Match Preview: Essex Eagles v Middlesex


Essex Eagles v Middlesex

Vitality Blast
The Cloudfm County Ground
Sunday 18 July
2pm start


Essex Eagles entertain Middlesex at The Cloudfm County Ground in their final Vitality Blast fixture in what has been a disappointing T20 campaign for the home side.

Defeat by Hampshire Hawks on Friday ensured that the Eagles were unable to reach the quarter-final stages of the competition for the second year in succession having won the trophy in 2019.

Their record this term in the tournament is 5 wins and 7 defeats, with 1 game washed out.

Middlesex too have struggled and are also only playing for pride on Sunday. They currently prop up the South Group with just 3 wins from their 13 matches.



Harmer’s View:

Following the Eagles defeat by Hampshire Hawks on Friday, skipper Simon Harmer pulled no punches in his assessment of the latest defeat and the Eagles T20 season overall.

He said: “We put ourselves into a strong position in the match but couldn’t see it through which is very disappointing.

“It’s been a disappointing competition for us from start to finish.

“There were glimmers of hope there for us but I think as a whole, we haven’t been good enough. Our skills haven’t been good enough and so we have only ourselves to blame. we need to find ways to get better, there are lots of opportunities flying around but it just hasn’t been our tournament.

“Yes, it’s a tough group but we can look back and reflect that we could and should have been achieving a lot better than we have. It’s something that we will discuss in-depth later.

“Meanwhile, we have our final game on Sunday and even though the competition is over for ourselves, we have to go into that game with Middlesex with the right attitude and put on a professional performance.”


Middlesex will be without top-scorer Stephen Eskinazi on Sunday who suffered a torn groin muscle this week when batting against Leicestershire in the County Championship whilst Eoin Morgan is away leading England in their T20 series with Pakistan.

However wicket-keeper batsman John Simpson returns to the side having played in all 3 of England ODI’s against Pakistan.

Paceman Steven Finn captains a side that has plenty of bowling options. Seamer Tom Helm, also a member of the England ODI squad v Pakistan, is joined by Blake Cullen, Daryl Mitchell, Martin Andersson whilst the visitors could also field Nathan Sowter, Mujeeb ur Rahman and Luke Hollman to present a three-man spin attack.

In their latest match when playing against Kent Spitfires on Friday night, Middlesex suffered a heavy defeat when they were bowled out for 80 after their opponents had scored 157-8. Top-scorer for the beaten side was last man Mujeeb Ur Rahman who contributed 13 whilst the only other batsmen to post double figures were Varun Chopra and Helm, who both scored 12.

Head to Head:

Despite the lowly positions of the teams, there was an exciting clash when they met at Lord’s last month. Stephen Eskinazi carried his bat for 102 out of 183-2, but Dan Lawrence (59), Michael Pepper (43) and Jimmy Neesham (30) appeared to have put the Eagles on the road to a comfortable victory.

At the start of the 18th over, they needed 16 with 7 wickets in hand. Then with the total on 170-3, the innings imploded as the Eagles lost 5 wickets in 10 balls for 9 runs as nerves took over.

But skipper Simon Harmer remained clear-headed and struck the winning boundary from the only ball he faced to see the Eagles to victory off the final scheduled delivery of the match and with 2 wickets to spare.

How to Watch:

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

Access via the Essex Cricket Matchzone is available here.