Essex v Hampshire
LV= Insurance County Championship
The Cloud County Ground
Sunday 26 – Wednesday 29 May
With the Vitality Blast group stages coming towards a close and the Eagles hopeful of a spot in the Quarter-Finals, focus turns to the red-ball as Hampshire visit The Cloud County Ground.
The last time Essex turned out in whites was back at the end of May when they played Lancashire at Old Trafford. It turned out to be the best red-ball performance of the season as they trampled a high-flying Lancashire on their own turf.
A century for Dan Lawrence (120) and scores from Nick Browne (71) and Shane Snater (72) along with wickets for Sam Cook and Simon Harmer helped set up the quickfire win that took Essex up to 6th in the LV= Insurance County Championship Division One table.
The return of red-ball cricket sees familiar faces Nick Browne and Alastair Cook return to the squad. Joining them is Shane Snater, who has recently returned to Chelmsford after his stint with the Netherlands ODI squad.
A notable absentee is Jamie Porter, who sustained a hamstring injury in a recent Second XI fixture. Matt Critchley remains sidelined with a knee injury sustained against Somerset in the Vitality Blast.
Hampshire have enjoyed a strong start to the 2022 County Championship season. No Division One side has won more than their five games and as a result they are sat 2nd in the table.
After signing a contract at the beginning of the season, Nick Gubbins has excelled with the bat, averaging 54.30 so far this year. He has been well backed up by fellow new signing Ben Brown, after joining from Sussex he has scored 461 runs at an average of 46.10.
A large part of Hampshire’s success comes from their all-star bowling attack which has consisted of Mohammed Abbas, Kyle Abbott and Keith Barker. The three have taken a combined 80 wickets from Hampshire’s 119 so far this season, although Hampshire will be without Abbas for this fixture.
Despite having the least international experience, Barker has led the pack with 31 wickets at an average of just 18.80.
Hampshire squad: James Vince (c), Kyle Abbott, Keith Barker, Ben Brown (wk), Scott Currie, Liam Dawson, Aneurin Donald, James Fuller, Nick Gubbins, Ian Holland, Felix Organ, Joe Weatherley, Brad Wheal.
Last time out:
The two sides last faced each other in red-ball cricket during the 2020 Bob Willis Trophy where the rain halted for just long enough to allow an Alastair Cook century, but settled in soon after to ensure the game finished in a draw without a single full-innings being played.
Their previous encounter was in the 2019 County Championship at Chelmsford, where a Simon Harmer-inspired Essex routed their opposition by an innings and 8 runs.
Batting first, Hampshire were restricted to 114 thanks to a Harmer 5/23, he was only just getting going. Essex’s response of 218 was propped up by 50s for Dan Lawrence and Ravi Bopara, but then the Harmer show was back on.
Hampshire could only muster 88 in their second innings, Harmer backing up his first innings haul with 7/38 in the second and finishing with astonishing match figures of 12/61.
How To Watch:
A live Stream service will be available across all four days of this game from 10:30am, which also includes player stats, scorecards and clips throughout the day.
The broadcast can be accessed via the Essex Cricket Matchzone here.