About the Match
Essex Eagles and Middlesex Panthers will meet in an important clash of South Division in Friends Life T20. Essex has just broken into the top half of the group and will be hoping that on Friday, 12th July their winning form continues for at least this game. This match would be played at Essex’s home ground, and in front of thousands of passionate supporters, they’ll love to repeat the result of their game against Kent Spitfires. This game is being termed as a ‘swapping clash’ due to the fact that both teams lie in the top half of the table. A win will most probably take Essex to the second place swapping places with Panthers while there would be no change in Middlesex’s position if they win this encounter and would cement their position at second spot.
The Eagles have played just four games in this season and have looked impressive enough. Their first game was washed out and although they lost in their second game, they had a decent outing. They scored 170 batting first which is a good enough total. Their bowling wasn’t good enough on a track that offered little to the bowlers. In their last two games, both against Kent Spitfires, they won rather convincingly. Their batting is full of T20 specialists with Owais Shah, Ryan ten Doeschate forming backbone of their middle order. Hamish Rutherford was ruthless in both the innings and Mark Pettini’s comeback is expected. With superb batting order and aggressive bowling with Tait and Napier, Essex can really trouble Panthers on the match day.
The Panthers have played pretty well so far in this competition and would love to keep the tables favoring them. Out of five games they’ve played, they have won all but two and with some convincing wins and some going down to the wire. Not unlike Essex, they too have played two games against and won both of them. There two losses came against Sussex and Surrey and the other victory against Essex. Dawid Malan had been in excellent touch and was the player of the match in their last victory against the Eagles. Voges and Stirling have the T20 experience under their belt which helps the team. Their bowling is strengthened by Kyle Mills. Middlesex is a strong unit and if their bowling can restrict Eagles, they can get yet another victory against them.
After a short break in Friends Life T20 due to the build-up of Ashes and largely due to County Division Games, teams would have to get back into the T20 mode. Can Essex Eagles post a victory to swap table positions with Middlesex Panthers? The last time these two teams met, the match went to the last over where Middlesex Panthers emerged on top. Essex Eagles have a star-studded side and are coming after a couple of impressive wins over Kent Spitfires. Their batting is scoring runs with Mark Pettini back into the side after the injury. With deep batting lineup and potent bowling attack, I think Essex Eagles will win this important encounter.
Essex Eagles, 1.72 @ Bet365