Match Preview: Essex v Somerset

Essex v Somerset
LV= Insurance County Championship
The Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford
Sunday 11 – Wednesday 14 June
11am Start

As the Vitality Blast reaches it’s midway point, attention turns, albeit briefly, back to red-ball cricket with Essex playing an important home fixture against Somerset.

After a strong start to the season, Essex have lost a bit of momentum in the LV= Insurance County Championship. However, with still only 19 points separating Essex and second place, a positive result against Somerset will see the Eagles in a strong position after seven fixtures.

Somerset, on the other hand, endured a difficult start to their 2023 Championship campaign. A good win last time out against Middlesex has propelled them up the table and they now sit seven points above Essex in fifth place.


Essex have named a 13-player squad for this fixture with red-ball regulars Alastair Cook, Jamie Porter, Nick Browne and overseas bowler Doug Bracewell all returning to the fold.

Will Buttleman has been named in the matchday squad, with Adam Rossington still suffering from a finger injury sustained in the Vitality Blast match against Sussex Sharks.

Essex Somerset squad

Somerset squad:

Tom Abell, Kasey Aldridge, George Bartlett, Shoaib Bashir, Sean Dickson, Josh Davey, Ben Green, Matt Henry, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Tom Lammonby, Craig Overton, James Rew and Roelof van der Merwe.

Division One Standings:

The Opposition:

After the retirement of stalwart James Hildreth and a difficult 2022 season for Somerset in the batting department, they recruited opener Sean Dickson from Durham and Yorkshire’s Tom Kohler-Cadmore in order to bolster their batting stocks for the 2023 season.

After a shaky start, their investment in the batting unit seems to have paid off, their tally of 14 batting bonus points is the highest in the Division, although Dickson’s struggles led him to being left out of the side for their last two fixtures.

Somerset’s seam bowling trio of Craig Overton, Matt Henry and Peter Siddle should be enough to match any side in Division One, however Lewis Gregory has been the standout with the ball. His 23 wickets at 21.34 lead the rest by some distance.

Overton and Siddle both struggled to pick up early wickets in April, but have since found their stride, however Overton’s return of 13 wickets at 32 is something Somerset will be hoping improves.

Young wicket-keeper James Rew has been one of the standout players in the Division this season. He’s no stranger to Essex fans after his century at Chelmsford last year and his tally of 564 runs this season sees him second only to Essex skipper Tom Westley (574) in the run-scoring charts.

Last Time We Met:

When the two sides met at Chelmsford last July, it was a game dominated by the bat.

Batting first, Essex piled on the runs with Nick Browne making an unbeaten 234 and Paul Walter returning to the side with a well-made 86.

After declaring on 505-9, Essex picked up the wicket of Tom Lammonby in the first 10 overs but where then made to wait another 70 overs before their second. Matt Renshaw made 146 and Tom Abell scored 90 before retiring hurt.

The aforementioned James Rew and Tom Banton both completed centuries before Somerset too declared on 605-6.

With little time left in the game, the teams shook hands with Essex on 30-1 and both sides took 12 points from the game.

How To Watch:

If you’re unable to attend, the game will be streamed live from Chelmsford and available to watch via the Essex Cricket Matchzone or on the Essex Cricket TV YouTube channel.

Miss the action? Highlights will be available after each day’s play via the Club website and social media channels.


Chelmsford is set for a spell of warm weather and the prospect of watching cricket whilst basking in the sun is a very realistic one. Tickets for the game are available from £14 if you purchase online before the game, or £17 on the gate.