May 24 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Essex’s promotion bid will be modelled on Surrey’s charge to glory last term
Essex head coach Paul Grayson is looking no further than Surrey for inspiration as they look to win promotion back to Division One by ending the season strongly, starting with tomorrow’s Championship game with Leicestershire.
Last year, the south Londoners won five of their last six games to pip Northamptonshire to promotion to Division One.
The Division Two side lie 38 points off the summit spots with six games remaining and Grayson is looking to pick up maximum points against Leicestershire to launch a last-gasp promotion push.
“We know that we’ve got to start winning matches if we want to get one of those top two places in the division,” Grayson said.
“Surrey were in quite a similar position to us at this time last year and won five out of their last six games, so we know it can be done.
“We have the players to do it; it’s just a matter of hitting some good form at the right time.”
Captain James Foster returns after missing the agonising two-run defeat to Hampshire, where they fought back after a bad start as both sides made early declarations to set up the game.
After the first day, Hampshire had scored over 300 in their first innings for the loss of only six wickets and Grayson wants to avoid history repeating itself.
“We know that we have to start winning cricket matches but we can only control what we do as a team,” he said.
“But there are ways that you do that in four-day cricket and you can’t win a four-day match on the first day. But you can lose it by being reckless and daft.
“If it means that we win a four-day match at tea on the final day, then so be it because it means it’s been a hard-earned victory, and they are very satisfying performances when you do that.”
Squad: Foster, Mickleburgh, Westley, Shah, Pettini, ten Doeschate, Wheater, Napier, Singh, Masters, Chambers, Craddock, Mills.