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20 Jul 2018 by Rob Esteva

Vitality t20 Blast 2018 – Gloucestershire vs Essex Eagles Preview

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AT A GLANCE

When? Friday 20thJuly, 17:30 (UK)

Where? College Ground

Weather? 20c and a small chance of showers

What channel is it on? Gloucestershire vs Essex Eagles will not be televised live in the UK

Where can I stream the match? N/A

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

HEAD-TO-HEAD
All-time meetings: Gloucestershire W4 Essex Eagles W6, No Result 2

THE TEAM NEWS

GLOUCESTERSHIRE

Coach: Richard Dawson

Captain: Michael Klinger

  • After losing their opening match against Somerset, Gloucestershire have bounced back with three wins on the spin against Kent, Middlesex and Somerset so confidence is excellent coming into this crunch match with Essex.

  • They have been dealt a blow by the confirmation that both bowler Liam Norwell and batsman George Hankins will miss the remainder of the season due to hamstring and knee injuries respectively.

  • They will give a late test to Benny Howell who has been missing recently and he is rated 50/50 for this one but the likelihood is that they will be unchanged otherwise from last time out.

ESSEX EAGLES

Coach: Anthony McGrath

Captain: Ryan ten Doeschate

  • This is essentially make or break time for Essex even at this early stage of the season as they have just one win from their opening four matches and they have failed to really string together a complete performance yet.

  • Jamie Porter is rested after being on duty with the England Lions team this week so that will weaken their bowling attack further without their opening bowler so the reliance on Adam Zampa once again will be huge.

  • The pressure continues to mount on Ravi Bopara with both bat and ball as he now has just 22 runs in four innings and is averaging 10.76 with the ball, as they desperately need their key all-rounder to raise his game quickly.

THE PREDICTION

Essex have been under-par so far in the t20 Blast and the pressure and urgency is growing by the game at the moment. They are relatively average with the ball and will not be helped by the loss of Porter which virtually means Gloucester can play cautiously to Zampa but target the other bowlers. Essex desperately need their top four to fire with the bat as they cannot rely on the lower middle and tail which will only add to the pressure. Gloucester have been something of a surprise so far but even with some injuries to their bowling unit, they are grafting hard and getting results. They may have been over-performing to a degree however, and Essex will fight for this one all the way. Tough to call and better to stay clear of this one.

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