Old rivals in crucial clash

CRICKET: Old rivals Essex Cricket Board and Suffolk meet in a crucial ECB 38-County Trophy group game at Chelmsford on Sunday.Both sides have so far played, and beaten Hertfordshire, while Suffolk's home game against Cambridgeshire a fortnight ago was abandoned after just four overs.

CRICKET

OLD rivals Essex Cricket Board and Suffolk meet in a crucial ECB 38-County Trophy group game at Chelmsford on Sunday.

Both sides have so far played, and beaten Hertfordshire, while Suffolk's home game against Cambridgeshire a fortnight ago was abandoned after just four overs.

Whoever wins at the County Ground tomorrow, start 11am, will be in pole position to qualify from the group for the later stages of the 50 overs-a-side competition.


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Essex give debuts to two players – opening batsman Mohammed Aktar, who plays for South Woodford and Fiaz Ahmed, a slow left armer who plays for Wanstead.

They also include Graham Napier, who played his part in helping Essex reach the Benson & Hedges Cup final. Napier is fit again to bowl after a back injury and the county are keen for him to get as much practice as possible. Opening bowler Andrew McGarry is the other Essex contracted player.

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Tony Debenham, secretary of the Essex CB, said: "We always have a tight game against Suffolk and I am sure Sunday's game will be no different. It is an important game for both sides in the context of the group."

Suffolk make two enforced changes to the side that came within one wicket of defeating Northamptonshire in the Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy last week.

South African Andrew Hall is ineligible and Richard Pineo is on holiday. They are replaced by Matt Catley and James East respectively.

Kevin Brooks, Suffolk's Director of Cricket, said: "This match probably has more importance to our seaon than the C&G Trophy game as the competition provides us with a great opportunity to win something.

"Having played Essex Cricket Board on several occasions in the last few seasons it is clear that we are two evenly matched sides and the result of the game will undoubtedly have some bearing on the eventual winners of the group.

"It is always a difficult gamebut at least we can go into it full of confidence on the back of our display against Northants."

Tomorrow's sides

Essex CB: M Aktar, A Richards (capt), G Napier, A Kennedy, Andan Akram, D Paveling (wkt), Arfan Akram, A Mackinlay, F Ahmed, A Palladino, A McGarry.

Suffolk: R Catley, A Brown, B Athey, M Catley, P Caley (capt), C Warn (wkt), T Smith, C Swallow, K Shaw, James East, G Kirk.

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