Essex Eagles v Surrey
The Cloudfm County Ground
Friday 11 September
The Eagles welcome Surrey to The Cloudfm County Ground for their penultimate home match in this year’s Vitality Blast competition with the fixture set to start at 2pm.
The Eagles are the only side in the South Group yet to win a T20 match having now played half of their 10 matches. The 2019 titleholders have accrued just 2 points and prop up the South Group. Surrey meanwhile have won 2 of their 5 matches and are 2 points behind leaders Kent Spitfires.
Eagles Head coach Anthony McGrath gave an honest assessment of his side’s form in the first half of the T20 season.
He commented: “We just haven’t been on the game so far. The first game was rained off and then the next 2 games we thought we should have won, certainly the game at Chelmsford against Hampshire but in the games at Lord’s and The Oval, we were very poor.
“There will certainly be changes, some of those performances were not acceptable. Everyone is trying without doubt and obviously, we want to try and get to the latter stages but it’s going to be difficult now. We’ve put catches down, haven’t scored enough runs and on trickier wickets, we’ve not bowled as well as we should.
“We’ve got 5 games left and we saw what happened last year so I’m certainly not ruling anything out but we have to win on Friday, it’s as simple as that.”
The Eagles have no injury worries ahead of the match and have a 17-man squad.
Former Essex wicket-keeper batsman Ben Foakes masterminded Surrey’s latest success in the competition when they beat Middlesex on Saturday.
He arrived at the crease with his side deep in trouble at 23-4, but played superbly and with authority to guide Surrey over the winning line with 60 not out.
Gareth Batty (C), Hashim Amla, Gus Atkinson, Scott Borthwick, Rory Burns, Matt Dunn, Laurie Evans, Ben Foakes (WK), Will Jacks, Daniel Moriarty, Jamie Overton, Reece Topley, Jamie Smith, Mark Stoneman.
Record Between The Sides
When the teams met a couple of weeks ago at The Kia Oval, the match ended in a tie. The Eagles posted 143-6 with Ryan ten Doeschate and Adam Wheater top-scoring with 35 and 32 not out respectively.
Surrey then lost 8 wickets in matching the Eagles total after losing 2 wickets to the final 2 deliveries as they desperately searched for the winning run.
The sides have clashed 30 times in T20 cricket, with Essex enjoying 17 successes and Surrey 10 whilst, apart from that tied game, 1 match was abandoned and another declared a no result after the weather again took a decisive hand.