Essex Eagles look to tame Kevin Pietersen and his Surrey chargers
- Credit: PA
With three defeats from their opening four matches in this season’s NatWest T20 Blast competition, Essex Eagles will be looking for a positive result when making the short trip to The Kia Oval tomorrow night to face Surrey.
The Eagles have named an unchanged 14-man squad that was on duty for Sunday’s nail-biting defeat by Glamorgan when the Welsh county prevailed by five wickets off the final scheduled delivery of the match.
Surrey beat Essex at The Cloudfm County Ground in the opening match of the campaign and are now able to include former England batsman Kevin Pietersen in their side.
The 36-year-old missed Surrey’s opening matches but is now available for the remainder of the tournament.
Although there are still ten group matches to be played, Eagles Head Coach Chris Silverwood insists that his charges need to quickly put together a sequence of wins if they are to reach the qualifying stages.
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“I think that there are a number of games that you can afford to lose in this competition but we don’t want to be using them all up too soon. So we need to get back to winning ways and put a decent run of results together. We have to turn the corner and start to make things happen.
“Sunday’s defeat to Glamorgan was disappointing but you have to give Colin Ingram credit for that magnificent century. He strikes the ball as well as anyone you will ever see to be honest and he is a prolific player in white ball cricket. Every time he comes up against us, he gets a hundred which is a pain. But we did put him down twice and we paid a heavy price and that’s what happens against top-quality players.
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“It was an unbelievable game of cricket though.
“What was particularly disappointing for us was that Varun Chopra was to finish on the losing side. He scored a terrific hundred and showed what a good player he is. He played some fantastic shots and got us off to a good start and, as I say, it’s a shame he didn’t get the reward his efforts deserved by ending on the winning side.
“There is obviously room for improvement to our game and we are constantly trying to address those areas.”
Essex Eagles squad:
Ryan ten Doeschate (27) Captain
James Foster (7) WK
Mohammad Amir (5)
Ravi Bopara (25)
Varun Chopra (6)
Matt Dixon (30)
Simon Harmer (11)
Dan Lawrence (28)
Jamie Porter (44)
Callum Taylor (67)
Paul Walter (22)
Tom Westley (21)
Adam Wheater (31)
Ashar Zaidi (99)