Essex chase T20 glory

PUBLISHED: 11:23 24 July 2015

Essex's Jamie Porter (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Essex's Jamie Porter (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

21/07/2015 Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR,

Crunch clash at Chelmsford

Essex Eagles take on Kent Spitfires in the NatWest T20 Blast tonight seeking the victory that should secure a quarter-final place - although that could still depend on net run-rate.

While Kent are guaranteed a home tie having won the South Group, their hosts will be casting anxious eyes at other results as they attempt to reach the last eight, although they are in good form in the competition with six wins from the last eight matches.

Essex head coach Paul Grayson admits it is a nail-biting time, saying: “Everyone is looking at the weather prospects, working out run-rate calculations and who is playing who.

“But all we can do is to turn up and try to play our best game. If we do that, then we’ll have a good chance of going through.

“We’ve played some good T20 cricket recently, there has been a couple of blips along the way, but all counties have that in this type of cricket.

“To go through the competition and win 11 or 12 matches nowadays is quite freakish.

“When you look at both groups, there are a number of teams at this stage who can still make the quarter-finals so I guess that is one of the reasons that it makes it such an exciting format. O

“verall, you probably have 13 or 14 sides that are going into their final round of matches still with the hope that they can qualify.

“That’s great for the competition although, from a personal point of view, I wish we were already through!

“A lot of teams are currently in the situation where they will be thinking that qualification is in their own hands and that if they put in a good performance, then they are through. And that’s exactly where we are at.

“I’m sure that if our group stays strong and trust and believe in each other, then they’ll be absolutely fine.”

Kent remain a formidable challenge to the Eagles, having won the clash earlier in the season at Canterbury where the Spitfires emerged with a six-wicket victory.

The Essex squad includes the effective express pace of Shaun Tait, who is the joint second leading wicket-taker in the completion with 22 wickets and who has sent down the highest number of dot balls (125) in this year’s competition.

Essex squad: Ryan ten Doeschate; Jesse Ryder; Mark Pettini; Tom Westley; Ravi Bopara; James Foster; Graham Napier; David Master; Reece Topley; Shaun Tait; Nick Browne; Jamie Porter.

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