Essex head to Sussex for must-win cup clash with the Sharks

Varun Chopra in action for Essex. Picture: TGS PHOTOS

Varun Chopra in action for Essex. Picture: TGS PHOTOS - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Essex head into a must-win Royal London One-Day Cup game at the Sussex Sharks tomorrow with head coach Anthony McGrath purring about their last clash, a stunning nine-wicket success against Glamorgan.

Jamie Porter enjoyed career-best figures against Glamorgan. Picture: PA SPORT

Jamie Porter enjoyed career-best figures against Glamorgan. Picture: PA SPORT - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Adam Wheater hit 88 – his highest List A score for Essex – before being stumped, whilst Varun Chopra was left unbeaten when just two runs short of his second List A century in three innings.

Meanwhile Jamie Porter returned career-best List A figures of 4 for 29 including the prized wicket of Colin Ingram, who had recorded three successive centuries against the Eagles in the competition.

McGrath said: “That’s the best we’ve played all round in this competition this season, to win with more than 18 overs to spare is a fantastic victory.

“Jamie Porter came back into the side after enjoying a rest and he showed the benefit by bowling really well.

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“Then Varun (Chopra) and Adam (Wheater) played superbly in chasing the runs. We know that their opening partnership can often be dynamic and can really hurt teams and they showed that against Glamorgan.

“The pair of them have done really well for us at the top of the order and have usually got us on the front foot after 10 overs although we haven’t always been able to back up their good work. So it was nice for them to have played a significant part in our victory.”

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The result took the Eagles into third place in the South Group but run-rate is all that separates six teams locked on six points in a tightly contested section.

McGrath knows that his side will need to win their remaining two matches if they are to have a chance of reaching the knockout stages.

After attempting to sink the Sharks, Essex complete their schedule of group qualifying matches when they entertain Kent Spitfires at Chelmsford on Wednesday.

McGrath added: “These two matches are cup finals really and for me, it’s about getting consistency in our performance.

“If we do that, the results will take care of themselves. We’ll go into the match against Sussex with the confidence we got from beating Glamorgan and the template we used and if we reproduce that on Sunday, I think we’ll be absolutely fine.”

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