FEROZE Khushi is determined to build on Essex’s successful start to the season.

The 21-year-old played a pivotal part in Essex’s exciting two wicket win against Kent in their opening Bob Willis Trophy clash of the campaign.

And Khushi is keen for Essex, who won the double last season, to carry on in a similar vein.

“We have started off well and it is kind of like we are carrying on from where we left off last year,” said Khushi.

“It was good to get the win but it was quite a nervy ending to be honest.

“It was a little nervous in the changing room, although we were generally quite calm because we believed the two guys out in the middle would see us through.

“You are a little on the edge when you see a couple of quick ones but once we were into single figures we were happy with that.”

Sam Cook and wicketkeeper Adam Wheater got Essex over the line, scoring the required 31 runs between them.

But, prior to their arrival, Khushi had scored an important 45 as he rebuilt the Essex innings alongside Alastair Cook.

And Khushi relished his role in proceedings.

“At 60-odd for four we needed a good partnership to stay in the game so I was happy to get a few runs with Cookie,” said Khushi.

“It was nice to bat with someone like Chef [Sir Alistair Cook].

“He is a really calming figure and has been a big influence on me.

“He told me to take one ball at a time, but I backed myself as well as I knew I was put in the team for a reason.”

But Khushi was always confident Essex would be able to come out on top.

“If there is any side who would come back in a game it is us,” said Khushi.

“We are such a hard-working side and it is great to play with those type of guys.”

However, Khushi was frustrated Essex’s fans were unable to witness the drama unfold as the game was played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is shame we can’t have a crowd in the ground but I know people are still watching,” said Khushi.

“I also know there would have been a lot of people watching me at home on the live stream.”

Essex will now be looking for another win when they start their latest four day clash with Surrey at the County Ground on Saturday.

But Kent captain Daniel Bell-Drummond knows only too well how tough Essex are to beat.

And he was pleased to see his side running their hosts close.

“To take the champions from last year and make it a very difficult game in the end means there are a lot of positives to take,” said Bell-Drummond.

“The third innings collapse was the reason we lost the game so the main feeling is of disappointment.

“But we are very proud of the bowlers’ efforts and the first innings batting as well."