Essex Eagles travel to Bristol to face Gloucestershire on Sunday in the NatWest T20 Blast and the visitors will be in good heart following the 9 run victory against Middlesex on Friday night. That was the second win in as many matches for the Eagles and maintains hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the competition, although Gloucestershire will provide a stiff challenge.
Essex will need to improve upon a poor recent record against the West Country side if they are to make it three wins in a row.
Gloucestershire have won four of their last five games against the Eagles, after having lost each of the four meetings between these teams prior.
Gloucestershire’s last four wins at Bristol have come when chasing; they come into this game having just ended a three-game losing streak there.
Michael Klinger (95*) & Ian Cockbain (69*) put on an unbeaten second wicket partnership worth 137 when these sides last met in July 2016, the highest unbroken stand in 2016 and Gloucestershire’s fourth highest ever T20 partnership.
Head Coach, Chris Silverwood has named a 13-man squad for the trip and appreciates that it is a must-win game for his side.
“Things are very tight in this group but we’ve now had back-to-back wins and that keeps our hopes to reach the quarter-finals still alive,” he acknowledged.
“We probably need to win all three of our remaining matches but we are quite capable of doing that if we keep playing to our strengths.
“We have some excellent characters in our dressing room, we all want success for the team and are desperate to succeed but you don’t have any divine right to go out and win any game of cricket, you have to earn the right to be successful and have to fight for every inch.
“We are capable of being a match for anyone in this format but it’s a matter of making sure that we turn up on the day and give it everything we’ve got.”
Essex Eagles squad to face Gloucestershire:
Ryan ten Doeschate (27) Captain
James Foster (7) Wicket-keeper
Mohammad Amir (5)
Ravi Bopara (25)
Varun Chopra (6)
Matt Dixon (30)
Simon Harmer (11)
Dan Lawrence (28)
Jamie Porter (44)
Callum Taylor (67)
Paul Walter (22)
Adam Wheater (31)
Ashar Zaidi (99)