County Corner: Essex start first-class campaign

PUBLISHED: 16:46 30 March 2012

Essex captain James Foster and Tim Phillips (Gavin Ellis/TGS)

Essex captain James Foster and Tim Phillips (Gavin Ellis/TGS)

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

Cambridge University trip for county

Essex begin the new first-class cricket season with a three-day match against Cambridge University at Fenner’s, starting tomorrow (Saturday).

The county side have experienced mixed fortunes in their warm-up matches at Chelmsford and will be looking for a solid display before starting the new Division Two season against Gloucestershire on Thursday.

Essex had the better of their drawn two-day match with Surrey, but lost by 50 runs against Middlesex in a 40-over contest.

Billy Godleman scored a century against Worcestershire on Wednesday, sharing a 137-run stand with captain James Foster who hit 89 off just 103 balls in his side’s 278-5 declared.

The visitors declared on 240-5 at lunch yesterday (Thursday), before Tom Westley (59) hit his best score of pre-season in Essex’s short second innings.

A declaration at 96-2 set Worcestershire a target of 135 from 32 overs in the final session, but the match ended in a draw with them 34 runs short as spinners Tim Phillips and Tom Craddock took a wicket apiece.

Essex have signed South Africa batsman Alviro Petersen, 31, for the first half of the county season and he joins fellow countrymen Charl Willoughby and Greg Smith among the ranks.

Australian fast bowler Peter Siddle, 27, will join the playing staff for the Twenty20 campaign in place of Tim Southee and coach Paul Grayson said: “It’s very exciting that we can bring in Alviro as he is an experienced county cricketer.

“We’re also very excited to be bringing in a world-class bowler in Peter for our T20 campaign.“

Graham Napier is this year’s beneficiary and the county will again be sending a team to Upminster for a 35-over friendly.

The match will take place on Sunday September 9 and for more information visit

Squad: James Foster (captain), Ravi Bopara (vice-captain), Maurice Chambers, Alastair Cook, Michael Comber, Tom Craddock, Ben Foakes, Billy Godleman, David Masters, Jaik Mickleburgh, Tymal Mills, Graham Napier, Alviro Petersen, Mark Pettini, Tim Phillips, Harry Ramsden, Owais Shah, Peter Siddle, Greg Smith, Ryan ten Doeschate, Reece Topley, Tom Westley, Adam Wheater, Charl Willoughby.

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