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Essex ready for Gayle force

PUBLISHED: 08:09 29 May 2015 | UPDATED: 08:09 29 May 2015

West Indies Chris Gayle was the Somerset matchwinner against Essex (pic: John Walton/EMPICS)

West Indies Chris Gayle was the Somerset matchwinner against Essex (pic: John Walton/EMPICS)

EMPICS Sport

West Indian set for Somerset debut in T20 Blast

Essex Eagles play host to one of the world’s leading Twenty20 players tonight as Somerset arrive with West Indian Chris Gayle among their ranks.

The 35-year-old West Indian set a world record last year when playing in the IPL, scoring 175 for Royal Challengers Bangalore, and is set to make his debut for Somerset in the NatWest T20 Blast clash at The ECG.

Gayle’s presence poses a huge threat to an Essex side anxious to discover some consistent winning form in the competition after managing just a single win from their opening four matches.

The latest reverse came against Gloucestershire at Bristol last Sunday where Michael Klinger produced a defining performance for the home side with an unbeaten 126, although he was dropped on a number of occasions.

Essex have named a 12-man squad ahead of the match, with all-rounder Greg Smith added to the team that lost at Bristol and head Coach Paul Grayson is looking for his side to rediscover their best form.

He said: ”Three defeats from our first four games is obviously something we hadn’t planned, so we are looking to get things back on track.

“We know that we had a slightly weakened side in our first two games and we knew that they would be tough matches anyway.

“I just think that we need to cut out some basic individual errors and as soon as we stop doing that, we’ll be absolutely fine.

“We gave Michael Klinger five chances on Sunday. We got him caught off a no-ball and then dropped him four times. When you are doing that, you can’t expect to win games.

“We’ve spent time as a group chatting about things and working hard to cut those fundamental errors out and, if we do that, we’ll be fine. I’ve every confidence in the players that they will turn it around.

“I’ve got great belief in Ryan’s captaincy and the players. We went on an incredible run at the start of last year’s competition, now we need to repeat that run of form, which we are very capable of doing.

“I have no doubt we can go on and put together a string of successful results providing we can get back to doing the basics better than the opposition.”

Essex Eagles: Ryan ten Doeschate; Mark Pettini; Jesse Ryder; Tom Westley; Ravi Bopara; Greg Smith; Kishen Velani; James Foster; Graham Napier; David Masters; Reece Topley; Shaun Tait.

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