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Essex face 'huge game' at Somerset says Mascarenhas

PUBLISHED: 12:50 03 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:50 03 August 2018

Essex's Dimitri Mascarenhas and Anthony McGrath (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Essex's Dimitri Mascarenhas and Anthony McGrath (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Essex Eagles return to Vitality Blast action against Somerset at Taunton today (Friday, 4.30pm), following last night's defeat by Kent Spitfires at Canterbury.

Peter Siddle of Essex is bowled out by Adam Milne (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Peter Siddle of Essex is bowled out by Adam Milne (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

And the matches continue to come thick and fast for the Eagles who entertain Surrey on Sunday before hitting the road again, this time to Cardiff to meet Glamorgan on Tuesday.

Speaking on the match congestion, assistant head coach Dimitri Mascarenhas said: “This is a big block of fixtures for us. This match with Somerset is a huge game for us and we must start to hit the winning trail. There is little or no room for any setbacks.”

Mascarenhas assessed the start the Eagles have made in the competition this summer.

“I think our bowling generally in T20 cricket this year has been pretty good. It’s always a tough game for bowlers with the small grounds and flat wickets but I think our bowlers are just ahead of our batters at the moment.

“If we can just get a few more runs on the board, I think our bowlers are more than capable of winning matches for us.

“One or two overs per game have caused up problems but when you look back, other factors have contributed to our indifferent start. Dropped catches for example and a costly over here and there have caused us problems.

“If we could just cut out that over that’s been costing us 20 or so runs a time and get that down to 9 or 10, then I think we’d be fine.”

Mascarenhas is also urging the batters to contribute a few significant innings to support the bowling attack.

“We’ve only posted two half-centuries this season and both of those have been by the same player so those other guys need to step up but they know that.

“They will be mindful that once they get into the 30s and 40s, they need to kick on and get a substantial score. A couple got in last night against Kent but were then dismissed and that is costing us heavily.

“We need to start winning matches now starting with Somerset tonight. We’ve still got half of our matches to play, there are 14 points at stake and there’s still time for us to get ourselves right into the mix but it’s in our own hands.”

The Eagles have just re-introduced former Australian Test bowler Peter Siddle into their side and Mascarenhas has welcomed his return, adding: “He will be good for us, he knows the lads really well from the time he spent with us earlier in the season and he fits ideally into our group.

“This will be a bit of a challenge for him, but we know what he can do and what he’s capable of and all the boys will benefit from his presence on and off the field.”

The Eagles are already without Tom Westley who is suffering from an elbow injury and Dan Lawrence picked up a hamstring injury whilst fielding during last night’s match. As a result, Michael Pepper has been drafted into the squad.

Essex: Ryan ten Doeschate; Adam Wheater; Ravi Bopara; Varun Chopra; Matt Coles; Sam Cook; James Foster; Simon Harmer; Michael Pepper; Jamie Porter; Matt Quinn; Peter Siddle; Paul Walter; Adam Zampa.

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