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Essex are ready - Grayson

Essex Eagles head coach Paul Grayson is in confident mood as his side chase their first ever Friends Life t20 trophy in their fourth visit to the competition's finals day.

The Eagles surprised many by knocking out Notts Outlaws in the quarter-finals to set up a semi-final showdown with Northants Steelbacks at Edgbaston.

Ryan ten Doeschate underpinned a healthy total of 187 for six with a fluent 82 before Shaun Tait's hat-trick wrapped up a convincing 47-run victory.

Esses Eagles will hope for another decisive knock from Ryan ten Doeschate as they chase their first FLt20 trophyAnother win against the Steelbacks in the semi-final would take Essex through to their first T20 final, and Grayson believes his side are well-equipped to do just that.

"We've worked hard, practiced our skills, everyone is in good heart and we are all looking forward to the day," he said.

"Everyone saw how effective we can be as a unit when we beat a very good Notts side in the last round but all we can do now is to trust each other, trust our skills, go out and enjoy the day."

Essex finished third in the South Group and if they are to lift the trophy for the first time they will have to beat one of the two teams who finished above them.

All three qualifiers from the pool have reached finals day, with Hampshire Royals and Surrey set to do battle in the second game tomorrow.

The Eagles traded victories with Surrey in the group stage, while they lost the only game against the Royals that beat the weather.

But Grayson knows that finals day is a completely different occasion, and should they qualify for another crack at either team in the showpiece game the head coach has belief that his side can pull off an historic win.

“We've worked really hard to get to this stage and generally played some excellent cricket which is a credit to the whole squad,” he said.

“All four teams in the finals are good sides but hopefully we are now just two wins away from lifting the trophy for the first time.”

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