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|RN ten Doeschate||10||7||0||1||142.86|
Surrey will be taking on the Essex Eagles in this Vitality Blast 2018 match that will see some exciting T20 players make their entry into the tournament. Surrey has had a very poor start to their campaign and has lost both its matches so far. The international calendar and injuries have deprived them of many first-choice players but they need to win with what they have. Essex fought back from a loss in the first game to register a tense last ball victory over Middlesex in their last game.
Which team will emerge victorious?
The return of Aaron Finch and Nic Maddinson from international duties means that Surrey will have a lot more confidence going into this encounter against Essex. Finch has just become the world’s top-ranked T20 player while Nic Maddinson will be hoping to build on his gains from the Big Bash.
Mark Stoneman, another England international, is also going to join the squad for this match and will add to the international quality in the squad. It is unclear if Sam Curran will play this match because he missed the last one after playing the first match of the season. His injury, which has kept him out of the England squad, may not have healed completely to allow him to play.
Surrey has struggled to have an impact in the Vitality T20Blast so far. Ben Foakes played an inning of significance by scoring an unbeaten 75 but no other player has been able to score a fifty for the club. Rikki Clarke has shown the ability to clear the boundaries and will be a vital player going forward, however, the need for a batting boost to this team is clear.
Hopefully, Finch and Maddinson will be able to inject that much-needed spark into the team.
Morne Morkel had a better bowling outing in his last match as picked up two wickets but his economy rate of 11.00 after 8 overs in this competition will be a concern. He seems to have been given the mandate to go for wickets and that’s good but Surrey will need him to be a little more consistent.
Jade Dernbach, Rikki Clarke, and Gareth Batty have been getting their overs in without too much as well so we don’t anticipate too many changes on the bowling side of things.
Rory Burns, Aaron Finch, Nic Maddinson, Ben Foakes, Ollie Pope, Rikki Clarke, Will Jacks, MW Pillans, Morne Morkel, Gareth Batty, Jade Dernbach.
Varun Chopra continues to be the backbone of the Essex Eagles and has already reached 100 runs for the tournament after two matches. Support from the other batsmen has been a little difficult to bank on, although, Wheater with his 45 raised hopes of another player stepping up.
Players like Ravi Bopara, Ryan Ten Doeschate, and Tom Westley need to get into the thick of things quickly. Essex’s last victory against Middlesex was not the most convincing and required every bit of effort from its players.
Against a reinforced Surrey side, Essex would love to see its own batting lineup rise to the occasion as well. The Essex bowling has been pretty good in the tournament so far. Adam Zampa, the leg-spin import from Australia, has started the tournament well and has been effective at keeping things tight.
In fact, Cook, Porter, Zampa, and Harmer are all giving runs for less than 10 runs an over which is pretty good in this format of the game. The wickets have also been shared equally among the bowlers as all the regular bowlers have two wickets to their name except for Coles who has three.
If Essex has to stop Finch, Maddinson, Foakes, and company then the Essex bowling lineup will have to be at its best. One of the most interesting matchups to see will be Zampa go up against his countrymates.
Finch, in particular, is very aggressive against the spinners and will try to hit Zampa out of the attack. This can also result in Finch losing his wicket early. The winner of this battle could possible dictate the way the match goes.
If the Essex batting lineup can find a few more contributors apart from varun Chopra then we may have a very tightly contested match on our hands.
Adam Wheater, Varun Chopra, Tom Westley, RS Bopara, RN ten Doeschate, Dan Lawrence, SR Harmer, Matt Coles, Adam Zampa, Samuel Cook, Jamie Porter.
The team winning the toss is likely to bat first
A partly cloudy day with around 20% chance of rain has been forecast in London for match day. The forecast actually improves closer to the time of the match and so we should get a full match in without any trouble.
The pitch at the Kia Oval is always excellent for batting and we expect nothing different this time around. Surrey’s batting is its strength and so expect a flat deck with very little grass to keep it together. Scores of around 180 will be par.
Surrey has beaten Essex in three out of the last five matches they have played against them including the last two encounters between the two sides. Crucially, this will be the first match for Surrey in this competition where it will be playing with some of the superstars on its roster.
We expect Surrey to hit back hard after a poor start to the tournament.
Back Surrey to win.