'Embarrassed' Essex host big-hitting Surrey
PUBLISHED: 19:00 04 August 2018
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Essex Eagles continue their Vitality Blast campaign when Surrey visit The Cloudfm County Ground on Sunday (2.30pm).
The Eagles suffered a 10-wicket defeat to Somerset at Taunton on Friday, a result that severely damaged hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of this season’s competition.
Skipper Ryan ten Doeschate spoke out following the disappointing loss at Taunton and promised that forward thinking was already on the agenda.
“We are embarrassed by that performance,” he said. “It has left us with a lot of hard thinking and work to be done, as we now get to the backend of this competition.”
Reflecting on the latest defeat in a totally one-sided match, he added: “The ball was coming onto the bat nicely and with the small boundaries, our score was well, well below par. Once again, nobody stepped forward with the substantial contribution needed if you are going to challenge to win matches.
“We were going along okay at 80-2 but then I got out, followed by Chops [Varun Chopra] got out straight away afterwards and all of a sudden, the game has changed and then we only scored 58 from our last 10 overs.
“We need someone at the top to score 60 or 70 and then the guys coming in later can build on that. Maybe we might have been able to defend 175 but we had little chance defending the poor score that we had.”
Reflecting on the T20 season so far, he said: “In some of the matches, we’ve been good for big periods of the game but have let the pressure slip at crucial times but obviously, we have just not been good enough.
“Now it’s a big job for Mags [Anthony McGrath] and the team to work out how we move forward from here. It hurts me both as skipper and as a player, as I said earlier, the Somerset defeat was embarrassing and everyone in our dressing room feels that way.
“So now we have to step back and make honest assessments about our T20 cricket. I know the guys have practiced hard but obviously, we are short of the skills you need to be a successful team in T20 cricket.
“We need to change and that’s what Mags will be working on now. We’ll use the remaining six games as a way of thinking and planning ahead. We need to make some big changes.”
Surrey arrive at Chelmsford sitting just outside the top-four that would book a place in the quarter-finals of the Vitality Blast and for the second time in as many matches, the Eagles are again under threat from the opposition’s opening batsmen.
Aaron Finch, one of the most dynamic T20 batsman in world T20 cricket, thrashed an unbeaten 117 from 52 balls on Friday and was joined by another aggressive big-hitter in Jason Roy, with an opening stand worth 194 in 14 overs before eventually winning by nine wickets against Middlesex.
Essex: Ryan ten Doeschate; Adam Wheater; Ravi Bopara; Varun Chopra; Matt Coles; Sam Cook; Simon Harmer; Michael Pepper; Matt Quinn; Peter Siddle; Paul Walter; Adam Zampa; Ashar Zaidi.