Match Preview: Essex v Warwickshire


Essex v Warwickshire

Vitality County Championship
The Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford
Friday 17 – Monday 20 May 2024 | 11:00am start

After a short encounter with Somerset in Taunton, and an opportunity to recharge over the bye week, Essex return home for the first time in May as Warwickshire arrive at The Cloud County Ground.

Despite bowling Somerset out for 128 in their first innings on a green pitch to establish a 28-run lead, the visitors fell to a narrow defeat in the West Country.

The hosts were skittled by five-wicket hauls for both halves of the Eagles’ deadly seam duo, Jamie Porter and Sam Cook, as 20 wickets fell on the opening day.

Essex then set Somerset a target of 167 for victory by the middle of the second afternoon, and despite Shane Snater claiming 4/55, the target was reached with the hosts seven down.

It was the Eagles’ first defeat of the season, but the bye week that followed in the interim allowed a chance to take stock.

Now, Anthony McGrath’s side face two further Vitality County Championship fixtures before the end of the first block of red-ball games, starting with the visit of the Bears to Chelmsford.


Head Coach McGrath has named a 14-man squad for this fixture, with Michael Pepper returning to the group after recovering from injury.

The Inside Line: Simon Harmer

The Opposition

Four draws from their opening five games have Warwickshire solidly in mid-table on 59 points, with their first defeat of the summer coming at the hands of Surrey in their last game.

Worcestershire doggedly held out for a draw in the season-opening Bears/Pears derby, before a high-scoring stalemate with Durham at Edgbaston followed, in which the hosts racked up 698-3 declared.

Further draws against Hampshire and Nottinghamshire preceded their nine-wicket defeat at the Oval on Monday, leaving Mark Robinson’s side as one of four sides yet to win in Division One this season.

Opener and new captain Alex Davies has been in sparkling form, racking up 509 runs already at an average of 72.71 with two centuries – including a new career-best knock of 256 in that Durham match.

Rob Yates also profited in that game and has 470 runs in 2024 at 78.33, with Davies’ predecessor as captain, Will Rhodes, on 414, making him the third member of the Bears squad to pass 400.

Bowling has been more of a struggle, with opener Yates’ part-time off-breaks also being their second-highest source of wickets with 11, but Oliver Hannon-Dalby remains consistent in leading the way with 13 scalps at 31.61.

Warwickshire squad: Alex Davies*, Ed Barnard, Jacob Bethell, Danny Briggs, Michael Burgess+, Sam Hain, Olly Hannon-Dalby, Jake Lintott, Dan Mousley, Michael Rae, Will Rhodes, Che Simmons, Rob Yates.

Last Time We Met

Essex secured a comfortable maximum-point victory over Warwickshire to maintain a title challenge during a scorching hot week at The Cloud County Ground last June.

With the match part of a round that saw the first use of the Kookaburra ball in English domestic cricket as part of a two-week trial, Tom Westley won the toss and eagerly elected to bat on a glorious day.

Westley himself continued his fine season with 114, while Dan Lawrence went even bigger by hitting 152 as the Eagles racked up 457 all out.

In response, spin king Simon Harmer made the trial ball dance to his tune, taking 5/65 as the Bears were rolled over for just 158, a deficit of 299.

Westley sent the visitors out to bat again, and though they put up more resistance at the second time of asking and avoided an innings defeat, they were too far behind to be able to make a difference.

Their total of 381, with Harmer completing match figures of 10/230, meant Essex needed just 83 to win, and it was a target they comfortably reached in just 15 overs as Feroze Khushi hit an unbeaten 44.

Division One Table

How To Watch

If you are not able to make it to The Cloud County Ground in person, the game will be streamed live on the EssexCricketTV YouTube channel and available to watch via the Essex Cricket Matchzone.

A report and reaction will be published on the Club website after each day’s play via the Club website, while live updates and daily highlights will be provided on the Club’s social media channels.


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

Meanwhile, general admission advance tickets are priced at £16 for adults, while young adults aged between 18 and 25 can buy at any time for £12 and under-18 tickets cost just £6.

A family ticket, covering two adults and two children, costs just £35, while a four-day ticket covering the entire match can be purchased over the phone for £44.

Please note that these two types of ticket are only available in advance of the fixture, and that individual adult tickets will rise in price to £20 if bought on the day.

Tickets can be purchased by calling 01245 254010 or by visiting the link below:

The Eagles Have Landed: The 2024 Vitality Blast at The Cloud County Ground

Fresh from a Finals Day appearance last summer, Essex return to shortest-format action in Chelmsford from Sunday 02 June.

Demand remains exceptionally high, and there are now only 15% of tickets remaining across all seven home fixtures, with two already sold out.

With the Eagles aiming to go one better in 2024, there is no time to waste to snap up your seats.

Sunday 02 June, 4:00pm: Essex v Middlesex – buy here
Friday 07 June, 7:00pm: Essex v Glamorgan – buy here (LAST FEW TICKETS)
Friday 14 June, 7:00pm: Essex v Sussex Sharks – SOLD OUT
Thursday 20 June, 7:00pm: Essex v Hampshire Hawks – buy here
Friday 05 July, 7:00pm: Essex v Somerset – SOLD OUT
Thursday 11 July, 7:00pm: Essex v Kent Spitfires – buy here
Sunday 14 July, 2:30pm: Essex v Surrey – buy here