About the Match
Presently at the seventh spot in Division 2 of the ongoing County Championship tournament, with 87 points from 9 matches, Essex will meet Gloucestershire, who are just one position above with 89 points from as many matches, on 29th June at Chelmsford. The competition is heating up but while the Gloucestershire could manage a draw against Glamorgan last week, Essex suffered a massive and humiliating defeat against the giants Hampshire at Southampton. They will be eager to wipe out the disappointing memories from that match and put up a strong fight here, against the Gloucestershire who too will be determined to take their campaign ahead.
While the bowlers were impressive in the first innings against Hampshire in the last match they played, with Topley and Bopara claiming 3 wickets each and getting good support from Mills, Panesar and Masters who took four wickets between them, the batsmen failed to offer any resistance against the opposition. Restricting Hampshire to 286 to start off, the bowlers looked forward to a good show by the batting line-up but with the captain’s knock of 36 being the highest score, Essex showed a dismal performance getting all-out for only 121 runs by the 44th over. The 2nd innings contained no promise as the bowlers too failed this time to contain Hampshire batsmen like Smith and Vince, who found numerous gaps to smash away boundaries and went on to accumulate a score of 440 runs, which was a herculean task for Essex to achieve. With this loss by 470 runs, the team morale will be low but they need to pull up their socks and give a tough fight here.
William Tavare and Will Gidman stuck their feet firmly on the ground to earn a draw for their team against Glamorgan in the last encounter they faced; having put up a good total of 391 runs in the first innings batting first, the batsmen collapsed in their reply to a score of 615 runs put up by Glamorgan. But the duo of Tavare and Gidman put up a brave front and fought till the end to finish up on a draw. Earlier in the first innings, Hamish Marshall had scored beautifully to put up 109 off 173 deliveries and Tavare, Cockbain and Howell contributed well but they couldn’t repeat the performance and pull out a win. The bowlers toiled hard with Smith taking 3 wickets and Norwell claiming 2 with Howell and Taylor taking 1 wicket each but they could hardly make a dent on the Glamorgan batsmen who went on to cross the six hundred mark. While they will be happy with a draw here, the Gloucs will surely be eager to defeat Essex in the upcoming match convincingly.
While both teams have had a rough season so far and struggling to move up the ladder, Gloucestershire has surely shown a better performance in their recent matches when compared to Essex. Essex has the home advantage here and the players will put their best foot forward in front of their supporters, the Gloucestershire squad certainly have it in them to topple the T20 table toppers. Can Essex replicate its T20 form in longest version of the game as well? I think Essex, despite their bad last game, can surely emerge on top of Gloucestershire.
Essex, 1.80 @ Titan Bet