Essex welcome back England duo
Essex have named Ravi Bopara and Alastair Cook in their squad for their Friends Life t20 quarter-final clash against Somerset tomorrow.
The England duo have been included as part of a 14-man squad, but batsman Owais Shah, who travels to Taunton, is a doubt due to a calf injury and faces a late fitness test.
Head coach Paul Grayson can’t wait for what he believes will be a close game between two strong one-day sides.
“Everyone is fresh and really looking forward to the game,” Grayson said. “We’ve had some good battles with Somerset over the last few years in one-day cricket and I think it will be exactly the same on Tuesday.
“We’ve played some very good T20 cricket at times this season but we know Somerset are an excellent side and we have to make sure that we are at the top of our game against them.”
Marcus Trescothick is set to captain Somerset after making a successful return from injury.
The former England opening batsman featured in the eight-wicket victory over Durham in the Clydesdale Bank 40 yesterday - his first appearance since undergoing surgery to repair ligaments in his right ankle, which he injured back in April.
He is set to open the innings alongside the in-form Craig Kieswetter, who heads into the tie after back-to-back hundreds, including a 58-ball century yesterday at Taunton.
South Group winners Sussex welcome Gloucestershire to the PROBIZ County Ground in the day’s second quarter-final.
Matt Prior will be available for the Sharks, having been released by England following the conclusion of the first Investec Test against South Africa.
Gloucestershire finished second in the Midlands/Wales/West Group, and will be hoping seamer Ian Saxelby can continue his good form after he collected 10 wickets in five games.
Yorkshire will still be without former England bowler Ryan Sidebottom for Wednesday’s first quarter-final tie against Worcestershire at Headingley.
The left-arm seamer continues his rehabilitation following a calf injury sustained last month, but loan signing Steve Harmison will be available to lead the attack alongside Australian Mitchell Starc, who has claimed 18 wickets in nine games to lead the wicket-taking standings.
The Royals will be hoping Australian overseas signing Phil Hughes can continue his startling progress in the competition, which has seen him compile 322 runs from just seven innings.
Both clubs are aiming to reach finals day for the first time.
South Group runners-up Hampshire will travel to Trent Bridge to meet Nottinghamshire in the final last-eight clash.
The Outlaws won five of their six completed fixtures, and come into the tie on the back of a comfortable 88-run CB40 victory over Scotland, in which England all-rounder Samit Patel top-scored with 82.
Hampshire will be hoping Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell can continue the form that has earned him a first international call-up after he averaged just under 60 in the group stage. The Royals are aiming to qualify for the semi-finals for the third consecutive year.