Essex Eagles remain firmly mid-table in the South Group after seeing their two-match winning streak brought to a halt by Kent Spitfires.
The Eagles restricted Kent to 167 for 9, Simon Harmer taking 4 for 26 and the final four wickets falling for just 12 runs. However, with Essex 31 for 4 from their opening five overs, rain and lightning brought the match to a premature halt and Kent were awarded a 28-run DLS victory.
Somerset remain well-placed to challenge for a quarter-final spot, with games in hand on teams around them, despite losing two of their seven games thus far to the weather. They will still require a good run at an opportune moment to seal such a spot, but they have the young, local talent to string that together, so it would scarcely be a surprise to see them towards the top end of the table as the group stage reaches its climax.
Who’s in form?
Essex have struggled to to find big batting performances this season, with only three half-centuries across the squad and Dan Lawrence's 59 against Middlesex the highest individual knock. Their leading run-scorer is Jimmy Neesham, who has scored 156 runs at a strike rate of 152.94 in seven innings, while Michael Pepper (151 runs) is the best of the rest.
With the ball, Sam Cook has a team-leading 11 wickets to his name, while Harmer's four-wicket haul against Kent took him to nine for the season.
Bowling an economical spell in T20 cricket is hard at the best of times, but to do so at Taunton, the postage stamp of the county cricket circuit, is all the more impressive. Yet South African quick Marchant de Lange and spinner Max Waller did just that in Somerset’s narrow victory over Hampshire on Friday, swinging the game by conceding a miserly combined 42 runs from the eight overs they bowled.
It will also be a source of great comfort to Somerset fans to see Tom Lammonby back to his destructive old habits, with the all-rounder striking an unbeaten 15-ball 23 in a successful chase of 147 to beat Surrey at the Oval on Wednesday. 19-year-old batter Will Smeed has also burst onto the scene, with scores of 42 off 29 and 63 not out off 44 last week, and if that opportune run for the quarter-final spots is to happen, he is aiding that enormously by hitting form at just the right time.
What’s the team news?
A familiar squad for Essex Eagles in this one.
Essex Eagles squad: Simon Harmer, Will Buttleman, Sam Cook, Dan Lawrence, Jimmy Neesham, Aron Nijjar, Michael Pepper, Jack Plom, Jamie Porter, Shane Snater, Ryan ten Doeschate, Paul Walter, Tom Westley, Adam Wheater
James Hildreth (hip), Roelof van der Merwe (side strain) and Tom Abell (hamstring) are injured. Expect Somerset to name the same squad which beat Kent Spitfires on Monday.
Address: County Ground, New Writtle Street, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 OPG
By train: Chelmsford Railway Station is approximately 10 minutes' walk from the ground.
Coming out of the station, walk north on Duke Street and then turn left onto Park Road. Turn right going between Middleditch Court and Norman Court before turning left. When reaching the Parkway main road, turn left before quickly turning right to cross into the Park.
Having crossed the River Can, keep straight until hitting New Writtle Street where you must turn left. After approximately 350 feet, turn left and the ground is on the right.
By car: The stadium has a pay and display carpark with cash payment machines located on site.
Chelmsford City Centre’s High Chelmer multi-storey car par is a five-minute walk from the ground and can be accessed via New London Road after turning left off Parkway. This car park’s post code is CM2 OLG.
There are two park and ride sites in Chelmsford which offer bus services into the city centre. The first site is Chelmer Valley, postcode CM2 7RZ, and the second is located at CM3 3PR.
By bus: Chelmsford Bus Station is on Duke Street, right next to the Railway Station. Bus No.42 and No.100 stop on New London road, approximately a two-minute walk to the ground.
How do I follow the match?
Essex will offer live coverage of the match via their website: Click here
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Essex's batsmen have struggled for big runs this season and will likely struggle again against Somerset. Away win.
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