Match Preview: Essex Eagles v Somerset


Essex Eagles v Somerset

Vitality Blast
The Cloudfm County Ground
Tuesday 29 June
7pm start


Essex Eagles welcome Somerset to The Cloudfm County Ground on Tuesday as they continue their Vitality Blast campaign.

The Eagles have the opportunity of completing their first double of the season having beaten Somerset in their opening fixture.

On that occasion, the West Country outfit posted 185-7 with James Hildreth and Ben Green leading the scoring with 49 and 43 not out respectively. But it was the bowling of Sam Cook that was particularly impressive with the paceman returning figures of 3/14 from his 4 overs.

The visitors lost their openers with just 15 runs on the board but overseas all-rounder Jimmy Neesham supported by Paul Walter led the recovery. Kiwi Neesham posted 53 and Walter 45 whist Ryan ten Doeschate contributed 26 as the Eagles eased home with 3 wickets and 7 balls to spare.


Som Squad

Harmers’s View:

Rain and the close proximity of lightning brought Friday’s match with Kent Spitfires at Chelmsford to an early conclusion with the visitors winning by 28 runs under the DLS method. The Spitfires posted 167-9 and with the weather already threatening to curtail the match, the Eagles made a tame response as they lost 4 wickets for 34 in 5 overs when further play was aborted.

Eagles captain Simon Harmer was not happy with the officials’ decision, saying: “I think it was a bit disappointing the way the game ended.

“I’ve just spoken to the match referee to air my grievances but it is part of cricket. There are always going to be a party which is happy and a party which is unhappy and we got ourselves into a situation where we almost lost the right to have an opinion because we were so far away from the game and therefore any opinion against the grain could be seen as sour grapes.

“We just have to take it on the chin and move on.

“We had an amazing opportunity there where we only needed 32 off the powerplay if we didn’t lose any wickets, so in hindsight, it is very disappointing after I thought we did extremely well to get ourselves back into the game given the way the Spitfires openers started.

“But it wasn’t to be our night, we didn’t play very smart cricket and it’s hurt us.”

Injury/Absentees News:

The Eagles have named an unchanged 14-man squad for the fixture with Somerset.


Coach: Jason Kerr
Captain: Lewis Gregory
Last Year’s Performance: 4th (Central Group)
2020 Leading Runscorer: Tom Abell (227 @ 32.42)
2020 Leading Wicket Taker: Ollie Sale (13 @ 23.15)

Overseas players: Marchant de Lange (South Africa – whole tournament), Devon Conway (New Zealand – nine Group Stage games)

Key man: Lewis Gregory – Somerset’s T20 skipper is capable of blasting quick runs at the end of an innings and taking key wickets, both as an opening bowler and at the death.

Flies under the radar: Max Waller – Having developed into a specialist T20 bowler, the economical leg-spinner often opens the attack and can pin batsmen down with his variety of delivery and subtle changes of pace.

Young Gun: Tom Banton – The 22-year-old batsman’s vast array of punishing shots have already earned him nine T20 appearances for England and six one-day international appearances. Banton can also keep wicket as an alternative to Steve Davies.

Blast expectations: Director of cricket Andy Hurry and Head Coach Jason Kerr make no secret of expecting to win every competition their team enter. This season’s Blast is no exception. But Somerset have won only ten of 24 group matches over the past two seasons, failing to reach Finals Day since 2018, and will need a much greater degree of consistency to stand any chance of lifting the trophy.

Only Tom Abell and Babar Azam scored more than 200 runs in last season’s group stage and Somerset will be looking to some of their young guns in Tom Banton, Tom Lammonby, Lewis Goldsworthy and Will Smeed. Skipper Lewis Gregory and Craig Overton will be their pick of the bowlers, aided by Max Waller, while Roelof van der Merwe’s all-round skills, including those in the field, will again be important to their plans.


On the previous occasion that the teams clashed in the competition at Chelmsford n 2019, The Eagles suffered a crushing 114 run defeat.

Pakistan star Babar Azam struck 56 supported by 40’s from Tom Abell and Ed Byrom as the visitors scored a challenging 225-6 assisted by 69 runs from the final 4 over of the innings.

The Eagles made steady progress initially losing their third wicket with 75 on the board in the 8th over but then they collapsed losing 7 wickets in 30 balls for just 36 runs.

Spinner Roelof van der Merwe returned 5/32 from 3 overs whilst Dan Lawrence proved the top-scorer for the home side with 24 who were dismissed in only 12.5 overs.

Of the 12 matches thus far between the two teams in the competition, the Eagles have won 5 matches and lost 7.

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 Matchzone.

Access via the Essex Cricket Matchzone is available here.