Match Preview: Hampshire v Essex

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Hampshire v Essex

Bob Willis Trophy
Arundel Castle Cricket Ground
Saturday 22 – Tuesday 25 August
11am start

Essex return to Sussex for their next match in the Bob Willis Trophy competition but this time they face Hampshire at picturesque Arundel Castle Cricket Ground, starting on Saturday.

Hampshire has traversed county borders away from their Ageas Bowl home because of the Test match currently being staged, and with no suitable outgrounds in their own county, they have decamped to play all their home fixtures at Arundel.

Essex completed their third win as many matches in the Bob Willis Trophy when they beat Sussex by three wickets at Hove earlier this week to maintain a 100% win record in the competition.

Head Coach’s View:

Anthony McGrath praised the batting performance in the second innings at Hove. “As the run-rate had been below 3 an over in the previous three innings, I thought it was a great run-chase really,” he stated.

“That win puts us in a nice position although we do need to address the low batting points. We certainly do have to bat better than we have been doing.

“It’s just a matter of someone going on and getting a big score; a lot of batsmen have played themselves in without cashing in and that’s frustrating and we’ve lost a few soft wickets really over the three games.

“I’ve said throughout all three games that I do think we could have batted better it’s hard to complain when you get three wins.”

Aaron Beard Ready For Hampshire Test:

Squad News:

Essex have no injuries worries ahead of the trip to Arundel although they are likely to continue rotating the squad ahead of the intriguing clash between the South Group’s top two teams with Nick Browne rested.

Young batmsan, Rishi Patel is also not available following his loan move the Leicestershire for their remaining Bob Willis Trophy matches.

21 Tom Westley (C)
65 Ben Allison
14 Aaron Beard
6 Varun Chopra
26 Alastair Cook
16 Sam Cook
11 Simon Harmer
23 Feroze Khushi
28 Dan Lawrence
44 Jamie Porter
94 Matt Quinn
27 Ryan ten Doeschate
22 Paul Walter
31 Adam Wheater (WK)

The Opposition:

James Fuller became the first bowler to take a hat-trick in the Bob Willis Trophy when assisting his side to a sensational innings victory over Surrey.

The fast bowler took 4-17 and dismissed Laurie Evans, Gus Atkinson, and Morne Morkel with consecutive deliveries to record Hampshire’s first hat-trick since Kyle Abbott against Worcestershire two years ago.

The feat came as Hampshire bowled Surrey out for 74 in a rain-affected game to win by an innings and 52 runs at Arundel.

Reflecting on the win, Fuller said, “It was an unbelievable win. Credit to all the players, we had faith that we could force a result. We are still kicking ourselves after not beating Sussex, but we won at Radlett (against Middlesex) but we have the belief that we can win from any position.”

Looking ahead to Saturday’s clash, Fuller said: “It’s such a short competition, anything can happen. If we keep our heads down and keep believing we’ve got a great chance.

Hampshire Squad:

17 Sam Northeast (C), 58 Brad Wheal, 9 Tom Alsop, 22 Ian Holland, 26 James Fuller, 18 Lewis McManus (WK), 33 Tom Scriven, 3 Felix Organ, 4 Harry Came, 39 Ajeet Dale, 5 Joe Weatherley, 32 Mason Crane, 47 Ryan Stevenson.

Injury/Absentees News:

James Vince – unavailable as a precautionary measure until after the impending birth of his second child.
Keith Barker and Liam Dawson – miss out due to injury sidelined due to injury.

Last Meeting:

After the opening encounter of the season, only the most optimistic Essex follower could have imagined that their favourites would go on to lift the County Championship title for the second time in three years.

Essex were left licking their wounds following defeat by an innings and 87 runs at Southampton. Hampshire rattled up 525 for eight declared having been put into bat with Sam Northeast hitting 169.

In reply, Alastair Cook was the main contributor with 50 out of the visitors 164. They did a little better second time around thanks to 107 from Ravi Bopara and 62 from Simon Harmer who added 111 for the 6th wicket before Essex were dismissed for 274.

However, that nightmare became a fading memory when Essex turned the tables on their opponents in the return fixture at Chelmsford in the middle of June. Five wickets from Simon Harmer in the first innings saw Hampshire skittled for 118 and although though Essex could only manage a first-innings lead of 96 thanks to half-centuries from Bopara and Dan Lawrence, that was sufficient to afford them victory by an innings and eight runs.

Once again It was the master magician Harmer who had too many tricks for the visiting batsman as he returned 7 for 38.

Opener Joe Weatherley carried his bat for 29 but the rest of his colleagues showed little application and they were dismissed for a miserable 88. The match, that ended 15 minutes before tea on day 2, produce just a total of 420 runs.

That success heralded the start of a six-match winning run allowing Essex to close the closed to the gap on one-time runaway leaders Somerset before subsequently lifting the title to crown an amazing season.

How To Watch:

Our Live Stream service will be available across all four days of this game from 11am, which also includes player stats, scorecard and clips throughout the day. Access via the Essex Cricket Matchzone which is available – here.