Saltires v Essex Preview
Essex travel up to the Grange for the second of the Saltire’s YB40 games this Sunday.
The travelling squad have suffered mixed fortunes so far in this year’s competition, having lost against Hampshire in their opening fixture, then returning back to winning ways two days later against a strong Durham side.
The match on Sunday marks the first fixture played between these two sides since the two teams met at the Grange over 9 years ago in the Cheltenham and Gloucester Trophy.
Essex fielded a strong 11 that day, boasting a team full of international players including ex England captain Nasser Hussain, former Zimbabwe international and current England coach Andy Flower, wicket-keeper James Foster and a certain 19 year old opening batsmen by the name of Alastair Cook.
On that day Essex posted a formidable 272-3, with Hussain showing his class sharing a partnership of over 150 with Jefferson.
In reply Ryan Watson scored a defiant 76 in an attempt to reach the total, however it proved to be not enough as Essex bowled the Saltires out for 227, with Danish Kaneria taking 3 wickets in the process.
Two players present that day, Graham Napier (known for having hit 16 sixes in a T20 innings) and James Foster will both be returning on Sunday, looking to inflict further damage, with the former in terrific form already this season, currently topping the division 2 batting averages.
Former England fast bowler Saj Mahmood also features in the Essex squad travelling North, whilst Ravi Bopara misses out due to England Lions duty.
Scotland will also look to build on a lot of positives taken from their opening YB40 fixture, and will look to claim their first win of the tournament.
The young saltires will also look to build on a lot of positives taken from their opening YB40 fixture, and will look to claim their first win of the tournament – the squad remaining intact from their match against Hampshire apart from one change, with Gordon Goudie making way for Dewald Nel.
The promising batting performances of opening batsmen Freddie Coleman and Preston Mommsen in the middle-order will give the Scots confidence of posting a large total, whilst Calvin Burnett more than took his chance putting in an encouraging performance opening the bowling.
Although Essex may have history on their side, both teams have everything to play for, and at this early stage of the competition it is too close a match to call, with both teams knowing the importance of securing an early win.
The match starts at 1:45pm with tickets priced at £15 Adult, £10 Concession and £5 Children (U16) available at the gate.
Preston Mommsen (captain), Richie Berrington, Calvin Burnett, Ewan Chalmers, Freddie Coleman, Matthew Cross (wicketkeeper) , Gordon Drummond, Majid Haq, Moneeb Iqbal, Michael Leask, Matt Machan (TBC), Calum MacLeod, Dewald Nel, Paddy Sadler.
Tom Westley, Bobby Quiney, Jaik Mickleburgh, Mark Pettini, Ben Foakes, James Foster, Greg Smith, Graham Napier, Tim Phillips, Sajid Mahmood, David Masters, Reece Topley , Tymal Mills