Grayson urges Eagles response

Paul GraysonEssex coach Paul Grayson is hoping for a response from his players as they face Hampshire in their penultimate Natwest Blast T20 group match on Tuesday night (Essex 4/5, Hampshire Evens – Match Prices).

The Eagles have been superb throughout the 20-over competition and sit at the top of the South Division standings, with 20 points from 12 games played.

They have already qualified for the quarter-finals with 10 wins and just two losses but will be looking to nail down top spot in the table with victory at Chelmsford (Essex 4/1 fav Outright Winner).

One of those defeats came last time out against Gloucestershire, who successfully chased down 184 for victory with two balls to spare.

The loss had little impact on the table as regards play-off qualification but Grayson hopes that his charges can take it on board and come out fighting on Tuesday evening.

“The defeat has probably acted as a bit of a wake-up call really because there’s been a few games recently where we’ve won easily and it might just give one or two players a kick up the backside a little bit,” he said.

Hampshire are the only other team to beat Essex in 20-over cricket this summer and victory for the south-coast outfit will see them clinch a home quarter-final.

It looks set to be cracking affair and Grayson appears content that his men will rise to the challenge once again.

“Overall, we have been outstanding in this competition so far and I’m more than pleased at the way things are going,” he added.

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