Young Eagles qualify for National County Cup semi-finals


Essex Under-18s have secured an ECB National County Cup semi-final against Somerset at Billericay Cricket Club on Sunday 20 August.

The young Eagles defeated Middlesex in the last eight at The Cloud County Ground last week by 173 runs, having comfortably defended a total of 289 by bowling the visitors out for 116 inside 26 overs.

Luc Benkenstein blitzed a 14-ball 34 at the top of the order to set the tone, before Charlie Allison top-scored with 90, and Ayaan Malik and Noah Thain both chipped in with 32 and 30, respectively.

Sam Bear then claimed 4/26 from seven overs while Thain and Charlie Bennett shared four more evenly between them as the young Seaxes fell considerably short of chasing down their target.

Somerset overcame Devon, the last non-first-class county left in the tournament, by three wickets as 60 from Thomas Rew, younger brother of Wyverns first-team regular James, helped them chase down a target of 221.

Durham are already in the other semi-final after defeating Derbyshire by 53 runs, with their opponents to be decided by the one remaining quarter-final between Warwickshire and Northamptonshire on 13th August.