County Corner: Essex host Middlesex

PUBLISHED: 08:42 26 March 2012

Essex host Middlesex at the County Ground today (Gavin Ellis/TGS)

Essex host Middlesex at the County Ground today (Gavin Ellis/TGS)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League

One-day friendly at Chelmsford

Essex continue their preparations for the new county championship season with a home friendly against Middlesex today.

Paul Grayson’s men had the better of a two-day contest against Surrey last week, reaching 282-9 after dismissing the visitors for 212.

Maurice Chambers and David Masters then reduced Surrey to 16-5 in their second innings, before a mini-recovery enabled them to reach 77-6 and earn a draw.

New signing Charl Willoughby will not be risked just yet, but has started to bowl in practice after injury.

Essex begin their Division Two quest with a home match against Gloucestershire next Thursday (April 5) and Grayson told the club website: “Everyone who was involved in the match with Surrey was excellent over the two days play.

“We were the better side in all departments, which is very encouraging.

“We’re looking forward to the game with Middlesex. They are a useful side in 40-overs cricket and will give us a good workout.”

Play starts at 11.30am today and entry is free, with gates open from 9.30.

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