Match Report: Essex v Kent Spitfires


Essex v Kent Spitfires

Vitality Blast
The Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford
Thursday 11 July, 7:00pm


Team News

Essex: Adam Rossington†, Dean Elgar, Michael Pepper, Robin Das, Paul Walter, Matt Critchley, Charlie Allison, Simon Harmer*, Eathan Bosch, Shane Snater, Sam Cook

Kent Spitfires: Daniel Bell-Drummond, Tawanda Muyeye, Marcus O’Riordan, Sam Billings*†, Joey Evison, Jack Leaning, Harry Finch, Tom Rogers, Grant Stewart, Matt Parkinson, Nathan Gilchrist

Match Details

Umpires: Neil Bainton & Chris Watts
Match Referee: Alec Swann
Scorers: Paul Parkinson & Lorne Hart
Toss: Kent Spitfires won the toss and elected to bowl first
Result: Essex won by 22 runs

Scorecard:View here

Match Highlights

Match Reaction: Paul Walter

Match Report

A superb death-bowling performance from the returning Sam Cook and Paul Walter helped Essex secure a 22-run Vitality Blast victory over rivals Kent at The Cloud County Ground.

Despite the Spitfires cruising in their chase at halfway, Cook conceded just 21 runs from his four overs and Walter 29 as the Eagles ultimately comfortably defended their 187-3.

Walter top-scored for the hosts in that innings with an unbeaten 46 off 27 balls that included three sixes, even in spite of Matt Parkinson’s restrictive 2/29 in the middle overs.

In response, Tawanda Muyeye made 73, but the tight bowling at the end of the chase kept Kent at arm’s length and ultimately had them end on 165-5.

Having been inserted, Adam Rossington struck two fours in the opening over off Grant Stewart to get the Eagles on the board, before notching back-to-back sixes from the same bowler in the fifth.

The opening partnership was worth 50 in 36 balls, and it was only broken when Nathan Gilchrist had Rossington held by Daniel Bell-Drummond at mid on for a 21-ball 36.

Michael Pepper picked up the baton and continued to demonstrate his ongoing purple patch with three consecutive fours off Joey Evison, before blasting Matt Parkinson for four and six before halfway.

The ten-over mark had Essex cruising at 92-1, and despite the loss of Elgar eight balls later, caught by Jack Leaning off Parkinson for a run-a-ball 33, the score ticked past 100.

The four full overs without a boundary that followed allowed Kent to build some pressure, with Pepper also falling to a catch off Parkinson – this time by Tawanda Muyeye for 34 from 20.

However, that was emphatically broken by Walter at the end of the 16th, as he smoked Marcus O’Riordan’s off-spin for six, before he and Matt Critchley followed it up by fittingly striking 17 off the 17th.

From several overs without a boundary came several overs filled with them, as Walter and Critchley continued to lead the charge at the death.

Critchley finished with a flourish, concluding the innings in the same way it had begun with a four and a six off Stewart to hoist Essex to a target that could be described as in the realms of competitive.

In reply, a tight start to the powerplay, that included the wicket of Daniel Bell-Drummond, usually productive at Chelmsford, for a scratchy one off seven by Eathan Bosch, gave Essex impetus.

A chunky partnership of 85 between O’Riordan and Muyeye allowed Kent to serenely progress up to halfway without further loss, and put the game right in the balance at 95-1 after ten.

That included Muyeye’s fifty, brought up in 34 balls and with three fours and three sixes, via a slower pulled single off Paul Walter.

With the pendulum constantly swinging, two wickets in back-to-back overs – Sam Billings to Simon Harmer and Muyeye to Shane Snater for his impressive 49-ball knock – kept things interesting.

Sam Cook claimed the wicket of Jack Leaning, caught superbly by Matt Critchley, to carry on the superb death bowling effort, alongside Walter, that led to the Spitfires needing 27 off the last.

It was a total that proved beyond them, as Cook rounded out his return to the team after an enforced lay-off to hand Essex a huge win in the context of the quarter-final race.

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 in fourth, and firmly in contention for another knockout match as the group stage reaches its climax, 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.

Thursday 11 July, 7:00pm: Essex v Kent Spitfires – buy here
Sunday 14 July, 2:30pm: Essex v Surrey – buy here