ESSEX Eagles fast bowler Sam Cook believes they can compete with any team in the T20 Vitality Blast after securing a seven wicket win over Kent.

The Eagles are in the quarter-final hunt with three wins from six games and are unbeaten at home after their thrashing for Kent.

And Cook, who took two for 14 in the win, says they can take the confidence created from their victory into their forthcoming matches.

Cook said: “We have had two statement wins and really improved across the board in T20.

“I think the way our team is set up now is really strong and we are happy to compete with any team.

“To do the double over Kent as we have is very pleasing and we can take an awful amount of confidence going in to the next couple of games.

“That is probably one of the best powerplays we’ve had since I’ve been playing.

“We really restricted the run rate and to take four wickets made it the perfect powerplay.

“We then didn’t let our feet off the gas and took wickets throughout.”

Michael Pepper was in outstanding form against Kent Spitfires, hitting 50 as the Eagles knocked off 131 with 27 balls to spare.

It followed hot on the heels of his personal best 75 not out against Hampshire Hawks, last week.

And Cook was impressed by Pepper’s innings.

“He (Pepper) was absolutely phenomenal,” said Cook.

“The way he played on that wicket, no one else could do that.

“He took the game by the throat.

“He is a phenomenal player of spin and extremely good T20 batter.

“I’d be extremely surprised not to see him picked up in the Vitality Wildcard draft for the Hundred the way he is going.

“He is an intelligent batter and has all the shots so the ceiling is very high for him.

“He had a great year last year and people might expect he has to come in and play big innings every time but it isn’t an easy game.

“He is scoring his runs at the moment on pitch which aren’t belters which makes it all the more impressive.

“He is taking the confidence from one innings and I think is only going to get better and better.”

Essex are currently third in the Vitality Blast standings with seven points from six games and the Eagles will be aiming for more success when they head to the Hampshire Hawks this evening.

Hampshire are eighth in the nine team table having triumphed twice in their opening six games of the season.

However, Hampshire head into the game after securing a nine wicket win against Middlesex on Tuesday night.