Vitality t20 Blast 2018 – Essex Eagles vs Hampshire Preview

AT A GLANCE

When? Saturday 21st July, 17:00 (UK)

Where? The CloudFM County Ground

Weather? 25-26c and glorious sunshine all day

What channel is it on? Sky Sports Cricket

Where can I stream the match? Sky Sports subscribers can stream the match online via Sky Go

Are tickets still available? https://www.ecb.co.uk/tickets/domestic

HEAD-TO-HEAD
All-time meetings: Essex Eagles W12, Hampshire W11, No Result 5, Tie 1

THE TEAM NEWS

ESSEX EAGLES

Coach: Anthony McGrath

Captain: Ryan ten Doeschate

  • Essex’s Friday night match against Gloucestershire was abandoned towards the end of the first innings so at least Essex were able to get some batting practise in as Chopra continued his fantastic start to the season with 61 from 42 balls.

  • The match did highlight their middle order weakness once again as Ten Doeschate, Bopara and Harmer failed to reach double figures, and they desperately need somebody after the top three to start contributing heavily.

  • That point edges them to three points from their opening five matches in the competition but the pressure is on here against a team below them so they will be aiming to take the win here.

HAMPSHIRE

Coach: Craig White

Captain: James Vince

  • Hampshire finally got their t20 Blast campaign going with a win over Middlesex on Friday night as that 21-run victory came at just the right time and they will aim to start moving up the South Group now.

  • Their batting line-up showed signs of getting back to its best with Vince making a fast start to the innings and Munro and Rossouw making solid contributions with 63 and 32 respectively to push them to 184.

  • Fidel Edwards was in the squad on Friday night but was not selected after his T20 exploits in Canada and despite a solid bowling performance to restrict Middlesex to 163/9, he may come into the side with Gareth Berg vulnerable to be left out.

THE PREDICTION

This is a key clash for both of these teams as they sit in the bottom half of the South Group, and they need a win to really keep their t20 Blast hopes alive. Hampshire will have been boosted by the win over a struggling Middlesex side last night but Essex were thwarted by the weather. The visitors have the greater quality throughout the team, and assuming last night’s win will see them get over their Royal London One Day Cup victory hangover, they have to be favoured against this average Essex team that is relying too heavily on their top three batsmen.