T20: Essex Eagles set for Surrey showdown
PUBLISHED: 17:33 28 August 2019 | UPDATED: 17:33 28 August 2019
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Essex Eagles make the short journey to The Kia Oval on Thursday to face Surrey in their penultimate Vitality Blast South Group match of the season.
Following the tied match with Hampshire at Southampton on Sunday, the Eagles need to win both their remaining two matches in the qualifying stages whilst also being reliant on favourable results from elsewhere if they are to reach the quarter-finals.
The Eagles have won eight of the 13 T20 clashes played at the venue although Surrey have claimed bragging rights in the two most recent matches between the teams at their Kennington base.
Eagles supporters will fondly recall the meeting at Chelmsford earlier this season when, after rain reduced the match to 15 overs per side, Cameron Delport launched an incredible salvo of 14 sixes and seven fours in an innings of 129 that spanned just 49 balls.
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Together with Dan Lawrence, who scored an unbeaten 58 from 22 balls, 135 runs were added in just seven overs for the fourth wicket as Simon Harmer's side posted a mammoth total of 226-4. It was an effort that Surrey never threatened to mirror as they finished on 174-7.
Harmer admitted that the T20 campaign has not panned out the way he wanted, saying: "Although things haven't gone the way we would have liked, we won't give up on this season's T20 until it's mathematically impossible to qualify for the next stage.
"Sunday's result was a setback. It was disappointing and it's easy to look back at a game like that when there is only one run in it and nit-pick at one or a million different things that could have saved a run.
"There were a lot of areas where we could have been better and going forward, we need to be better as a team to close games out. Especially from the position we were in with just three overs to go, the game should have been signed, sealed and delivered before that final over even started.
"We also dropped two catches in one over and had we held those it would have killed the game. We have to learn from the mistakes, so although it is easy at the moment to look at the negatives, we just need to be that bit better.
"But as a team moving forward, we are a work in progress and there are a lot of positives to build on."
Essex Eagles: Simon Harmer, Mohammad Amir, Aaron Beard, Ravi Bopara, Sam Cook, Cameron Delport, Ryan ten Doeschate, Dan Lawrence, Jamie Porter, Shane Snater, Paul Walter, Tom Westley, Adam Wheater, Adam Zampa.