Cricket: Essex look to turn around T20 fortunes
PUBLISHED: 21:06 19 July 2018 | UPDATED: 21:06 19 July 2018
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With just one success to show from their opening four matches in the Vitality Blast, Essex Eagles will be looking to turn around their form when they play back-to-back matches this weekend.
They make the trip to Cheltenham on Friday where they meet Gloucestershire in a 5.30pm start, then on Saturday, Hampshire visit The Cloudfm County Ground for a match that starts at 5pm.
One player who has been outstanding for the Eagles during the Vitality Blast campaign so far is Australian Adam Zampa.
The leg-spinner has taken seven wickets, including 2-20 against Surrey and 3-17 in the match with Glamorgan.
And Zampa believes that the Eagles need to start a winning run now if they are to maintain an interest in the competition.
“For me, I think the next game is pretty much do-or-die,” said the 26-year-old.
“Win that and the one on Saturday and we’ll be on a roll and in T20 cricket, things can turn around very quickly but we need to show some character now.
“The two defeats in as many days last week were hugely disappointing. To be honest, we weren’t at our best in any facet of the game on those occasions and so we didn’t deserve to come away with anything.”
Zampa pointed the finger at the reasons for the Eagles shortcomings
“We do have the skills but we’ve made some poor decisions and we need to get the mental side of the game right,” he added.
“We are losing crucial moments in games at the moment and that’s costing us. We need to put things right pretty quickly otherwise the competition is going to be out of our reach.”
Zampa, who has played in 13 T20 internationals and also made 31 One-day appearances for his country, is delighted with his own form at present.
“I’m very happy with my game at the moment and to be honest, I think I’m bowling as well as I’ve ever done in this format,” he sai.
“That’s all well and good for me but I’m here to help the team win matches and it sucks to be on the losing side. Hopefully, we can turn things around quickly.” The Eagles have named an unchanged 13-man squad for Friday’s game.
Essex: Ryan ten Doeschate, Adam Wheater, Ravi Bopara, Varun Chopra, Matt Coles, Sam Cook, Simon Harmer, Dan Lawrence, Matt Quinn, Neil Wagner, Tom Westley, Ashar Zaidi, Adam Zampa.