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Essex ready for Middlesex test at Lord’s

PUBLISHED: 11:52 20 April 2017 | UPDATED: 11:53 20 April 2017

Middlesex are hosting Essex at Lord's in the Specsavers County Championship (pic Anthony Devlin/PA)

Middlesex are hosting Essex at Lord's in the Specsavers County Championship (pic Anthony Devlin/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Quinn comes into 13-man squad for Zaidi

Essex have made one change to their 13-man squad for their trip to face Specsavers County Championship rivals Middlesex at Lord’s, starting on Friday.

Having beaten last year’s runners-up Somerset by eight wickets at Taunton, Essex now turn their attentions to the defending champions and have included pace bowler Matt Quinn at the expense of all-rounder Ashar Zaidi.

Quinn is returning from a long injury-lay-off, having taken three wickets in a second-team friendly against Norfolk at Frinton last weekend, and head coach Chris Silverwood admits he is satisfied in the manner his squad have adjusted to life back in the top-flight of domestic cricket.

“So far, so good, although it’s early days of course,” he said.

“We knew it would be a challenge and there was obviously a steep learning curve in our first match with Lancashire. Then there was a bit of a dog-fight with Somerset but in both matches, we scored the runs in the second innings, firstly to save the Lancashire match and then to pull off a superb win against Somerset.

“Although we needed to score the highest total of the match to win at Taunton, we weren’t fazed by the prospect. We did have a plan in how to go about achieving victory and we said if one batsman gets in, then the rest can bat around him and we can build partnerships and see what happens. It worked brilliantly.

“It shows what character we do have within the group and I think it sends out a strong message that we are here in Division One to make our presence felt.

“You can see the confidence in the squad and in individual players plus the good thing is that there is genuine competition for places in the starting line-up. “We are really looking forward to playing at Lord’s, it is a fantastic place to play cricket. Obviously Middlesex are going to be really tough opposition but that’s what Division One cricket is all about and we are ready to meet the next challenge in front of us.”

Of the last eight Championship contests between the two sides played at Lord’s, five have ended in stalemate with Middlesex recording two wins and Essex one victory.

Essex will again have Alastair Cook available after the England Test opener played a pivotal part in the win against Somerset with a century in the second innings to follow his fifty in his first visit to the crease.

Cook has averaged 89.4 in the County Championship since the start of last season, spanning 13 innings.

Essex: Ryan ten Doeschate; Adam Wheater; Varun Chopra; Nick Browne; Simon Harmer; Neil Wagner; Aaron Beard; Tom Westley; Ravi Bopara; Alastair Cook; Dan Lawrence; Jamie Porter; Matt Quinn.

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