing outcome on Tuesday but if we can get two wins on Friday and Sunday we can be three from six and then be up in the top half of the table and we won’t be in a bad position at all.”

Injury/Absentees News:

Adam Wheater and Dan Lawrence return to the squad for Friday’s match.


Coach: Ian Harvey.
Captain: Jack Taylor.

Last Year’s Performance: Semi-finalists.
2020 Leading Run Scorer: Ian Cockbain (399 @ 44.33).
2020 Leading Wicket Taker: David Payne (16 @ 18.68).

Overseas players: Dan Worrall and Glenn Phillips (both available for the whole tournament).

Key man: Ian Cockbain – Possess incredible ball-striking ability and is a player that has real fear-factor for opposition attacks.

Flies under the radar: Chris Dent – Cast as a red-ball specialist, he returned to the T20 side last summer after a four-year absence and made 371 runs at 33.72.

Best player under 24: Tom Lace – Very highly-rated batsman who joined from Middlesex. Yet to play a T20 match but talent will no doubt transfer to the shortest format.

Blast expectations: Gloucestershire will expect another strong campaign having become one of the most consistent T20 sides of the past few years. Four times in the last five seasons they have qualified for the quarter-finals and in 2020 finally overcame their knockout hoodoo by destroying Northamptonshire and earning a place at Finals Day for the first time since 2007.


The weather has been the dominant factor in the most recent years when Essex have been scheduled to lock horns with their West County opponents at Chelmsford.

In 2017, 2018 and 2019, rain washed out each match without a ball bowled whilst the intended meeting last year was cancelled as a result of COVID-19.

So the most recent occasion that the teams were able to get onto the field and undertake any action at Chelmsford was back in 2016 when Gloucestershire prevailed by 8 wickets with 3.1 overs to spare.

Matt Quinn appeals for a wicket during the T20 match against Gloucestershire in 2016.

Matt Quinn appeals for a wicket during the T20 match against Gloucestershire in 2016.

The Eagles totalled 153-8 from 20 overs with Tom Westley and Ravi Bopara providing the highest two contributions of 45 and 28 respectively before their opponents replied with 154-2.

Michael Klinger and Hamish Marshall put on 126 for the first wicket before being parted when the latter was bowled by Matt Quinn for 42.

Klinger had reached 78 when he was caught by James Foster off the bowling of Wahab Riaz but at that juncture, the visitors were on the cusp of victory requiring only a further 22 runs.

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.

Access via the Essex Cricket Matchzone is available here.