Match Preview: Essex v Middlesex


Essex v Middlesex

Vitality Blast
The Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford
Sunday 02 June, 4:00pm

Having experienced a difficult start to the Vitality Blast, Essex return to Chelmsford for a first home outing of this year’s competition against Middlesex.

Defeats away to Gloucestershire and Somerset on Thursday and Friday, respectively, mean that the Eagles are looking to get points on the board for the first time in the 2024 Blast tomorrow.

Batting first in both encounters, Anthony McGrath’s men found a total of 141-9 in Bristol overhauled with three overs to spare, while an improved 193-6 in Taunton was again chased down with five balls remaining.

Now, Essex will hope that a first victory of the campaign against the Seaxes will be in the offing as this year’s tournament begins to kick into gear.


Head Coach McGrath has named the same 15-player squad as the one that made the trip to the West Country.

The Opposition

Middlesex had an extremely rough time of it in the 2023 Blast, managing just three wins from their 14 games to finish bottom of the South Group.

The Seaxes fell to a 73-run loss to London rivals Surrey in their opening match, and things proceeded ever further downhill from there, as they went on to lose their opening ten matches in a row.

A relatively strong finish, with three victories from their final four matches at least restored some pride, with captain Stephen Eskinazi’s 462 runs across the competition leading the way with the bat, while Tom Helm claimed 12 wickets.

Old habits die hard though, and in their first game of 2024 – played at Chelmsford with Middlesex as the home team – against Kent on Friday night, they were humbled by 98 runs.

Middlesex squad: Stephen Eskinazi*, Martin Andersson, Henry Brookes, Noah Cornwell, Joe Cracknell, Blake Cullen, Jack Davies, Josh De Caires, Leus Du Plooy, Nathan Fernandes, Tom Helm, Ryan Higgins, Max Holden, Luke Hollman.

Last Time We Met

Unfortunately for the Eagles, while Middlesex had a torrid season last summer, one of those three victories did come in the last clash between the sides towards the tail end of the South Group campaign.

Essex were put in at home after losing the toss, and although an enormous 225-6 was piled up, the visitors went on to win by two wickets as they completed a successful chase with two balls to spare.

Daniel Sams top-scored for the Eagles with a marmalising 69 off 34 and Paul Walter hammered 45 off 23, while Martin Andersson conceded the most expensive T20 figures ever seen against Essex.

In reply, Matt Critchley produced a sensational return of 5/28 with his leg-spin, but Ryan Higgins’ 24-ball 61 helped the Seaxes to a narrow win as Andersson redeemed himself by hitting the winning runs.

South Group Table

How To Watch

If you are not able to attend The Cloud County Ground for the opener, the match will be live-streamed on the EssexCricketTV YouTube channel and available to watch via the Essex Cricket Matchzone.

A report will be published on the Club website after each match, while live updates and highlights will be provided on the Essex Cricket social media channels.


A limited number of tickets remain for this fixture, with prices starting at £30 for adults, £25 for young adults and students, and £5 for juniors.

The Kenton Group Stand at the Graham Gooch End of the ground is the designated family stand for this year’s Vitality Blast, with blocks 27-29 being alcohol-free and blocks 30 & 31 being the alcohol-tolerant family area.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting the link below:

Matchday Guide

Download Here

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