Phillips is ‘loving’ playing regularly for Essex

MAN-OF-THE-MATCH Tim Phillips said he is loving being a part of the Essex side on a regular basis.

The 30-year-old slow left armer received a bottle of champagne after taking five for 28 against the Unicorns – his best-ever figures in the competition eclipsing his five for 34 against Lancashire in 2006.

Phillips, who made his first-class debut as long ago as 1999, has had to play second fiddle to Pakistan leg spinner Danish Kaneria in recent seasons. But a combination of Kaneria not being engaged as Essex’s overseas player this season and the dry start to the summer has meant increased opportunities for Phillips.

He said: “As a team and personally we had a slow start to the season, but we have really turned it round in the last three weeks, winning three out of four matches – the other was washed out – in this competition.

“At this time of year as a spinner you don’t tend to get much opportunity, but I have been trying to contribute the best I can.

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“As the season progresses, hopefully my consistency will improve.”

He continued: “I am loving being part of the side on a consistent basis.

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“There is pressure on me to perform, but we all want to test ourselves against the best, but at least I know I am going to be in the side most of the time.”

Phillips said that it was a “tricky wicket” which didn’t allow for free stroke-making.

“We are confident as a side that we will chase down whatever score is put in front of us.”

Paul Whittaker, vice-chairman of hosts Bury St Edmunds Cricket Club and one of the organisers, said: “We are delighted with the way the day has gone. It has been a fantastic team effort from everyone involved with the club.

“We are grateful for having had such a splendid day and also grateful for the support we have received from the local cricket community.”

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