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Eagles plan to continue soaring high

Essex Eagles head coach Paul Grayson wants his side to carry their excellent NatWest T20 Blast form into the Royal London One-Day Cup, starting with victory against Worcestershire tomorrow.

The Eagles finished top of the South Group to book a home quarter-final against Birmingham Bears and fancy their chances of continuing their one-day success in the 50-over format, with a squad boasting the likes of Jesse Ryder and Ravi Bopara.

“We are looking forward to the 50-over competition, starting with an interesting game with Worcestershire on Sunday before we take on Leicestershire Foxes next Thursday at Chelmsford,” Grayson told Essex's website.

“We have been a strong side in one-day cricket for many years now and we would love to win the 50-over competition this year.

"We’ve got the players to do well in it. It’s a bigger version of the T20 Blast, and we want to bring take our success in the shortest form of the game into this longer limited-overs format, so we’ll be looking to get off to a good start.”

Daryl Mitchell scored 362 runs in the North Group to help Worcestershire Rapids reach the NatWest T20 Blast quarter-finals

Worcestershire, too, are building towards next weekend's quarter-finals but, for now, they are simply focused on getting off to a flier on the road to Lord's.

"It is a very short competition with just eight games, so you have to start well – simple as that – and hopefully we can start with a win against Essex tomorrow," skipper Daryl Mitchell told Worcestershire's website.

Hampshire started their campaign with a heavy defeat against Derbyshire Falcons and travel to Emirates Old Trafford to face Lancashire Lightning, knowing they can ill-afford another poor result.

The other matches in Group A see Gloucestershire take on Northants Steelbacks at Cheltenham and Leicestershire Foxes host a Derbyshire Falcons outfit buoyed by their impressive performance in their opener.

Gloucestershire batsman Chris Dent is relishing a return to the picturesque out ground, not least to reacquaint himself with some pleasingly short boundaries.

“It is a small ground at Cheltenham, with small boundaries and that makes for really exciting cricket," he told his county's official website.

"The crowd is really close to the pitch and there was a fantastic atmosphere for both the T20 games.

“I guess for quite a lot of people it is their only chance to see live cricket during the year and they seem to get into it even more than at some of the other grounds we play at.

"I hope they will get behind the boys again on Sunday and we can repay them with a win.”

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