ESSEX Eagles t20 captain Ryan ten Doeschate is aiming to bring a winning mentality to his side as they look to reach Finals Day.

The South African-born Dutch international missed the start of the new t20 campaign as he was playing overseas with the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League – a competition he helped them win.

And the 34-year-old all-rounder says he was very pleased to return to Essex to rejoin a side that had got their t20 campaign off to such a strong start.

“I enjoyed great success in Kolkata and that can only do good things for your confidence,” said one-day skipper ten Doeschate. “Winning there is something I want to replicate here with Essex and there is no reason we can’t do it.

“There is a lot of confidence flowing through the team. We know where we are strong and, whereas we came top of our group Birmingham Bears finished fourth in theirs.

“But, the nature of t20 means we won’t be taking anything for granted and we will have done our homework.”

The Dutch cricketer said he has not been able to contribute as much as he would have liked, as he has been batting at number five or, more frequently, six but has still racked up 294 runs in his eight innings.

“I have batted in the middle order throughout this season so my runs have not been as crucial as those who have built a total at the very start of the innings.

“Saying that, if the team need me to score, I am in a position to provide support further down the line. And that works for me.”

Ten Doeschate heaped praise on overseas star Jesse Ryder, who has really come into his own in the past six weeks – contributing as much with the ball as he has done with the bat.

Ryder has the second-best bowling figures for an innings in the competition, after he claimed 5-27 against Kent Spitfires earlier in the month.

“Jesse has been brilliant,” said ten Doeschate. “Some people may judge him on his reputation and sometimes a reputation can give you a good idea what a person is going to be like – but this isn’t one of those times.

“He is a very caring and quiet person and has been so helpful – offering guidance and help whenever it is needed. We hope he can contribute as much this weekend.”

And the South African says he has also enjoyed the added responsibility of leading the Eagles in the shorter form of the game.

“I have loved captaining the side. I have picked up some good habits from previous captains and have tried to put them into practice. I want an all-inclusive team and to win that trophy for the boys.”