Essex skipper: I was only a matter of time before we came good

ESSEX Eagles continue their Clydesdale Bank40 campaign seeking to protect their 100% record with a third win in as many matches when they face Glamorgan Dragons at the SWALEC Stadium today starting at 4.40pm.

Captain James Foster leads a 13-man squad to the Principality and the 31 year-old reflected on the recent turnaround on the club’s playing fortunes having lost two and drawn one of their opening three matches in the Championship before their resurgence. “We didn’t hit our straps like we wanted to but with the squad of players we have, I truly believed it was only a matter of time before we came good,” he said.

“The win against Glamorgan in the County Championship was obviously a massive tonic to everyone and then we’ve followed that up by winning our first two matches in the CB40 against two very good teams in Notts and Lancashire.

“It was also nice to win those two one-dayers at Chelmsford in front of our own supporters and hopefully we can make the place Chelmsford fortress once more. We’ve always backed ourselves to perform well in one-day cricket whether we are at home or away and I remember Ronnie Irani, when he was captain, saying that the Chelmsford crowd acted like a twelfth man when we are really doing well because they are so enthusiastic and supportive and he’s right.

“Although we successfully chased runs in both games, I think the efforts of our bowlers deserve credit particularly against Lancashire after their openers laid the foundations for a decent score before our bowlers restricted them well.

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“We managed to start applying the brakes, got a few wickets and ensured that their final total was under par. Tim Phillips bowled very well whilst Ravi (Bopara), Lopsy (Tsotsobe) and Wrighty (Chris Wright) all performed exceptionally well.”

South Africa Test bowler Tsotsobe, who is with the county until the end of May, has taken a little time to adjust to English conditions but the Essex skipper, who enjoys well-earned benefit this year, believes that he is coming to terms with the demands of the English game.

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“He’s worked really hard since he’s been with us and he bowled exceptionally well on Monday and took four wickets. He showed his skill and his class when he went around the wicket and was bowling a lot of cutters which proved to be very effective,” Foster added.

“But everyone has played their part, as I said, we always believe we are a force in one-dayers, it’s been our bread and butter over the years and we’ve made an excellent start this time around.”

Essex will select from a 14-man squad that includes Billy Godleman who is on standby for Matt Walker who missed the match on Monday because of a back spasm.

Glamorgan squad: A Petersen (capt), G Rees, J Allenby, S Walters, B Wright, M O’Shea, G Wagg, M Wallace (wkt), J Harris, R Croft, D Cosker and W Owen.

Essex squad: J Foster (capt/wwt), A Cook, M Pettini, R Bopara, M Walker, B Godleman, J Mickleburgh, A Wheater, M Comber, G Napier, D Masters, T Phillips, C Wright, L Tsotsobe.

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