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Essex Eagles set for tough Somerset test at Taunton

PUBLISHED: 15:54 13 May 2017 | UPDATED: 15:54 13 May 2017

Alastair Cook celebrates scoring a half-century for Essex Eagles against Middlesex (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Alastair Cook celebrates scoring a half-century for Essex Eagles against Middlesex (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Top two meet in Royal London One-Day Cup

Essex Eagles travel to Taunton to face Somerset in a top of the table clash in the Royal London One-Day on Sunday, following their seven-wicket win over South Group rivals Middlesex on Friday.

Only run-rate separates the two teams who have both won five of their six matches in the competition thus far. The west country outfit boasts a run-rate of 0.930 whilst the Eagles most recent success improved their own statistic to 0.610.

The two sides have moved three points clear of closest rivals Sussex Sharks with two matches to play as they battle to move closer to a semi-final place reserved for the winners of the two groups.

And Essex head coach Chris Silverwood admitted he was very satisfied with Friday’s success, saying: ”It was a really good performance and the lads played really well.

“Middlesex had got off to a half-decent start and at one point, I thought they might post a bigger score, but the lads bowled well and got us right into the game. To bowl them out for under 150 was absolutely fantastic.

“Jamie Porter and Paul Walter were backed up by the rest of the guys so all credit to all of them.”

Porter and Walter took four wickets apiece as Middlesex slumped from 54-1 to 148 all out, before Alastair Cook’s unbeaten half-century saw Essex home with 20 overs to spare.

Silverwood added: “Our first priority before the match was to get the win and the next was to try and improve our run-rate which could be crucial in determining who makes it through automatically from the group into the semi-final.

“We fulfilled both targets which is why we sent Ashar Zaidi up the order with instructions to get the run-rate up and we’ve done that.

“Somerset have still got a superior run-rate so there is a lot to play for on Sunday.

“I’d be delighted if we could top the group because that would take us one game away from a Lord’s final, but let’s get the last two qualifying games over first and see where we are then.

“The way our batsmen then chased down the target was superb particularly with that run-rate in mind as well, I thought we were very methodical. Cooky showed his class and then Ravi came in and helped finish the job.

“Overall, it was almost the complete performance if I’m honest.”

Essex Eagles squad: Varun Chopra (6), James Foster (7), Simon Harmer (11), Tom Westley (21), Paul Walter (22), Ravi Bopara (25), Alastair Cook (26), Ryan ten Doeschate (27), Dan Lawrence (28), Adam Wheater (31), Jamie Porter (44), Callum Taylor (67), Matt Quinn (94), Ashar Zaidi (99).

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