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Considered as one of the better teams in the Vitality T20 Blast, Essex Eagles are languishing in the bottom half of the table. They have just Hampshire below them and will like to change this quickly. They'll face Gloucestershire in their next game who are sitting comfortably in the third spot of the table with three wins in four games. A win here will take them to top spot provided Kent and Sussex lose their respective matches.
Gloucestershire lost their first match of the competition to Somerset by a close margin and they haven't looked back since. They've registered three wins in three matches after that including a win against Somerset in a rain-curtailed game in their last match.
The match was reduced to 11 overs a side and they restricted Somerset to 114 runs. It was important for Klinger and Hammond to get them off to a quick start, but Gloucestershire lost both their openers in the space of just 13 runs. It could have been difficult to chase had Ian Cockbain not played a beautiful knock of 44 off just 22 deliveries. Although Kieren Noema-Barnet contributed only 25 runs, he consumed just 11 deliveries for that which allowed Cockbain to settle down and maintain the momentum.
Cockbain played an anchor role thereafter with Higgins, Taylor, and Roderick batting around him. Earlier, Andrew Tye was the star with the ball as he picked up three for 24 in this three overs. He was ably supported by Tom Smith who had a hat-trick chance at one point. While the overall fielding of Gloucestershire could be ranked in poor category, there were a few glimpses of brilliance in the field including Hammond's shart catch to break the opening stand between Myburgh and Davies.
MAH Hammond, M Klinger, IA Cockbain, KN Barnett, Ryan Higgins, JW Taylor, GH Roderick, GLV Buuren, AJ Tye, Tom Smith, DA Payne.
Essex's dramatic season continues to extend as they faltered against Glamorgan to record their third defeat in four games. Much of the blame goes to their terrible middle order batting which once again suffered an incredible collapse.
Essex were at one time in a position to dictate terms. Adam Wheather and Varun Chopra got them off to a spectacular start of 48. Ryan ten Doeschate and Tom Westley carried their good work forward as they amassed 67 runs off just 27 deliveries for the fourth wicket partnership. It all, however, went downhill after that. They lost eight wickets in space of 40 deliveries and 50 runs to conclude another Eagles' collapse.
It was a similar story with the ball as well. Barring Adam Zampa and Jamie Porter who returned with the figures of 4-0-17-3 and 3-0-18-0, no bowler looked like picking up wickets. They had Glamorgan at the mat with them reeling at 110 for 8 and needing 58 off final 26 deliveries. Chris Cooke then unleashed himself to guide Glamorgan home in convincing fashion.
Varun Chopra, Adam Wheater, Tom Westley, RN ten Doeschate, RS Bopara, Dan Lawrence, SR Harmer, N Wagner, Matthew Quinn, Adam Zampa, Samuel Cook.
It isn't that Essex lacks the talent to perform the big stage. They have put up some excellent individual performances, but have still found ways to finish second. Gloucestershire fumbled a bit in their last match and facing in-form Zampa will be a big challenge for them. Essex are a side with some extremely-talented individuals and we think that they'll get together to put a strong performance and register a much-needed win against Gloucestershire.