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Cricket: Essex Eagles host Middlesex in latest Royal London One-Day Cup outing

PUBLISHED: 15:40 11 May 2017 | UPDATED: 15:40 11 May 2017

Alistair Cook and James Foster will hope to be celebrating more Essex success against Middlesex in the Royal London One-Day Cup on Friday (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Alistair Cook and James Foster will hope to be celebrating more Essex success against Middlesex in the Royal London One-Day Cup on Friday (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Eagles hope to boost hopes of making semi-finals with home win

Essex Eagles continue their Royal London One-Day Cup involvement on Friday when they entertain Middlesex in a day/night contest at the County Ground, with play scheduled to start at 2pm.

Somerset and Essex, who meet at Taunton on Sunday, are level on points with identical records having played five and won four of their qualifying matches thus far, with only a superior run-rate allowing the West Country side to top the table.

The prize for each of the two group winners is a guaranteed place in the semi-finals, whilst the runners-up and third place teams will meet in a quarter-final to decide the remaining two teams in the last four stage.

The Eagles have named a 15-man squad for Friday’s match and all-rounder Ravi Bopara, who was forced to sit out Wednesday’s victory with a slight groin strain, will undergo a late fitness test.

Eagles batting coach Anthony McGrath admits that, although the county has only suffered one defeat in all competitions this season, they have not yet been firing on all cylinders.

“It was a narrow win over Sussex but that has been the trend of our season so far,” he said.

“We are nowhere near our best yet and I think that everyone can see that. We do tend to make things more difficult than they should be, but at the end of the day, we’ve won again and that makes it four wins out of five in the Royal London One-Day Cup and that has put us into a terrific position.

“Before the start of the game, Sussex were up there with us in the table, Somerset also lost on Wednesday and so it really was a good day for us.

“Having said that, there are still three matches left and anything can happen. But, as I said, we are in a really good position to build on from here. We could pick out quite a few things that didn’t go so well for us on Wednesday, but I’d rather talk about the positives. Those two innings from Ryan (ten Doeschate) and Alastair (Cook) were absolutely phenomenal really to get us up to 290 odd from 29 for three.

“They really set up the game for us and then we bowled well up to the 40th over and we all know what happened then. But we have won four out of five in the competition and that’s the most important statistic. A win is a win and we are delighted with that.

“There is a lot of improvement to come and I can’t wait to see what we can do when we get it right!”

Team from: Chopra, Foster, Browne, Harmer, Westley, Walter, Bopara, Cook, ten Doeschate, Lawrence, Wheater, Porter, Taylor, Quinn, Zaidi.

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