Essex bid to kick-start stop-start season

WITH their last three LV=County Championship matches badly affected by the poor weather and ending in draws, Essex will be hoping that their next match with Kent, starting on Wednesday, is allowed to proceed without interruption.

There was no let-up from the weather gods on Sunday either when the Clydesdale Bank 40 match with Leicestershire Foxes at Grace Road was abandoned without a ball bowled and Essex captain James Foster admits that it has been a very frustrating period for his squad.

“It’s been stop-start for the past few weeks,” he said. “The whole of the second day’s play at Cardiff was a complete wash-out and with a number of interruptions for bad light, it ruined any chances we had of getting a win against Glamorgan last week.

“I thought we played quite well in that match, we showed a lot of character on what was quite a difficult wicket, and the ball nipped around a bit. In our first innings, Alviro (Petersen) was exceptional, to score 145 on that wicket was a terrific effort and he was well supported by Mark (Pettini) who was also excellent and I also thought that Billy Godleman batted well at the top of the order.

“Once our bowlers found their rhythm and their areas, we bowled well and Tymal (Mills) bowled with pace and fire and showed why people are raving about him.

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“In our second innings Tom Westley and Greg Smith performed really well for us after we lost wickets to put ourselves under a bit of pressure and when we bowled at Glamorgan again, I thought we bowled exceptionally well. We passed the outside edge so many times but in the end, bad light brought a premature end to the game.

“Conditions have been very tough particularly for us as a batting unit and the match with Kent will be another challenging game. Kent have performed very well so far, they’ve re-shaped their side and got players in form and are looking good. They are always a well-drilled unit and we often have quite a battle when we play them.

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“We only managed to get in a handful of overs in our last game at Chelmsford when we played Northamptonshire and we just want the weather to improve so that we can really kick-on with our season, it’s been so frustrating so far.”

Essex name a 12-man squad that includes Adam Wheater, who missed the match with Glamorgan due to a sickness bug.

Essex squad: James Foster (wkt), Alastair Cook, Alviro Petersen, Billy Godleman, Mark Pettini, Tom Westley, Ravi Bopara, Adam Wheater, Greg Smith, David Masters, Charl Willoughby, Tymal Mills.

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