Our prediction is that Essex should be able to beat Surrey to register their second win of the tournament.
In the last season, Surrey failed to enter the knock-out stage, ended up at the 5th position, after reaching three finals in a row from 2015. They are yet to open their accounts in this season. Against Gloucestershire, Surrey’s batsmen crushed under 100 while against Sussex, the target was a little short for their bowlers to defend.
Essex’s last trip to the Oval was pretty good as they defeated Surrey in a gripping one-wicket win. Their batting unit includes Sir Alister Cook, two match centurion Varun Chopra, and Tom Westley, and their bowling unit looks good too. With one win and a loss, Essex looks better than Surrey in the points table.
Surrey’s overall records at the Royal London One Day Cup is pretty good. They reached the finals in three consecutive seasons from 2015 to 2017. However, in 2018, they failed to enter the knock out round, by one point.
This year, Surrey haven’t yet fired up. They lost both their opening matches. They were collapsed at 88 while chasing Gloucestershire’s 235, as none of their batsmen crossed 20. In the second match against Sussex, the batsmen put up a decent total, but Morkel led bowling unit failed to defend the total. Tom Curran and Rikki Clarke have shown good skills with the ball, taking 10 wickets in two matches between them, but the pacer Liam Plunkett has been too expensive in both the matches. In two matches, Plunkett gave away runs at around 9.5 per over. The skipper Rory Burns too failed to make an impact in both the matches.
It will be a challenging task for Surrey’s bowlers to confine runs as Essex have a very robust batting lineup that includes Cook, Chopra, and Westley.
RJ Burns (c), JJ Roy, MD Stoneman, WG Jacks, BT Foakes (wk), OJ Pope, R Clarke, TK Curran, LE Plunkett, GJ Batty, M Morkel
Essex’s journey in the Royal London Cup has been pretty good and consistent. Not once they failed to make it to the knock-out rounds. In 2014, 2015 and 2016 they reached the quarter-final but failed to advance to the semi-final. They got their first semi-final ticket in 2017 after topping the South Group table. Eventually, they had lost to Nottinghamshire. In the last season, their journey ended again in the quarter-final against Yorkshire.
This year, in the first match against Glamorgan, Varun Chopra’s 111 runs and half-centuries from Westley and Lawrence helped Essex to post 326 runs. Ultimately, they defeated Glamorgan by 180 runs. In the second match, the bowlers failed to confine Middlesex batsmen, giving away 366 runs. Chopra scored his second consecutive century while chasing, but at the end, the target proved to be too much. Against Surrey, Essex looks a better team with basemen like Cook, Chopra, Westley, and bowlers like Siddle and Bopara.
RN ten Doeschate (c), V Chopra, AN Cook, T Westley, DW Lawrence, RS Bopara, RG White (wk), SR Harmer, PM Siddle, JA Porter, SJ Cook
The match will be played at Kennington Oval, London. At this ground, the highest and lowest totals are 398 and 103 runs. Here, the average first and second innings score are 249 and 213. The highest total chased on this ground is 322/3.
The ground is pretty good for batting. The team winning toss would look to bat first, post a huge total and leave the rest up to the bowlers.
Head to head, Essex has an upper hand as they defeated Surrey 3 out of 5 times. With the loss against Sussex, Surrey is still searching for their first win. Essex needs slight improvement in the bowling department while their batting is already shining. They have posted 300 plus scores in both the matches. Contrary to the expectations, Surrey failed to succeed in their second match versus Sussex. The batting line up of Essex look more robust and their batsmen are scoring runs more consistently.
Thus, our prediction is that Essex will beat Surrey in an away game on 23rd April 2019 at Kennington Oval, London.
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