Match Report: Essex Eagles v Sussex Sharks


Essex Eagles v Sussex Sharks

Royal London Cup
Tuesday 10 August, 11am
The Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford


Team News:

Essex Eagles: Alastair Cook, Josh Rymell, Tom Westley (c), Feroze Khushi, Paul Walter, Ryan ten Doeschate, Adam Wheater (wk) Simon Harmer, Aron Nijjar, Jack Plom, Ben Allison.

Sussex Sharks: Ali Orr, Ben Brown, Tom Haines (c), Travis Head, James Coles, Oli Carter (wk), Danial Ibrahim, Will Beer, Archie Lenham, David Wiese, Joe Sarro.

Match Details:

Umpires: Nick Cook & Ian Ramage
Toss: Sussex Sharks, who elected to field
Result: Essex Eagles win by 97 runs

Match Highlights:

Match Reaction: Josh Rymell

Match Report:

Essex Eagles booked their place in the knockout stages of the Royal London Cup when they swept aside Sussex Sharks to win by 97 runs in their clash at The Cloudfm County Ground.

Josh Rymell, Feroze Khushi and Adam Wheater all scored half-centuries as the Eagles posted a demanding total of 321 for 8 wickets, their highest total of this year’s Royal London Cup competition before Ryan ten Doeschate captured 4 wickets as the visitors were dismissed for 224 in 43.2 overs.

Rymell and Khushi, who both shone with the bat at Durham on Sunday, again caught the eye with impressive individual performances, teaming up to post 115 for the third-wicket following their three-figure partnership 48 hours earlier.

That laid the foundations for the substantial total that always looked beyond the visitors compass after losing half the side for 144 just prior to the halfway point of their reply.

Rymell and Khushi started their latest influential stand after the home side had lost Alastair Cook for 29 and Tom Westley for 4 to leave the Eagles 50 for 2.

However, the young batsmen initiated a revival as they hammered the bowling with poise and style, hitting the ball cleanly and powerfully. Both showed flair and cool judgement and were selective in pulling and driving.

The 20 year-old Rymell struck a couple of sixes, the first took the total past 100 and the second maximum from his bat brought up the century liaison in 127 balls. Rymell arrived at a fine half-century, his first in senior cricket, from 70 balls and had advanced onto 78 from 96 balls when he was adjudged leg before wicket to Danial Ibrahim.

Khushi, two years his senior, continued to work the ball sweetly around the field and was joined by Paul Walter, returning to the side after missing 4 matches with a hamstring problem. Walter and Khushi combined for a speedy stand worth 54 in 38 balls but the visitors attack were offered some encouragement when they claimed three wickets at a cost of just 4 runs.

Walter miscued an intended hook and departed for 27, Ryan ten Doeschate then went for 2, before Khushi’s impressive innings of 77 from 86 balls. His innings included seven boundaries and one maximum but it came to an end when he drove spinner Will Beer to mid-wicket to leave the Eagles 223 for 6 with 10 overs still to be bowled.

But the arrival of Adam Wheater to the crease ensured the Eagles retained the initiative. Despite the loss of Simon Harmer for 6, the wicket-keeper struck out freely and robustly. He blasted 6 boundaries including three sixes, teaming up with Aron Nijjar, to advance the total by 60 runs in just 28 balls before he was caught at long-on with the score on 307.

Nijjar faced 16 deliveries and was 28 not out when the innings closed after the home side had accrued 62 runs from the final five overs.

The Eagles made three changes from the side defeated by Durham 48 hours previously with Wheater, Walter and Jack Plom returning to the side in place of Nick Browne, Shane Snater and Luc Benkenstein.

It was Plom who found the breakthrough in front of a packed crowd, who were enjoying the sun and a strong Eagles performance. Plom struck in his second and third overs of the day, claiming Ali Orr and Tom Haines and when the spin of Nijjar and Harmer accounted for Ben Brown and Travis Head, Sussex were in trouble at 92 for 4.

Although David Wiese and James Coles put on 52 runs in just six overs, the highest stand of the innings, the medium-pace of ten Doeschate brought an end to the threat when he had Wiese caught at wide mid-on for 36.

Harmer had Oli Carter caught in the deep for 19 and four balls and one run later, ten Doeschate had James Coles caught behind for 32 to leave the Sharks 173 for 7 and victory in sight for the Eagles.

It was ten Doeschate, enjoying his best figures with the ball since 2016, who claimed two of the three remaining wickets to end with 4/34 from 9.2 overs whilst Plom grabbed another wicket to finish with 3/52.

The Eagles now travel to Old Trafford to face Lancashire on Thursday knowing that victory would guarantee them a home play-off on Saturday. However should they win and Durham lose against Hampshire on Thursday, Essex would bypass the play-off stage and go directly into a home semi-final tie next Tuesday.