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Essex Eagles v Middlesex: Match Preview

over 8 years ago | Uncategorised

Middlesex travel to the Essex County Ground, Chelmsford on Friday evening looking to build on an all too rare victorious T20 outing for the Seaxes at Old Deer Park last week, when they convincingly hammered tomorrow’s hosts, Essex, by six wickets.

Middlesex put the disappointment of a disappointing campaign in this season’s NatWest T20 Blast competition firmly behind them last Friday evening, when upsetting the odds at a packed-out Richmond Cricket Club against an in-form Essex side, who had moved up to third place in the South Group table, having won five of their previous six T20 Blast encounters prior to their visit to Old Deer Park.

The Eagles came to Richmond as firm favourites and the form side against Middlesex, who had themselves lost seven straight games in the competition and had nothing but pride to play for. Whilst it was Essex who needed the victory to strengthen their claims for qualification however, it was Middlesex who triumphed, excelling with the ball to dismiss the visitors for just 109 and then chasing the runs down at a canter with three overs to spare and just four wickets down.

Eoin Morgan skippers the side again, although will have to do so without both Paul Stirling and Andy Balbirnie, who are both still away on international duty with Ireland. Also missing will be Steven Finn who, whilst not selected in the current England side, sustained a minor injury to a finger on his left hand in warm-ups this morning, which as a precautionary measure dictates that he will sit out this fixture.

Both Dawid Malan and John Simpson have been in imperious white ball form for Middlesex thus far, both with averages approaching fifty and both rapidly approaching three hundred runs this term. They’ll need to continue to build on that form, plus hope for a return to form for the skipper, if the Seaxes are to secure back to back victories and further upset Essex’s hopes of progression into the quarter finals.

In what has shaped up as an extremely closely fought South group, Essex will be desperate to make the most of home advantage in front of what will no doubt be a loud and partisan home crowd and reverse the result against Middlesex, as anything less than two victories for the Eagles in the closing stages of their campaign would in all likelihood see them missing out on the knockout stages.

Whilst Middlesex again have just pride and a boost to their confidence and moral to play for, Essex will be on their guard, as that proved more than enough for the Middlesex players when the sides met at Old Deer Park a week ago.

Middlesex have named the following 12-man squad for the match: Eoin Morgan (c), Neil Dexter, Nick Gubbins, Ryan Higgins, Dawid Malan, Mitchell McClenaghan, Ravi Patel, Harry Podmore, Ollie Rayner, Gurjit Sandhu, George Scott, John Simpson.


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