Match Preview: Essex v Hampshire


Essex v Hampshire

LV= Insurance County Championship
The Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford
Tuesday 19 – Friday 22 September | 10:30am start

Essex will play their final home match, and their penultimate match altogether, of the 2023 summer this week when Hampshire visit The Cloud County Ground.

A three-day victory for the Eagles over Middlesex in their last Championship outing, also at home, kept a thrilling title race with Surrey very much alive heading into the final two rounds of action.

Simon Harmer claimed five wickets in the Seaxes’ second innings as the Eagles picked up 21 priceless points to remain just 18 behind the defending champions with a maximum of 48 still on offer.

However, James Vince’s Hampshire, themselves in third and only 34 points behind Essex, look set to provide the biggest challenge, on paper at least, of any of September’s opponents.

Essex squad Hants
The Opposition:

Hampshire squad: James Vince (Captain), Mohammad Abbas, Kyle Abbott, Toby Albert, Keith Barker, Ben Brown, Liam Dawson, James Fuller, Nick Gubbins, Ian Holland, Fletcha Middleton, Felix Organ, Tom Prest

While Hampshire are just mathematically out of contention for a first Championship title since 1973, they have still enjoyed a strong season in the red-ball arena, winning six of their 12 games to occupy a top-half spot.

The Rose and Crown may not now be able to top Division One themselves, but with a home match against Surrey following this encounter in Chelmsford, they could still play a significant role in deciding the eventual destination of the trophy.

Adrian Birrell’s side will be looking to bounce back after losing a dramatic Metro Bank One Day Cup final against Leicestershire on Saturday.

They fell short of the same stage in the Vitality Blast, however, where, despite having finished second in the South Group and convincingly seen off Worcestershire Rapids in the last eight, the Hawks went on to lose by five wickets to none other than Essex in a rain-affected semi-final at Edgbaston.

Key Battle: Nick Gubbins v Jamie Porter

Hants key battle

Last Time We Met:

It was a low-scoring affair at the Ageas Bowl back in late July on the most recent occasion that Essex locked horns with Hampshire.

Only 506 runs were scored in total across the four innings, but it was the Eagles who, in spite of being the visitors, adapted the better to the tough conditions to come away with a six-wicket win and 19 points.

Having invited Hampshire to bat first, Essex struck near-immediate gold as Jamie Porter took 5/37 and Simon Harmer claimed 3/26 to see the hosts bundled out for 120, with only four batters making double figures.

Hampshire ltwm pic
Given the conditions, it would have been a tough ask for the Eagles to rack up the runs in reply, but they did manage to eke out a first-innings lead of 49 thanks to 39 from Adam Rossington and Michael Pepper’s 33.

With the match still only just over a day old by the time the hosts came to bat again, Porter then claimed another five-for, taking his overall match haul to 10/83, and Sam Cook picked up three as Hants were all out for 131.

That left a target of 83, which on this difficult surface posed plenty of potential pitfalls, but scores of 28 from Nick Browne and Paul Walter, the latter unbeaten, saw Essex edge over the line for a fifth consecutive win.

Division One Standings:

League table pre-Hants1

How To Watch:

If you are unable to make it to The Cloud County Ground in person, the game will be streamed live on the Essex Cricket TV YouTube channel and available to watch via the Essex Cricket Matchzone.

Daily highlights will be available after each day’s play via the Club website, while live updates will be provided on the Club’s social media channels.


Members of both counties are free to sit in any vacant seat, though the Doug Insole Pavilion benches and blocks 1-14 and 27-31 are reserved specifically for their use.

Meanwhile, unreserved general admission seats are located in blocks 15 to 26 and are unreserved, with the Family Area able to be found in block 23, which is part of the Felsted School Stand.

These tickets are priced at £14 for adults if bought in advance or £17 at the gate on the day, while young adults aged between 18 and 25 can buy at any time for £11 and under-18 tickets cost just £5.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting the link below: