Match Preview: Essex v Sussex & Hampshire

Sussex Sharks v Essex | Essex v Hampshire Hawks
Vitality Blast
The 1st Central County Ground, Hove | The Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford
Thursday 01 June | Friday 02 June
7pm Start

Essex take on both Sussex Sharks and Hampshire Hawks over the next two days looking to make it three wins from three in the Vitality Blast.

Both Sussex and Hampshire have played two games so far in the competition with the two sides having won one and lost one.

After a three-wicket victory over Gloucestershire on Tuesday night, the Eagles will be keen to continue to keep up their winning form.


Head Coach Anthony McGrath has named an unchanged 13 player squad for the fixtures against Sussex Sharks and Hampshire Hawks

After scoring his maiden first-class century and maiden T20 half-century in just the last four days, Robin Das retains a spot in the Essex squad.

Essex squad updated sussex
hampshire updated squad

Sussex squad: Ravi Bopara (c), Tom Alsop, Michael Burgess, Oli Carter, Tom Clark, James Coles, Henry Crocombe, Brad Currie, George Garton, Tom Haines, Finn Hudson-Prentice, Ari Karvelas, Shadab Khan, Tymal Mills, Harrison Ward.

Hampshire squad: James Vince (c), Toby Albert, Mason Crane, Scott Currie, Liam Dawson, Aneurin Donald, Nathan Ellis, James Fuller, Ben McDermott, Tom Prest, John Turner, Joe Weatherley, Ross Whiteley, Chris Wood.

The Opposition:


Luke Wright’s retirement will leave a big hole in the top order, but the Sharks have recruited well from overseas. Nathan McAndrew had a good Big Bash with Sydney Thunder and brings new-ball experience and middle-order hitting potential while the experienced Shadab Khan looks an ideal replacement for Rashid Khan.
The side from the West Country visit Chelmsford after taking on Kent, Glamorgan and Middlesex in their opening there games.

Ali Orr – In Wright’s absence Orr is likely to get an extended opportunity at the top of the order. He has only played eight T20 games in his career but has all the shots in white-ball cricket, as he proved in 2022 when he scored Sussex’s first List A double hundred against Somerset.


Hampshire are aiming to become the first side to win back-to-back Vitality Blast titles. They started their title defence in the worst possible fashion, being defeated by unbeaten Somerset by 8 wickets. But the side from Southampton responded well and showed true class as they comfortably beat Middlesex by the same scoreline they were beat after chasing 172.

Other than McDermott, almost all of Hampshire’s likely starters already have a Hundred gig locked down. Prest is the legible man out, although he spurned the big lights to guarantee playing time in the One Day Cup last year. Aneurin Donald and Scott Currie are outside bets if they break into the Hawks line-up.

View from inside the camp:

Robin Das: 

“It was good to start the campaign with a win and a good performance all round. We were good with the ball to restrict them under 200 and it was a pretty comfortable chase in the end as well.

“There is a lot of scope for things to go better but I guess I’ve had worse weeks! I am really happy with how the week has gone and hopefully can keep the ball rolling and keep the momentum going.

“I want to be involved in every game but we have such a talented and deep squad that you can’t expect to play every game. I’m always hungry to play and contribute to the team.

“It is very pleasing to contribute with Feroze. I have played with him since club cricket at the aged of 13 or 14. It is nice to play with those players you grew up with and shows a really strength to our club; players coming through the pathways and into the first team.”

How To Watch:

A free live stream of both fixtures will be available courtesy of our hosts and on our YouTube channel on Friday night. You will be able to access them through The Essex Cricket Matchzone, which includes player stats, scorecards and clips throughout the game.