Quarter finals can generate a higher level of anticipation and tension than fixtures closer to the title as it’s the first hurdle the teams face.
The Essex Eagles found themselves second in Group B of the tables in order to secure themselves a home Quarter Final, against third placed Group A side Yorkshire. Unlike the visiting side, the Essex Eagles only found themselves removed from the T20 competition when they lost their quarter final against the reigning T20 champs Warwickshire.
The Eagles have been here before – they were beaten at this stage of the competition last year by Warwickshire – and are aiming to break the habit early and get through to the semis. The visiting county however are not so familiar and while they might be within touching distance of their second successive County Championship win, their limited overs competitions have been significantly less successful.
This week Yorkshire will find themselves lacking their limited overs, overseas specialists Glenn Maxwell and Aaron Finch. The Eagles’ form in the limited overs competition has been one of the most consistent and their performance has been praised by head coach Paul Grayson on the Essex CCC website, “We started the competition well and our last two performances against Hampshire and Middlesex were excellent”.
Nottinghamshire this week managed to break their habit of being knocked out of competitions at the quarter final stage and the Eagles will be looking to prevent the same scenario. This time last year, Yorkshire were faced with a home quarter final having finished top of the table in the qualifying rounds but were drilled into the ground by the champions-to-be, Durham.
Two quarter finals have been completed to date meaning Nottinghamshire and Gloucestershire are into the semi finals – they just need to know where they are heading now! Either Kent or Hampshire and Essex or Yorkshire will host these two respectively on either the 6th or 7th September.
Reece Topley will feature in this match for Essex despite receiving his call up to the international side; who have T20i against the visiting Australians on Monday.
Yorkshire’s side is boosted by the return of Test players Jonny Bairstow and Adam Lyth but they will be parting ways with Glenn Maxwell who joins up with Australia for the limited overs series and Aaron Finch is not eligible to participate.
Essex squad: Ryan ten Doeschate (captain), Ravi Bopara, Nick Browne, James Foster (wicket-keeper), David Masters, Aron Nijjar, Mark Pettini, Jamie Porter, Reece Topley, Jesse Ryder, Kishen Velani,Tom Westley.
Yorkshire squad: Alex Lees (captain), Jonny Bairstow (wicketkeeper), Gary Ballance, Tim Bresnan, Jack Brooks, Karl Carver, Matthew Fisher, Andrew Hodd, Jack Leaning, Adam Lyth, Steve Patterson, Liam Plunkett, Richard Pyrah, Adil Rashid, Will Rhodes.
Ground: The E.C.G – Chelmsford
Date: Thursday 27th August 2015
Weather and conditions: There is a risk of rain mid-afternoon in Chelmsford but other than that, there should be clear skies for this final Quarter Final fixture in the RLODC.
Odds (SkyBet): Essex 6/5, Yorkshire 8/13