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Make-or-break time for Essex says McGrath

PUBLISHED: 18:00 29 May 2018

Essex head coach Anthony McGrath (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Essex head coach Anthony McGrath (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

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

Essex head coach Anthony McGrath believes his side need to win all three of their remaining South Group matches in the Royal London One-Day Cup, starting against Glamorgan on Wednesday if they are to maintain their interest in this year’s competition.

The Eagles suffered a six-wicket defeat to Surrey on Sunday, their third loss in five matches, leaving them with an uphill task if they are to make the knockout stages of this year’s competition.

“It’s make or break time,” said McGrath. “There’s no consistency about our game at the moment.

“We were short again with the bat against Surrey and they outplayed us. We needed a hundred from one of our batters but that didn’t happen and once Surrey got ahead of the run-rate, it was pretty easy for them on that wicket. You have to hold your hands up and say well played to them.

“I think that 10 points will probably be enough to get us a place in the next stage of the competition but to achieve that, we need maximum points from our last three games. So we need to start with a win against Glamorgan and take it from there.”

The Welsh county have made a dismal start in this competition having lost their opening four matches but McGrath does not under-estimate the task ahead of his side.

“Results haven’t gone their way but that counts for nothing,” he added. “They were the only team to beat us last year in the qualifying round of matches in this competition so that shows that they can be a huge threat.

“They do have some fine one-day players in their team and we‘ll need to be at the top of our game if we are to overcome them and get the win we desperately need.”

To achieve that, the Eagles will need to rein in Colin Ingram whose presence in the visitors line-up will undoubtedly fill the Essex attack with some trepidation.

The South African is leading Glamorgan in white ball cricket this year and enjoys a lengthy love-affair with the Essex bowlers.

The 32-year-old from Port Elizabeth has taken a century off the Eagles bowlers on each of the last three occasions that the teams have clashed in the 50-over competition with scores of 142, 107 and 130.

And his personal run-fest against them does not end there. He has also helped himself to a couple of hundreds in his last two T20 innings against the Eagles.

Essex have added Jamie Porter to their squad list ahead of Wednesday’s match and McGrath admits there could be one or two changes to the side that was beaten on Sunday.

“I’ll consider all of our options before naming the starting eleven,” McGrath said. “We’ll see what the injury situation with some of our walking wounded.

“We are naturally disappointed with the way that the results have gone so far and we are fully aware that we need to step up and show our true abilities and qualities in the remaining three matches starting with Glamorgan on Wednesday.”

Essex Eagles squad: Ryan ten Doeschate; Ravi Bopara; Varun Chopra; Matt Coles; Sam Cook; James Foster; Simon Harmer; Dan Lawrence; Jamie Porter; Shane Snater; Neil Wagner; Tom Westley; Adam Wheater; Ashar Zaidi.

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