Match Report: Essex Eagles v Middlesex


Essex Eagles v Middlesex

Royal London Cup
Sunday 25 July, 11am
The Cloudfm County Ground


Team News:

Essex Eagles: Will Buttleman, Alastair Cook, Tom Westley (c), Michael Pepper, Paul Walter, Ryan ten Doeschate, Adam Wheater (wk), Simon Harmer, Aron Nijjar, Shane Snater, Jamie Porter.

Middlesex: Sam Robson, Max Holden, Joe Cracknell, Peter Handscomb (c), Robbie White (wk), Jack Davies, Luke Hollman, James Harris, Ethan Bamber, Thilan Walallawita, Tim Murtagh.

Match Details:

Umpires: Chris Watts & Ian Gould
Toss: Essex Eagles, who elected to field
Result: Essex Eagles win by 9 wickets

Match Reaction: Tom Westley

Match Report:

An unbroken partnership of 159 between Alastair Cook and Tom Westley saw Essex Eagles crush Middlesex by 9 wickets in the Royal London Cup clash at The Cloudfm County Ground on Sunday.

The former England Captain made 92, while Eagles skipper Westley struck 87 as they surpassed their opponents 212 all out with 11 overs to spare.

This was the county’s second victory in this season’s competition, following the three-wicket triumph against Hampshire in the opening fixture last Thursday.

Neither batsman looked in the slightest trouble as they dominated pace and spin alike with embarrassing ease.

Both struck 11 boundaries. Cook, who faced 111 deliveries progressed mainly by piercing the off-side field while Westley showed a liking for the on-side as they defied the attempts of six bowlers to remove them during the course of the 30 overs Cook and Westley batted.

Westley’s runs came from 97 balls after joining Cook at the crease following the dismissal of Will Buttleman. The 21-year-old had contributed 23 in an opening partnership of 54 before chipping an easy catch to short mid-wicket. This was the visitors’ only wicket in the match with Ethan Bamber claiming it in a wicket-maiden over on his List A debut.

The Middlesex innings was held together by 21-year-old debutant Jack Davies. The left-hander batted fluently on either side of the wicket to help himself to 70 from 81 balls, eight of which he struck to the boundary, after arriving with his side 80-4.

Davies shared in a sixth-wicket partnership of 67 in 16.3 overs, which was the best of the innings alongside Robbie White, before the latter was bowled for 47 by Paul Walter.

Thereafter, the youngster kept the innings afloat before a fine return catch by Ryan ten Doeschate ended his stay just after the 200 was raised.

Off-spinner Simon Harmer conceded 14 runs in his opening over but only 25 in his next nine while picking up two wickets. Ryan ten Doeschate also collected two wickets at a cost of 26 but it was Shane Snater who proved the most successful with figures of 3/45 from 8.3 overs.

Superb fielding also played a big part in bringing about the downfall of the visitors batting. Wicket-keeper Adam Wheater pulled off a brilliant catch diving to his left to end the brief stay of Sam Robson for 18 that provided Snater with his first success.

Alastair Cook’s reflexes proved razor-sharp when leaping at first slip to hold an edge to remove Australian international and Middlesex captain Peter Handscomb who had scored 4 to leave Middlesex 31 for 3 in the seventh over.

The only downside for the Eagles was an injury to Jamie Porter who left the field with an possible back injury just before completing his allocation of 10 overs.

This latest success leaves the county in a positive frame of mind as they continue the Royal London Cup campaign with another Chelmsford clash on Thursday when Worcestershire are the visitors. The day/night fixture will be another chance for the Eagles to protect a 100% start in the competition.