Match Report | Essex v Durham MCCU


Essex v Durham MCCU | 3-Day Friendly Match (First Class) | Cloudfm County Ground

Essex team | Nick Browne, Varun Chopra, Tom Westley, Dan Lawrence, Ravi Bopara, Adam Wheater +, Ryan ten Doeschate*, Simon Harmer, Aaron Beard, Matt Dixon, Jamie Porter.

Durham MCCU team | Will Fraine, Jack Clark, Ed Pollock, Jason Marshall, James McCollum, Joe Cooke*, Sebastian Stewart-Taylor +, Darrel Williams, Abhi Singh, Freddy Simon, Xavier Owen.

Umpires | Neil Bainton & Chris Watts

Toss | Essex won, who elected to bat first

Day Three | Close of Play Report

Essex and Durham MCCU drew their three-day friendly at The Cloudfm County Ground after the students had reached 124 for 2 in pursuit of a 503 runs for victory.

Essex batted throughout the morning session adding 153 runs for the loss of two wickets with Ravi Bopara hitting 75, Ryan ten Doeschate an unbeaten 47 and Dan Lawrence 43 as the chief contributors to a total of 356 for 5 declared.

Nick Browne had retired out overnight having scored 113 on day two allowing a number of his colleagues time in the middle ahead of the opening Specsavers County Championship match of the season with Lancashire at Chelmsford starting on Friday.

Bopara used his feet to good effect and timed the ball well to post his half-century from 69 balls that included nine boundaries and when he was caught driving the ball to long-off, he had faced 93 balls and struck one 6 and ten fours.

Skipper ten Doeschate provided the most entertaining contribution with 2 sixes and 3 fours during his hour in the middle before Essex declared on 356 for 5.

Left with two sessions to face, the visitors made a steady start seeing off the new ball pair of Jamie Porter and Aaron Beard before first change Matt Dixon gained the breakthrough in the 19th over with the total on 44.

Will Fraine, having scored a vigilant 19, drove at a ball that took the edge and was caught by Browne at third slip. In his next over and three runs later, Dixon struck again, this time when he claimed the other opener Jack Clark.

Clark was on 18 when he went on the back foot facing Dixon and drove the ball to substitute fielder Callum Taylor who was temporarily deputising for Varun Chopra.

By tea, Durham MCCU were 67 for 32 having faced 30 overs but both Ed Pollock and Jason Marshall played with confidence to bat comfortably through a further 21 overs before the teams shook hands on the draw two overs after the final hour had commenced.

Dixon ended with figures of 8-2-22-2.

Essex start their County Championship campaign with a visit from Lancashire starting on Friday.

Day Three | Tea Report

Durham MCCU arrived at tea having scored 67 for 2 having initially been set a 503 run victory target.

Essex declared their second innings at lunch on 356 for 4 but the home side’s attack had to be patient before getting the breakthrough. The students opening pair of Will Fraine and Jack Clark batted vigilantly and at one stage, faced 19 balls before adding to the total.

It was in the 19 over when Matt Dixon ended their resistance after an hour and three-quarters when he encouraged Fraine a delivery outside off, found the edge and the ball was caught by Nick Browne at third slip.

Fraine had scored 19 of the 44 runs on the board and three runs later and in his next over, Dixon was again successful when he accounted for Clark.

The batsman, on 18, went on the back foot and drove the ball to cover where substitute fielder Callum Taylor, deputising for Varun Chopra, took the catch.  

Ed Pollock and Jason Marshall comfortably dealt with the nine overs before tea with the latter pulling a delivery from Jamie Porter over the ropes at deep mid-wicket.   

Pollock had scored five and Marshall was 19 not out at the interval whilst Dixon had the impressive figures of 5-2-5-2 at the interval.

Day Three | Lunch Report

Ravi Bopara struck 75 as Essex reached 356 for 5 at lunch in their three-day first-class friendly with Durham MCCU at The Cloudfm County Ground.

Nick Browne retired out on his overnight score of 113 and Bopara and Dan Lawrence posted 72 in 12 overs before Lawrence drove spinner Abhi Singh to Joe Cooke at mid-off to bring an end to his innings of 43 that included 6 fours in his 62-ball innings.

Bopara took full advantage of the opportunity to spend time in the middle ahead of Friday’s opening Specsavers County Championship fixture with Lancashire timing the ball sweetly and producing a series of fine drives.

His half-century arrived from 69 balls and included nine fours and two deliveries after reaching the milestone, he celebrated by launching a ball from Singh over the boundary.

Together with Ryan ten Doeschate, 95 were added in 14 overs until Bopara drove Darrel Williams to long-off to conclude to his 93 ball knock that included one 6 and 10 fours.

Captain ten Doeschate was 47 not out and Simon Harmer had seven when the lunch interval arrived with Essex 502 runs ahead.

Essex declared their second innings at lunch with two sessions of play remaining.

Day Two | Close of Play Report

A century by Nick Browne gave Essex an overall lead of 349 runs as they reached the end of the second day’s play at The Cloudfm County Ground, Essex on 203 for 2 in the second innings against Durham MCCU.

Browne batted faultlessly reaching his hundred from 115 deliveries and displaying a number of powerful well-timed drives on both sides of the wicket in a well-crafted effort as he dictated the bowling. He brought his score into three figures with a straight driven off-drive that raced to the boundary, his 19th four at that stage.

Essex had enjoyed a first innings lead 146 after bowling out their opponents for 187 and openers Browne and Varun Chopra extended that advantage by 61 runs before Freddy Simon trapped Chopra in front of his stumps for 30.

Tom Westley then joined Browne in a lively stand worth 70 in 14 overs before Westley, having faced 43 balls and struck six fours, was caught at cover off Darrel Williams for 34.

Browne though soldiered on finding another solid partner in Dan Lawrence as the duo added an unbeaten 72 runs for the third wicket with the latter unbeaten on 25 and Browne 113 not out at the close of play.

Earlier Jamie Porter returned 4 for 35 as the visitors rallied after being 101 for 7. An 8th wicket partnership of 84 between Abhi Singh and Darrel Williams frustrated the home side for more than 2 and a quarter hours and it was off-spinner Simon Harmer that eventually broke the pair’s resistance.

He had Singh caught at mid-off by Porter for 44 to end an entertaining knock that included 6 boundaries and in the same over, enticed Williams to edge a ball into the hands of Chopra at first to end his patient innings of 32 runs.

Porter had previously added the wickets of Ed Pollock (38) and Joe McCollum (7) to his overnight haul with the dismissal of the batsman owing much to a magnificent one-handed catch by Westley who moved sharply to his right at second slip to take the chance.

Westley was also to grab two more catches, one off Matt Dixon when Joe Cooke was caught for 7 whilst his third catch was also a contender for catch of the match. Sebastian Stewart-Taylor drove a ball when facing Aaron Beard and the ball flew off the edge and Westley took a magnificent left-handed catch.

The final wicket of the innings fell to Ravi Bopara who was able to record his 200th First Class wicket for Essex when Harmer caught Simon.

Day Two | Tea Report 

Essex held an overall lead of 179 runs with all ten second innings wickets intact at Tea after they dismissed Durham MCCU for 187 at The Cloudfm County Ground before reaching 33 without loss in their second innings.

Commencing the post-lunch session on 138 for 7, the students were well served by an eight wicket partnership worth 84 between Darel Williams and Abhi Singh which represented the highest stand of the match so far.

The pair batted together for a total of 2 and a quarter hours before off-spinner Simon Harmer got the breakthrough with the first ball of a new spell.

Singh, who had been dropped on 21 by Adam Wheater off the bowling of Aaron Beard when the score was 154, drove Harmer to Jamie Porter at mid-off to end his innings of 44 runs made from 107 balls that included 6 boundaries.

Now 185 for 8, the ninth wicket fell on the same score when Harmer struck with the final ball in the same over. This time, the victim was Williams who edged to Varun Chopra at first slip and departed for 32 having batted for almost three hours.

Ravi Bopara ended the innings two runs and two overs later when he claimed his 200th wicket for Essex by having Freddy Simon caught by Harmer at third slip.

Porter finished with 4 for 35, Harmer 2 for 19, Matt Dixon 2 for 30 and Bopara 1 for 20.

Essex began their second innings with 11 overs remaining until tea during which time Chopra scored 12 and Nick Browne 20.

Day Two | Lunch Report

Tom Westley took three catches at second slip as Durham MCCU lost four wickets in the morning session to reach lunch on 138 for 7, still trailing Essex by 195 runs on first innings at The Cloudfm County Ground.

The visitors started the day on 66 for 3 and had added just 12 runs when Jamie Porter claimed the first wicket of the session. With the first ball of his second over of the morning, the pace man trapped James McCollum, who had made 7, in front of his stumps.

The totalled advanced to 91 when Westley decided to take a hand in proceedings. Ed Pollock, who had had batted attractively to strike five boundaries in his 38, drove at Porter and the ball flew off an edge and Westley moved to his right from second slip to take a superb one-handed catch.

Three balls and two runs later, Westley held onto a catch off the bowling of Matt Dixon to account for Joe Cooke for 7.

The students brought their score into three figures when Sebastian Stewart-Taylor steered a delivery from Ravi Bopara to the boundary but then Westley completed his hat-trick of catches when holding onto a sharp catch one-handed to send Stewart-Taylor (8) back to the Pavilion that gave Aaron Beard his first wicket of the innings.

Darrel Williams and Abhi Singh then batted sensibly for an unbroken partnership worth 37 runs to see the University through to lunch. Williams is19 not out and Singh has 16 to his name whilst Porter has so far taken 4 for 31 and Dixon 2 for 24.

Day One | Close of Play Report

Adam Wheater launched the First Class season for Essex with a century, before the home side were bowled out for 333 on the opening day of the three-day First Class MCC University fixture against Durham MCCU at The Cloudfm County Ground.

In response, the Students had reached 66 for 3 at the close with two wickets for Jamie Porter and one for Matt Dixon.

The ever-resourceful Wheater played with confidence from the start of his innings,  picking off the loose deliveries with impressive ease and driving effectively on both sides of the wicket. He reached his fifty from 65 balls with the seventh four of his innings having also pulled a delivery from medium-pacer Joe Cooke over the rope at deep mid-wicket.

Wheater’s next 50 took a further 62 balls during which time he added five more fours and he finally departed for 102 when he was caught at point off pace bowler Freddy Simon.

During his knock, he had figured in two half-century partnerships, the first worth 54 with Simon Harmer, who scored 14, and the next with Aaron Beard who was to go on and complete a maiden half-century.

Essex won the toss but lost their first two wickets within the opening 7 overs of the day. Varun Chopra had made 16 of the 21 runs on the board when he edged to second slip.

Then, and without addition, Tom Westley was dismissed for a duck when he moved in front of his stumps and was adjudged leg before wicket.

Next to go was Dan Lawrence for 16 but opener Nick Browne continued to play  with assurance to arrive at his fifty from 69 balls, 44 of those runs coming in boundaries.

He had moved onto 66 when he drove a catch to mid-off to leave Essex 126 for 4.

Wheater then took on the responsibility of improving the situation, which he did so effectively. He added 41 with Ravi Bopara before the latter departed for a patient 39. When Wheater was finally dismissed to become the 8th wicket to fall, he had carried the Essex total onto 293.

Jamie Porter fell for a single, Dixon went for 4 leaving Beard unbeaten on 58, his fifty having come from 63 balls with 8 boundaries.

Beard then took the new ball with Jamie Porter and it was the latter who gained his first wicket of the new season when he found the edge to have Jack Clark  caught by keeper Wheater for a duck with just one run on the board.

Porter then doubled his tally when Will Fraine, having scored 23 out of the 32 runs on the board, was beaten by a delivery that moved away and was bowled.

Dixon replaced Beard and in his third over, accounted for Jason Marshall  for 6 when the batsman walked in front of his stumps.

At the close with the students trailing by 267 runs, Ed Pollock was 25 not out whilst James McCollum was unbeaten on 6.

Porter has taken 2 for 18 from 6 overs and Dixon 1 for 19 from 4 overs.


Day One | Tea Report

A century for Adam Wheater has been the feature of the Essex innings as the home side reached 299 for 8 at tea on the opening day of the three-day First Class friendly with Durham MCCU at The Cloudfm County Ground. Aaron Beard remains unbeaten on 29 at the break and Jamie Porter has yet to get off the mark.

Wheater played with his usual positive approach to collect 12 boundaries and a six during his innings that spanned 130 deliveries and brought up his hundred with a cut  that raced to the boundary.

However, three balls later and with his score on 102, he drove outside off stump and  was caught by Joe Cooke at point to give pace bowler Freddy Simon a second wicket.

Essex had resumed on 144 for 4 after lunch  with Ravi Bopara and Wheater at the crease. Bopara  produced a splendid cover drive to bring up the 150  but with the score on 167,  he came stepped out of his crease when facing spinner Abhi Singh and was stumped for 39.

Ryan ten Doeschate joined Wheater  but the skipper was caught  in the covers having scored 5 to leave his side 184-6.

New signing, Simon Harmer came to the crease  and the South African got off the mark immediately with a boundary. He and Wheater shared a 54 runs partnership spanning 12 overs before Harmer, on 14, picked out deep extra cover.

Wheater though continued to play with aggression and nimble footwork that allowed hi  to execute a fluent array of drives on his way to his deserved century. He was later dismissed in the over before tea.


Day One | Lunch Report

Ravi Bopara was unbeaten on 32 and Adam Wheater was 12 not out as Essex reached lunch on 144 for 4 on the opening day of the First Class friendly with Durham MCCU at The Cloudfm County Ground.

The home side won the toss but lost the first two wickets with the score on 21. Varun Chopra  had got the scoreboard moving taking a single from the  4th ball of the day  and in the next over, collected a couple of boundaries when facing Freddy Simon.

However, his opening partnership with Nick Browne was brought to a close when he drove at a delivery from Xavier Owen and was caught at second slip for 16 by Will Fraine.

Tom Westley, lasted three balls when he was pinned in front of his stumps by Owen having failed to score. That brought Dan Lawrence to the crease and both he and Browne soon collected boundaries on either side of the wicket and another boundary by Lawrence took the total past 50.

The duo had taken their stand to 39 in 9 overs when Lawrence was caught at mid-wicket off  the bowling of Joe Cooke for 16.

Browne continued to make progress and brought up his half-century having faced 69 balls of which 11 reached the boundary. He and Ravi Bopara looked increasingly comfortable as a half-century partnership was reached  but having taken their stand to 66 in 15 overs, spinner Abhi Singh ended their alliance when he encouraged Browne to drive to mid-off .

Browne had faced 89 balls and collected 12 fours and with Essex now 126-4, Adam Wheater joined Bopara through the remaining 7 overs until lunch.

Wheater got off the mark when he pulled a delivery from Cooke over the ropes at mid-wicket whilst Bopara played watchfully having batted for almost an hour and a quarter and gathered 3 fours.