Match Report: Essex v Sussex Sharks


Essex v Sussex Sharks

Vitality Blast
The Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford


Team News:

Essex: Adam Rossington (wk), Dan Lawrence, Michael Pepper, Robin Das, Paul Walter, Matt Critchley, Daniel Sams, Simon Harmer (c), Shane Snater, Ben Allison, Sam Cook.

Sussex Sharks: Tom Clark, Tom Haines, Tom Alsop, Ravi Bopara (c), Shadab Khan, Michael Burgess (wk), James Coles, Nathan McAndrew, Fynn Hudson-Prentice, Tymal Mills, Henry Crocombe.

Match Details:

Umpires: Billy Taylor and Paul Pollard
Match Referee: Devon Malcolm
Toss: Sussex won and elected to field

Scorecard: View Here

Match Highlights:

Match Reaction:

Match Report:

Michael Pepper continued his Vitality Blast form as his 48 and Sam Cook’s four-for set up a five-wicket victory for Essex against Sussex Sharks.

Pepper was the Eagles’ top scorer in 2022 with 439 runs and has had a belated started in 2023 after missing the opening three games through injury.

Since returning though, he has picked up where he left off with 63 against Somerset and a stylish 48 here against the Sharks.

Earlier, Cook’s four for 20 helped restrict the Sharks to 147, despite a sizzling 50 from Ravi Bopara.

Pepper and Adam Rossington broke the chase with 76 for the second wicket before Matt Critchley and Daniel Sams completed the win with 31 balls to spare as Sussex were condemned to a fourth straight defeat, as Essex chalked up their third victory from five matches.

In the chase, Dan Lawrence was caught at mid-on second ball but Pepper and Rossington got the Eagles off to a flier with 77 runs coming in the powerplay.

Henry Crocombe was Rossington’s victim with a variety of scoops and pulls to and over the boundary in a healthy 21 run over.

Nathan McAndrew also was sprayed for 21 at the other end in a 10-ball over with Pepper using the crease to create angles to crash boundaries at will.

Rossington flamingoed his fourth six but his stay ended when he turned Tymal Mills around the corner to short leg, before Robin Das and Paul Walter followed quickly.

Pepper popped Bopara back over his head but Shadab Khan pinned him lbw on the reverse sweep.

But Critchley and Sams pitched in with a timely 45-run stand and saw the Eagles home with 5.1 overs remaining.

Sussex chose to bat and lost Toms Clark, Haines and Alsop in the powerplay but Bopara steadied things with Shadab Khan and Michael Burgess.

Bopara played 67 home T20 matches for Essex, having played from the inaugural 2003 season to 2019, with all but one coming at Chelmsford. He knows the dimensions of the ground better than most.

On this occasion he targeted the leg side boundary towards the Pavilion, dragging Ben Allison for six from outside the off stump before two slog sweeps off Simon Harmer.

He added 35 with Shadab, and after the Pakistani was bowled by Walter’s first ball, Burgess helped bring 40 in 24 balls.

Bopara’s 46th T20 fifty came in 30 balls but he departed when Shane Snater grabbed some air to catch at long-on.

Sussex would only score another 33 in the last six overs as Critchley had James Coles and McAndrew in the 16th over, Cook returned four for 20 as he had Fynn Hudson-Prentice and Burgess caught in the same over.

Sams got the wicket his tight bowling deserved when Tymal Mills chipped to a diving Harmer at cover as Sussex were bowled out for 147 with three balls unused.