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Essex back on home turf

PUBLISHED: 14:00 02 May 2015

Nick Browne hits out for Essex on his way to a century against Surrey at The Oval (pic; Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Nick Browne hits out for Essex on his way to a century against Surrey at The Oval (pic; Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Gloucestershire are visitors to County Ground

Daniel Lawrence hits four runs for Essex on his way to a maiden first-class century against Surrey (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)Daniel Lawrence hits four runs for Essex on his way to a maiden first-class century against Surrey (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Essex will look to capitalise on their growing confidence when they welcome Gloucestershire to the County Ground for their latest LV County Championship match tomorrow (Sunday).

Bad weather wrecked hopes of a seventh successive win against Surrey at The Oval this week, but Essex remain unbeaten in nine matches in the longer format of the game after the match was abandoned as a draw with no play possible on the final day.

Surrey were 95-2, needing another 175 runs to make Essex bat again after the visitors had piled up 610-8 declared thanks to centuries from South Woodford’s Nick Browne and former Trinity Catholic pupil Daniel Lawrence, his maiden first-class ton.

Head coach Paul Grayson said: “I’m sure it would have been an interesting last day. It was frustrating, but there’s nothing you can do about the weather and now we look forward to starting another game.

Kishen Velani hits out for Essex as Surrey wicketkeeper Gary Wilson looks on (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)Kishen Velani hits out for Essex as Surrey wicketkeeper Gary Wilson looks on (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

“Once again, there were so many positives to take from the Surrey game; our batters performed superbly and it was great to see the likes of Nick Browne and Dan Lawrence get centuries.

“Our bowlers also did well. We thought that the wicket might do a bit more on the first day, but we restricted the Surrey score and then took their last few wickets cheaply on day two which allowed us to go on and get that substantial first innings lead which could have proved so valuable.

“Now we go again against Gloucestershire, the confidence in our group is understandably very high and we just have to make sure that we turn up with the right attitude on Sunday and maintain our skills at the level we have been doing.

“It’s another challenge for us, but we enjoy playing at Chelmsford and hopefully, we can keep our rich vein of form going.”

Pace bowler Tom Moore, batsman Mark Pettini and leg-spinner Adeel Malik are named in a 13-man squad for the Division Two match.

Malik, 29, signed a three-month contract this week after impressing in pre-season nets and a T20 friendly against Middlesex before the start of the 2015 season.

Brother of Pakistan international Shoaib, he has been among the wickets for the second XI recently and Grayson added: “Adeel has spent the winter training with us, and has made a good impression. He took wickets for the second XI last week, and he fully deserves this chance with the first team.”

Wanstead’s Kishen Velani keeps his place in the squad after a brief cameo with the bat against Surrey.

Essex have 31 points from their first two matches of the campaign, which leaves them 13 behind Lancashire who have won both their fixtures.

Gloucestershire have just 14 points after a draw and a defeat, which leaves them above only bottom club Kent, who have just seven points.

Essex: Foster; Browne, Mickleburgh, Lawrence, Ryder, Velani, Pettini, Smith, Napier, Masters, Porter, Moore, Malik.

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