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Foster hails big-hitting pair

Middlesex CCC

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Graham Napier and James Foster spoke after their side narrowly won at Lord's

Essex captain James Foster paid tribute to quick-scoring duo Graham Napier and Ryan ten Doeschate following the six-run Friends Life t20 victory over Middlesex at Lord’s.

For the second night running, Foster’s men prevailed in a tight encounter, having beaten Kent by just three runs 24 hours earlier.

James Foster & Graham Napier

Essex captain James Foster was delighted with the "exceptional" performance of all-rounder Graham Napier against Middlesex

Napier contributed 28 off 12 balls to their latest win, while ten Doeschate struck three sixes en route to 38 from 27 deliveries as Essex posted 155 for six. Middlesex were subsequently restricted to 149 for nine in reply.

“Napes was exceptional,” Foster told ecb.co.uk. “He came out from ball one and started scoring boundaries.

“That got him going, got us going and it was also a very important innings by Ryan ten Doeschate. He scored very quickly.

“I think (Gareth) Berg and (Toby) Roland-Jones bowled very well at the death and made it very difficult for us to get on to 160-plus, but it was still a decent score and we backed ourselves to defend it.

“They got very close, credit to them, but we’re absolutely delighted to get over the line with a win.”

Napier reflected positively on his own contribution and also talked up Essex’s chances of reaching finals day at the SWALEC Stadium on August 25.

“I feel my form all season has been good. I’ve been playing for Essex all year and I feel really good about all my cricket,” the all-rounder explained.

“I think every side in the whole country wants to get to finals day and with our side we have got a very strong chance. We’ve got huge depth throughout the whole squad.”

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