December 7 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Essex continue their late promotion charge when they take on Kent at Canterbury in Battle of the Bridge in the County Championship.
With three matches left to play, Essex commence tomorrow’s fixture in third place in Division Two having reduced the gap with second-placed Northamptonshire to 29 points but Essex do have a match in hand but it is expected only three wins in three will achieve promotion.
Kent side that are currently one place off the foot of the table in 8th position having recorded just two wins in the competition this summer.
Gautam Gambhir returns to the Essex line-up at the expense of Nick Browne having missed the previous match due to a family bereavement. Sajid Mahmood is also named in a 12-man squad.
Head Coach Paul Grayson is looking for his side to follow-up their excellent victory against Worcestershire that was based on bowling them out cheaply, batting long and doing the same again. They needed a mere 53 to beat their opposition at Chelmsford.
“We started the game with Worcestershire very well and when you bowl a team out for 100, you put yourselves in a position where you are able to be able control the match, which is what we did,” he said.
“It was a very good performance although I would like to have seen us score a few more runs because I thought we should have got another fifty or sixty runs at least. One or two of our players got in but didn’t get hundreds when they should have done but overall, as a group we are playing well and with confidence.
“So we approach the game at Canterbury full of confidence and hoping that we can get four days of good weather and put on another good show.”
Three of the pace attack have claimed over 40 wickets so far this campaign.
Reece Topley’s 11 scalps against Worcestershire took him to 43 victims in the competition while Graham Napier has claimed 41. David Masters, who returns to his old stomping ground, has a tally of 40 poles.
The collective sharing of wickets has delighted Paul Grayson, who knows that Masters will have to be replaced soon.
“It is good because Dave’s coming to the twilight of his career and so it’s important that we have bowlers who show they can step up and take over when we need them to” he said.
“We don’t want to be considered a one-man attack; we want three, four or five of our bowlers amongst the wickets when they play. So the way that Reece has bowled and the outstanding season that Napes has enjoyed have been two of the most satisfying aspects of the season.
“Now it would be nice if we could finish these next three weeks with three positive performances and hope that we can get Northants nerves jangling during that time.”
Essex squad to face Kent: Jaik Mickleburgh, Gautam Gambhir, Greg Smith, Owais Shah, Ryan ten Doeschate, Ben Foakes, James Foster, Graham Napier, David Masters, Monty Panesar, Reece Topley, Sajid Mahmood.