Match Preview: Hampshire Hawks v Essex Eagles


Hampshire Hawks v Essex Eagles

Vitality Blast
The Ageas Bowl
Friday 16 July
2pm start


Essex Eagles finish their Vitality Blast South Group matches this weekend starting at The Ageas Bowl on Friday afternoon where they meet Hampshire Hawks.

It has been a season of inconsistent results for the Eagles who have won 5 and lost 6 of their 12 matches so far with 1 game washed out by the weather.

Although they start Friday’s match in Southampton with the chance of progressing into the quarter-finals, they need to win both this and the game with Middlesex on Sunday whilst also hoping that results from elsewhere go in their favour.

Kent Spitfires lead the group with 15 points, 1 ahead of Sussex Sharks and 2 ahead of both Gloucestershire and Somerset. They are followed by Surrey with 13 points and then come the Eagles who have accrued 11 points but who have an inferior run-rate to the teams above them.


Hants Squad 

Nel’s View:

The Eagles welcome back Dan Lawrence to their squad after the influential batsman missed the match with Sussex Sharks last Friday having been called into the England ODI side.

In his six T20 matches so far this summer, the 24-year-old has collected 163 runs at an average of 40.75 to top the Eagles averages. However, the highest runs scorer is Michael Pepper with 248 at 31, followed by Adam Wheater with 199 at 24.87.

Simon Harmer and Sam Cook lead the list of Eagles wicket-takers with 16 at 18.06 and 15 at 19.33 respectively.

The defeat at Hove last Friday left the Eagles with work to do and Assistant Head Coach & Bowling Coach Andre Nel reflected on the outcome before looking ahead to the Eagles fixtures this weekend.

He said: “We were 20 runs short of what we think we needed at Hove having laid a decent foundation.

“I thought Tom Westley did really well on his return, he played really well but unfortunately, we didn’t support him enough at the back end of our innings. There were a few reckless shots and we could have played smarter cricket. Then, unfortunately, we didn’t bowl as well as we could.

“So, we let ourselves down but these things happen, it is what it is and now we just have to dust ourselves down and try and come back with 2 positive results.

“The defeat made makes it ten times harder for ourselves but you never know what can happen with this Eagles squad. When we look as if we are down and out, we tend to soar and come back times harder. We know we have to scrap really hard in these last two games and hopefully get ourselves into a situation where we can reach the quarter-finals.”


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 to the Blast.

Head to Head:

When the teams met earlier at Chelmsford just over a month ago, the Eagles suffered a 13-run defeat after the Hawks posted 155-6 with Weatherley top-scoring with 42, whilst D’Arcy Short and James Fuller contributed 26 apiece.

Despite 42 by opener Tom Westley, 29 from Paul Walter and 28 by Jimmy Neesham, there were no other significant contributions and the Eagles were bowled out for 142 in 19.2 overs.

When the teams met last season at The Ageas Bowl, the Eagles recorded a 54 runs victory with Westley again leading the way with 51 from 37 balls. Cameron Delport had scored 31 out of an opening partnership with Westley of 57 before Dan Lawrence (49) and Ryan ten Doeschate (29*) put on 58 in 5.4 overs.

The Eagles closed their innings on 168 before outstanding bowling by Aron Nijjar and some excellent catching and fielding reduced the home side to 38-6. Although the tail wagged, the Hawks ended their innings on 114-9 as Nijjar ended his 4 overs with 3/22 and Jack Plom 2/18.

The teams have met on 34 previous occasions in T20 cricket which has resulted in 13 wins and 19 defeats for The Eagles with one no-result and one abandoned match.

How to Watch:

There will be a Live Stream service from The Ageas Bowl which will be broadcasting ahead of play from 2pm via Essex Cricket Matchzone. The stream will also be available via the Hampshire Cricket YouTube Channel.

Access via the Essex Cricket Matchzone is available here.