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Essex v Middlesex: Natwest T20 Blast team news

PUBLISHED: 15:30 10 August 2017

Essex's Jamie Porter celebrates taking the wicket of Middlesex's Dawid Malan during a Royal London One-Day Cup match between the sides at Chelmsford (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Essex's Jamie Porter celebrates taking the wicket of Middlesex's Dawid Malan during a Royal London One-Day Cup match between the sides at Chelmsford (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Must-win game says Eagles coach Silverwood

Essex Eagles meet Middlesex in the NatWest T20 Blast at The Cloudfm County Ground on Friday night and, although they sit at the foot of the South Group with four matches to play, they still hold a realistic chance of reaching the quarter-final stage.

Head coach Chris Silverwood has named a 13-man squad and has stressed the importance of the match, saying: “It’s a must-win game for us, but so are the other three matches we have left if we are going to have any chance of qualification for the knockout stage.

“We have had some excellent individual performances and some of the younger players are showing how much they are benefiting from playing this format of cricket.

“We had a good win against Hampshire in our last game and that showed we are capable of producing some good T20 cricket.

“As ever, we will go out and try and produce our best cricket which we have done at times in this competition and see where it takes us.”

Essex beat Hampshire by four wickets at the Ageas Bowl after opener Adam Wheater scored 50 against his former club to pave the way for only a third success for the Eagles in this year’s shortest form of the game.

Recently promoted to open the innings in T20 cricket, the 27-year-old played with gusto to lay the foundations for the win.

“With what we have in the middle order it would be criminal for me to go out there and not try and give it a whack because it could be wasted,” he explained.

“Sometimes it comes off and sometimes it doesn’t, but to go on from the little starts to a bigger start was pleasing.

“It was a good win and a needed win because potentially, if we hadn’t won this, we could have been out if it.

“It is a tight group, we are still bottom but we are not far off third. If games go our way we will see where we are.”

Middlesex, who sit just one place above the Eagles, have a similar record to their hosts with threewins and eight points from 10 matches and they are without a victory in six attempts away from home ahead of this encounter.

Essex will be seeking back-to-back T20 wins on home turf for the first time in over a year.

Essex squad: Ryan ten Doeschate (27); James Foster (7); Mohammad Amir (5); Ravi Bopara (25); Varun Chopra (6); Matt Dixon (30); Simon Harmer (11); Dan Lawrence (28); Jamie Porter (44); Callum Taylor (67); Paul Walter (22); Adam Wheater (31); Ashar Zaidi (99).

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