McGrath: Bopara the only positive from heavy loss

PUBLISHED: 11:00 08 August 2019

Ravi Bopara of Essex celebrates with Vitality Blast captain Simon Harmer after taking the wicket of Somerset's James Hildreth (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

Ravi Bopara of Essex celebrates with Vitality Blast captain Simon Harmer after taking the wicket of Somerset's James Hildreth (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

The all-rounder returned to the side and claimed four wickets, but Eagles suffered a 114-run defeat to Somerset

Essex Eagles head coach Anthony McGrath cut a frustrated figure post-match after a humbling loss at home to Somerset in the Vitality Blast Southern Group.

The visitors won the toss, batted first and plundered their way to 225-6 off 20 overs with a number of contributions.

Aaron Beard went for 0-55 while captain Simon Harmer was equally expensive going for 0-45 and overseas bowlers Mohammad Amir and Adam Zampa didn't fare much better and had economy rates higher than 10-an-over.

Ravi Bopara, on his return to the Vitality Blast side, had a relatively good evening on his way to excellent figures of 3-18 off his allotted overs in addition to a smart catch.

Essex's batting struggled, however, and Dan Lawrence top scored with 24 in a poor total of 111.

"Yes, Ravi was a shining light with the ball which was nice for him coming into the team, but other than that there are not many other positives to look at," McGrath said.

"To say that wasn't our night at the office is an understatement. We are either very good or very bad in this competition. We just can't get any consistency.

"I know T20 is that, but when we win, we win very well and when we lose, it is extremely badly.

"We have talked about putting two or three results on the board, especially after going to Bristol and winning which is a tough place, but we just can't do that, so it was a disappointing night but as always we just have to look to the next game."

Although not content with Essex's batting display, McGrath defended his batsmen, who capitulated from 75-2 to 93-8.

He insisted a better effort with the ball and in the field would have resulted in Eagles' having a better chance of winning.

McGrath added: "If you are chasing 226, you are not going to chase it very often. The bowlers weren't on it, we needed to go at 12-an-over from the off which is tough.

"We needed someone to go berserk and get us above the rate. Obviously it doesn't look good when you get bowled out, but you can't get a draw in this competition.

"We did some poor stuff in the field, we dropped some important catches that cost us and didn't get our plans right at the death or the beginning, so the bowling unit just didn't get it right."

An eye-catching moment occurred when Lawrence was caught by Craig Overton off the bowling of Max Waller.

The Somerset fielder saluted the Tiptree Stand and then Essex's young prospect was involved in an exchange with the visitors' 12th man.

It was a sour note on what proved to be a disappointing night for the County Ground crowd with Eagles suffering a fourth defeat in the group.

Head coach McGrath concluded: "I think their 12th man said something to Dan on the way off, which is not great. That is what the lads said, not ideal, but I guess things happen in the heat of the moment."

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