Eagles seek revenge
PUBLISHED: 17:12 16 July 2015 | UPDATED: 17:12 16 July 2015
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Crucial T20 clash with Middlesex takes place tomorrow and Essex need a victory
Essex Eagles have two matches left in the NatWest T20 Blast South Group and they need to win both games to give themselves the best chance of advancing to the quarter-finals.
The first of those clashes brings Middlesex to The E.C.G on Friday (tomorrow) night, when Essex will be seeking revenge for their shock defeat at Richmond last Friday.
Bottom of the table Middlesex ended a seven-match losing run in the competition with a six-wicket success.
Eagles head coach Paul Grayson has named a 14-man squad ahead of Friday’s fixture and he knows that all the pressure is on his side.
“Middlesex will have been disappointed with their season but they are a decent outfit with some very good players,” he acknowledged.
“All the pressure is on us, we’ve got two matches left and both are must-win games if we are to progress.
“We had a bad night last Friday and we have to put it right tomorrow night. In the past, when we’ve had a bad performance in a game, we’ve responded well in the next match and we are going to have to show that character on Friday night.
“I’m desperate for us to show our true level and play the way that we can. We know that if we play to our potential, then we will have a very good chance of winning.
“But Middlesex are a dangerous side as we’ve seen. They don’t have a lot to play for apart from pride but they have some very good and experienced players.”
The match with Middlesex is followed by a clash with Kent Spitfires on Friday week and the Eagles Coach admits that his side will need to be at the top of their game on both occasions if they are to prevail.
He added: “We’ll have to be at our best in both matches if we are to earn a place in the next round but I’ve got every confidence in the lads that they can achieve that.
“At this stage, qualification from both the North and South Groups is tight but if you want to qualify, you’ve just got to hold your nerve and play some really good cricket.
“The message from the coaching staff to the players is to back themselves, trust each other and they’ll be fine.”
Essex squad to face Middlesex: Ryan ten Doeschate (captain), Mark Pettini, Jesse Ryder, Tom Westley, Ravi Bopara, Liam Dawson, Nick Browne, James Foster (wicket-keeper), Graham Napier, David Masters, Shaun Tait, Reece Topley, Greg Smith, Jamie Porter.