Match Preview: Essex Eagles v Kent Spitfires


Essex Eagles v Kent Spitfires

Royal London Cup
The Cloud County Ground
Thursday 11 August
2pm start

After coming so close to victory in an enthralling contest with Northamptonshire Steelbacks on Sunday, the Eagles will face Kent Spitfires at Chelmsford on Thursday.

Essex have enjoyed the better of The Battle of the Bridge this season, with two wins in the Vitality Blast and a draw in their first LV= Insurance County Championship fixture.

Despite being yet to notch their first win of this year’s Royal London Cup, Essex fans have already been treated to a glimpse of the future with excellent performances from Feroze Khushi, Jamal Richards and Robin Das.


The Eagles have named an unchanged 13-player squad for tomorrow’s game.


The Opposition:

The Spitfires had a difficult season in last year’s competition, finishing bottom of Group 1 with just a single win in the tournament.

However, they have already proved to be a competitive side this year, winning one of their opening three games and coming close to victory against last year’s champions, Glamorgan.

Their batting unit has been particularly effective posting over 300 on two occasions, including chasing 352 against Worcester in the opening game of their campaign.

Despite their batting strengths, they have been less successful with the ball, conceding scores of 351, 308 and 396 in their three games so far.

Their mammoth chase against Worcestershire was underpinned by Ollie Robinson’s 206*, Kent’s highest ever List A individual score. Unsurprisingly, Robinson is Kent’s highest run-scorer this season with 278 runs at an average of 139. Captain Alex Blake (152 runs at 50.66) and new signing Joey Evison (129 runs at 43) have also contributed well with the bat.

As the scores suggest, the Spitfires bowling attack have struggled with their economy so far this season, with only Overseas recruit Matt Henry going at under 6 runs per over. Ex-Eagle Matt Quinn is their leading wicket-taker with five, while Hamidullah Qadri has four.

While Matt Henry has been replaced with Indian seamer Navdeep Saini, the Spitfires are missing Daniel Bell-Drummond, Sam Billings, Jordan Cox, Zac Crawley, Fred Klaasen and Jack Leaning to the Hundred and Darren Stevens, Grant Stewart and George Linde to injury.

Kent Spitfire squad: Alex Blake (c), Ben Compton, Joe Denly, Joey Evison, Harry Finch, Nathan Gilchrist, James Logan, Tawanda Muyeye, Harry Podmore, Hamidullah Qadri, Matt Quinn, Ollie Robinson (wk), Navdeep Saini.

Last time out:

The two sides last faced in List A cricket at Chelmsford last season, when a fantastic team performance by the Eagles saw them complete a nine-wicket victory.

Batting first, no batter scored more than George Munsey’s 39 in Kent’s innings as the away team were bowled out for 158 in 47.5 overs. Shane Snater, Simon Harmer, Ben Allison and Ryan ten Doeschate picked up two wickets each while Aron Nijjar and Tom Westley chipped in with one-a-piece.

Essex knocked off the 159 runs required with ease and for the loss of only one wicket. After the loss of Will Buttleman, Alastair Cook (77) and Tom Westley (69) combined for a 127-run stand to seal victory for the Eagles.

Back in 2008, Essex secured the Friends Provident Trophy title with a victory over Kent in the final. Chasing 214 to win, a nerveless 70* from Grant Flower and 30* from Ryan ten Doeschate saw Essex over the line with seven balls to spare. The trophy was the last one to be secured by the Club in List A cricket.

How To Watch:

A free live stream of the game will be available via Essex Cricket TV on YouTube. It can be accessed through The Essex Cricket Matchzone, which includes player stats, scorecards and clips throughout the game.

Keep up to speed with proceedings with the Essex Cricket Matchzone here.