Match Previews: Essex v Somerset | Glamorgan v Essex


Essex v Somerset | Glamorgan v Essex

Vitality Blast
The Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford | Sophia Gardens, Cardiff
Friday 05 July, 7:00pm | Sunday 07 July, 2:30pm

After a mid-group stage break for two rounds of the Vitality County Championship, the drama and breakneck speed of the Vitality Blast returns with six games over the course of the next two weeks.

The first two of those, for Essex, are a home clash with last season’s final opponents Somerset and a long trip west to Cardiff to take on Glamorgan.

The return to shortest-format action comes after Anthony McGrath’s side won their last two matches before the red-ball break, seeing off Hampshire Hawks at home and Kent Spitfires on the road.

Now, the Eagles will aim to bounce back from a Championship defeat to Surrey by maintaining their push for a third quarter-final in three years.


Head Coach McGrath has named a 12-player squad for the two matches.

Eathan Bosch, who has replaced Daniel Sams as Essex’s second T20 Blast overseas player, will be available from the home T20 match against Kent Spitfires on Thursday 11 July.

He joined the Club after a period of limited match practice, and subsequently, his workload is being managed following back-to-back Championship games.

The Opposition: Somerset

Defending champions Somerset may not quite have hit the highs this year of their record-breaking 2023 season, but they remain a strong force in the Blast.

Still in the mix to do what no English county has ever done before and defend their trophy, the West Country outfit currently sit third in the South Group, with five wins from their eight games.

Jason Kerr’s side initially suffered a patchy start to their campaign, with two losses from their opening three games, but the four-match winning streak that followed put them right back into contention.

Big-hitting young left-hander Will Smeed is their leading run-scorer, with his 236 narrowly putting him ahead of Tom Banton’s 231, while Ben Green has continued to be in the wickets, with 15 scalps so far.

Somerset squad: Lewis Gregory*, Will Smeed, Tom Banton, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Tom Abell, Sean Dickson, Tom Lammonby, Roelof van der Merwe, Ben Green, Josh Davey, Riley Meredith, Jake Ball, Jack Leach, Alfie Ogborne

Last Time We Met: Somerset

The two sides last met in May, as part of the Vitality Blast Off that launched the 2024 season, though it was a tough outing for the Eagles in Taunton as Somerset triumphed by four wickets.

Put in after losing the toss, Essex racked up what many thought could be a competitive score with 193-6, as Dean Elgar struck his first shortest-format Eagles fifty with 77 off 51.

The visitors kept themselves in contention for much of the chase, as Aaron Beard bowled well for 2/11 from three overs and Paul Walter picked up 2/28 from four.

However, a late surge from Tom Abell, who underpinned the innings with a 36-ball 55, and Lewis Gregory, who made 44 from 20, got the hosts over the line with five balls to spare.

The Opposition: Glamorgan

In contrast to the often-competitive Somerset, historically, things have been considerably more fallow in the Blast just across the Severn Estuary in Glamorgan.

The Welsh county are one of only five sides never to have won the competition, and are currently on a barren run of six consecutive seasons without a quarter-final spot.

There is little sign that that run might end any time soon, either, as they currently sit seventh in the South Group with just two wins and five defeats, five points off the top four.

Sam Northeast’s 216 runs mark him out as their leading batter, while Mason Crane has taken 12 wickets to top those standings ahead of the 10 claimed by Dan Douthwaite.

Glamorgan squad: TBC

Last Time We Met: Glamorgan

It was a heart-stopping affair the last time the Eagles encountered Glamorgan four weeks ago, with 19-year-old Luc Benkenstein’s batting proving crucial in securing a two-wicket win at home.

In Essex’s first floodlit outing at The Cloud County Ground in this season’s Blast, the hosts won the toss and elected to chase, with Glamorgan being restricted to 166-8 despite Colin Ingram’s 52 from 29.

Daniel Sams opened the innings with a wicket maiden on his way to 3/28, while Paul Walter collected 3/33, and the total felt very light once Adam Rossington had leathered 48 off 24 to start the chase.

A mid-innings stumble reduced the hosts to 106-7, but the prodigious Benkenstein, who hit an unbeaten 35 off 21, hung on to eventually reel off the winning four with eight balls to spare.

South Group Table

How To Watch

If you are not able to attend either or both matches, each will be live-streamed – on the usual EssexCricketTV YouTube channel and through the Essex Cricket Matchzone on Friday and then on hosts Glamorgan’s channel on Sunday afternoon.

A report will be published on the Club website at the conclusion of each game, while live updates and highlights from both will be provided on the Essex Cricket social media channels.


A final handful of tickets remain available for the Somerset fixture on Friday, with prices starting at £33 for adults, £28 for young adults and students, and £10 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.

Seats are in more plentiful supply for Sunday afternoon’s fixture in the Welsh capital, with all tickets, which start at an advance price of £18 for adults, £10 for students, and £3 for under-17s, being sold as general admission.

The few tickets that remain for the home game with Somerset are available on this link:

Meanwhile, tickets for the trip to Glamorgan can be purchased by clicking this link:

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

Fresh from a Finals Day appearance last summer, Essex are now back in Vitality Blast action for 2024.

With the Eagles sitting fourth in the South Group and firmly in contention for another knockout match, demand for tickets remains exceptionally high.

As Essex continue to aim towards going one better in 2024, there is no time to waste to snap up your seats.

Friday 05 July, 7:00pm: Essex v Somerset – buy here (FINAL FEW TICKETS)
Thursday 11 July, 7:00pm: Essex v Kent Spitfires – buy here
Sunday 14 July, 2:30pm: Essex v Surrey – buy here