At just over the halfway point in the 2014 cricket season, it's worth taking stock of the highlights of the year so far with Essex County Cricket Club. From the launch of the season with press day at The E.C.G. to the exciting positions that the team now occupies in the tables, it's been a solid start to the season.
The team certainly seemed to be in the mood to "Do It Even Better" than last season when they finished third in Division Two of the LV= County Championship, made it to the semi-finals of the Friends Life T20, and made a good showing in the Yorkshire Bank 40 League.
Although captain Alastair Cook and the First XI got off to a flying start in the Championship by beating Derbyshire at The Essex County Ground (with Cooky scoring 181 in the second innings), the next few matches found the side struggling with the weather and stubborn opposition as they drew the three matches in a row.
To warm up for forthcoming T20 matches, the team played against the tried and tested talents of Sri Lanka. Again though the poor weather threatened to make it a washout. Instead of the expected 50 overs, only 21 were managed by each side, but Essex came out on top to beat the current ICC World Twenty20 champions by 22 runs (D/L Method).
Despite struggling to translate promising performances into wins in the Championship with a number of drawn matches, the T20 season has brought some success to Essex, despite missing Cook. Even without new Eagles captain Ryan ten Doeschate while he was winning in the Indian Premier League, Essex succeeded in turning over Middlesex Panthers and Glamorgan – suffering their only loss in this year's NatWest T20 Blast so far to Hampshire.
Table taken from www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/english-twenty20/table
Since then the
Eagles have soared to the top of the table with some thrilling matches,
thanks to the strength in depth of their bowlers and some explosive batting from the likes of Ravi Bopara, Ryan ten Doeschate, and overseas player Jesse Ryder.
Essex seem set for a quarter-final spot in the T20 Blast, but must keep going to earn the right to play it at The County Ground. The confidence from this should hopefully translate into good form for the upcoming Royal London One-Day Cup in August.
Essex occupy the middle of the Championship table, there should be a
lot more to come as the team finished the season strongly last season
and there are several crucial matches after the limited-overs
competitions reach their conclusion.
You'll have to get your skates on to get your tickets to cheer on Essex in the second half of this season!
We love to share our passion for Essex CCC, so we've clubbed together with our Chelmsford partners to run the best competitions and giveaways we can. T his year we've already given away tickets to matches against Sri Lanka and Glamorgan, and those were just the start!
Coming up this season we have autographed cricket bats of all different sizes, plus the chance to watch each NatWest T20 Blast at The E.C.G. with Pitch Side Access in our comfortable and capacious Ford B-MAX.
Search Twitter, Facebook and Google for the #LoveEssexCricket hashtag and you'll find many ways and means to win Essex CCC match tickets, player-signed prizes, and other competitions and giveaways with Essex Auto Group!