Essex Eagles v Worcestershire Rapids
Royal London Cup
The Cloudfm County Ground
Thursday 29 July
Essex Eagles have made the perfect start to their Royal London Cup campaign with two wins from their opening two matches in the competition. Now they are looking to make it three out of three when they entertain Worcestershire Rapids at The Cloudfm County Ground on Thursday.
The Eagles latest success came on Sunday when comprehensively beat Middlesex by 9 wickets thanks to a clinical display. Shane Snater collected 3 wickets whilst Simon Harmer and Ryan ten Doeschate shared 4 victims as the opposition were bowled out for 212 in 45.4 overs.
Alastair Cook and skipper Tom Westley then composed an unbroken second-wicket partnership of 159 in 30 overs with Cook on 92.
Former England Test captain Cook has played 64 List A innings for the County and that was his 20th half-century for Essex in that format, 7 of which he has turned into three-figure scores and he was within 8 runs of recording yet another century when the Eagles reached their target of 213.
Westley posted his second successive half-century in this summer’s Royal London Cup following his 69 against Hampshire with 87 on Sunday afternoon.
Jamie Porter will miss the clash with Worcestershire Rapids after picking up an injury during the win against Middlesex. The paceman is being assessed by the Club’s medical staff and the full extent of his injury will be known within the next few days.
Tom Westley readily admits that the 50-over format is one that he enjoys and it is easy to understand why. The Eagles skipper has made 76 trips to the middle in List A action for his side and in 29 of those innings, has reached 50 or more before progressing to centuries on five of those innings.
He said: “Personally, I really enjoy the 50-over format and we’ve made an excellent start in the competition this year, two wins from the opening two games is very pleasing.
“The win over Middlesex was a very clinical performance and hopefully, we can take that into our next game.
“To bowl a team out in 50 overs cricket is an unbelievable achievement. Obviously, we won the game with just one wicket down but the bowling took all the pressure off us.”
Cook’s innings against Middlesex drew high praise from Westley, with the skipper adding: “It was a very typical Alastair Cook white-ball innings against Middlesex, strong shots up front, he was timing the ball beautifully and I think that when Cooky is hitting the ball straight and hard, he is in a good space.
“Hopefully, he can continue that for the foreseeable future because he’s a huge asset for Essex.”
Worcestershire Rapids must overcome the loss of five players to The Hundred. Moeen Ali, Pat Brown, Dillon Pennington, Ross Whiteley and Ben Cox are all involved in domestic cricket’s latest competition but the Rapids have proved successful in their opening two Royal London Cup matches.
The first was a thrilling victory when against Kent Spitfires at New Road on Sunday.
Chasing a target of 324 for victory, Jack Haynes hit 77 but the Rapids looked in trouble at 184-6 but they turned the game around with a County record 7th wicket stand between Joe Leach and Ed Barnard of 134 in 15.2 overs. Leach struck 88 that included 7 sixes and 5 fours whilst Barnard was 39 not out when victory was completed with 3 wickets and 5 balls to spare.
Then on Tuesday in a rain-affected encounter, they beat Gloucestershire by 11 runs at Bristol under the DLS method. Haynes contributed another half-century as the Rapids reached 228-7 before rain brought a halt to their innings after 40.3 overs.
When the weather improved, the home side were set a target of 94 to win in 11 overs but they fell short attaining 82-4.
How to Watch:
There will be a Live Stream service from The Cloudfm County Ground which will be broadcasting ahead of play from 2pm via the Essex Cricket Matchzone. The stream will also be available via the Essex Cricket YouTube Channel.
Access via the Essex Cricket Matchzone is available here.