Match Report | Essex v Lancashire


Essex v Lancashire | Specsavers County Championship | The Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford

Essex team | Varun Chopra, Nick Browne, Tom Westley, Dan Lawrence, Ravi Bopara, Adam Wheater (WK), Ryan ten Doeschate (C), Simon Harmer, Neil Wagner, Aaron Beard, Jamie Porter.

Lancashire team | Haseeb Hameed, Alex Davies (WK), Liam Livingstone, Steve Croft (C), Shivnerine Chanderpaul, Dane Vilas, Ryan McClaren, Jordan Clark, Steve Parry, Jimmy Anderson, Kyle Jarvis.

Umpires | Nick Cook & Martin Saggers

Toss | Lancashire won and chose to bat

Day Four | Match Highlights

Day Four | Close of Play Report

Dan Lawrence emerged as the Essex hero as they battled their way to a draw in the Division One clash with Lancashire at The Cloudfm County Ground.

The 19 year-old displayed a maturity and discipline beyond his tender years to bat through the day to score a magnificent unbeaten 141 to lead his side to the draw as they reached the close on 316 for 6.

It was a truly phenomenal effort and underlined just what a fine talent he is.

Essex had begun the day on 89 for 2 and with defeat staring them in the face against an attack spearheaded by England new ball bowler Jimmy Anderson.

Even a wobble after lunch, when they lost three wickets for 11 runs to the new ball, failed to disturb Lawrence’s great concentration.

Thanks to his effort, together with fine support from Tom Westley and skipper Ryan ten Doeschate, Essex pulled off “The Great Escape” which can only send them into the next game with Somerset at Taunton on Friday with a spring in their step.

Westley kept Lawrence company throughout the morning session during which they completed their half-centuries and carried the county to 162.

Shortly afterwards, Westley was bowled by left-arm spinner Stephen Parry for 61 to bring an end to a stand of 135 in 58 overs.

When Kyle Jarvis got rid of Ravi Bopara and Adam Wheater for 4 and 1 respectively immediately after the new ball was taken, Essex found themselves 198 for 5 and in deep trouble.

At that point, they were still 279 runs adrift with nearly two sessions to negotiate, and with ten Doeschate the last of the recognised batsman walking out to keep Lawrence company.

But the pair rose to the occasion magnificently to deny Lancashire a victory that had seemed theirs for the taking.

The visitors continually juggled their attack – but it was not until the fifth over of the final 16 that they struck again.

Having contributed 41 in a stand of 102 in 38 overs, ten Doeschate’s resistance was ended by Jarvis who trapped him lbw. His departure increased the burden on Lawrence’s shoulders if survival was to be achieved and he did not disappoint.

Together with Simon Harmer, he made sure that Essex began life in the top-flight with a share of the honours.

Lawrence defied all attempts to remove him for over seven hours and 113 overs. He reached his century from 216 balls with 13 fours and his marathon effort brought him another five boundaries and a standing ovation from the Essex members.

Essex collected 8 points from the match with Lancashire returning home with 11 points for their efforts.

Day Four | Tea Report

Dan Lawrence has struck a magnificent unbeaten century in a bid to steer Essex to a draw as the home side reached the Tea interval on 246 for 5.

Having batted throughout the morning session to leave Essex 162 for 2 at lunch, the partnership between Tom Westley and Lawrence was to last another 9 overs and with 25 added to the score. The two batsmen were finally parted when Westley was bowled by Stephen Parry for 61 to end a partnership that had added an overall 135 in 58 overs.

Westley had faced 190 balls and hit seven fours and soon after his departure with the total on 187, Lancashire took the new ball.

This left Lawrence and Ravi Bopara with the task of seeking to keep Kyle Jarvis and James Anderson at bay but the former quickly separated them.

In his second over, he produced a fine delivery that left Bopara as he pushed forward and found the edge  to leave wicket-keeper Alex Davies with his sixth catch of the match.

Bopara scored 4 and worse was to follow one run and two overs later, with the total on 198, as Jarvis struck again.

This time, the pace man removed Adam Wheater for a single when the batsman drove the ball to Haseeb Hameed in the covers.

Lawrence however remained resolute embracing solid defence with forceful driving.

When Anderson returned, he forced the England paceman off his legs for a couple of runs to complete a magnificent century that had contained 13 fours and spanned 216 deliveries.

Keeping him company was skipper Ryan ten Doeschate as the pair steered clear of further trouble before tea. At the break, Lawrence had reached 105 and ten Doeschate was 19 not out.

Day Four | Lunch Report

Daniel Lawrence and Tom Westley batted throughout the morning session as Essex attempted to steer clear of defeat in their Division One County Championship fixture with Lancashire at The Cloudfm County Ground.

They had resumed on 89 for 2, still 389 runs behind but the third wicket pair defied a succession of bowling changes to reach the interval on 162 for 2 with both batsmen 55 not out.

They showed great determination to see off the early bowling of Jimmy Anderson and Kyle Jarvis, the former conceding just two runs in his opening six overs.

Once he withdrew himself from the attack – Anderson was leading the side in the absence of Stephen Croft who sustained a cracked thumb when batting – runs came a little more easily for the Essex pair.

Lawrence caught the eye with some fine drives among his seven boundaries before reaching his half-century from 125 balls.

Westley followed him to that landmark soon afterwards with a boundary off Jordan Clark, the right-hander’s fifth four of an innings spanning 163 balls at that point.

It was also a stroke that signalled the century partnership and by lunch the Essex duo had posted an unbroken 110 run stand in 32 overs for the third wicket.

Day Three | Match Highlights

Day Three | Ryan ten Doeschate assesses the challenge ahead on Day Four

Day Three | Close of Play Report

Lancashire completely dominated the third day’s play in the Division One County Championship clash at The Cloudfm County Ground to leave Essex with a lot of hard work ahead if they are to save the game.

Left with the unlikely prospect of securing 478  runs for victory, they reached the close on 89 for 2 after the visitors batting dominated proceedings.

Resuming on 114 for 1, Lancashire progressed to 317 for 3 before a declaration brought an end to the home bowlers travails.

They did pick up an early success when teenager Aaron Beard removed Liam Livingstone with only 20 added to the overnight total but that only paved the way for Alex Davies and Dane Vilas to pile on the agony for the home attack and keep the scoreboard moving sweetly for the Red Rose county.

Essex employed seven bowlers in an attempt to halt their progress and the flow of runs but to no avail.

When Vilas was finally bowled by Jamie Porter attempting to scoop the ball to fine leg it brought an end to a partnership worth 183 runs.

Vilas had contributed 92 from 165 balls with just five boundaries. Immediately after he was dismissed, Lancashire captain Steven Croft called the declaration with Davies 140 not out.

It was the opening batsmen’s maiden first-class century and one gained with the help of the Essex fielders. He offered four chances, three of them before he had reached his half-century on Day Two, and was again let of the hook when Neil Wagner spilled a chance in the deep off Tom Westley when the batsman was on 132 and the score on 300.

Davies, who missed the majority of last season with a knee injury, announced his return to fitness with a display that included many fine square cuts in an innings that spanned 265 deliveries and included 21 fours.

Essex were soon in trouble when they began their second innings with a little more than four sessions remaining. Both openers were back in the pavilion with only 52 runs on the board.

Nick Browne despatched a long hop from Stephen Parry into the grateful hands of Haseeb Hameed at mid-wicket after making 18 of the 40 runs on the board whilst Varun Chopra was then bowled for 29 by Ryan McLaren.

The situation  might have been worse had not Lancashire’s fielders displayed some benevolence.

Westley was on 10 when put down by Shivnarine Chanderpaul at extra cover off McLaren and had added only a single when Livingstone put down a catch at first slip to deny Parry a second victim.

But Westley made good his escape to reach the close on 27 with Dan Lawrence keeping him company on 13.

But Essex go into the final day of their opening Championship match of the campaign with much application needed if they are to stave off defeat.

Day Three | Tea Report

Lancashire added a further 105 runs in 25 overs after Lunch before declaring on 317 for 3 and by Tea, Essex had reached 24 without loss. Nick Browne is 6 not out and Varun Chopra 18 not out.

When play resumed for the afternoon session, Alex Davies soon pushed spinner Simon Harmer through mid-wicket for a couple of runs that completed his maiden first-class century. It arrived from 214 balls and included 17 boundaries.

Dane Vilas moved to his half-century from 106 balls that included 4 boundaries and their 100 partnership arrived during a Ravi Bopara over which included three fours.

Davies should have departed on 132 when he was dropped in the deep by Neil Wagner off Tom Westley having put down three chances yesterday.

Both batsmen were scoring with ease and it came as something of a surprise when Vilas, on 92, departed from his concentrated and risk-free technique, to attempt an audacious scoop onto the leg side only to lose his middle stump when facing Jamie Porter for 92.

Vilas had faced 165 balls that included 5 fours and immediately when he was out, Lancashire declared.

Davies finished unbeaten on 140 with the help of 21 boundaries and shared in a stand of 183 with Vilas.

Essex were left requiring 478 to win for victory with four sessions and 7 overs left of play.

Day Three | Lunch Report

The Essex bowlers endured a morning of toil as Lancashire continued to pile on the runs in the Division One fixture at The Cloudfm County Ground to reach 212 for 2 at Lunch on Day Three.

The morning session brought the home attack just a single success as the visitors moved from an overnight 114 for 1 in their second innings to reach the break holding an overall lead of 372 runs.

Alex Davies advanced from 50 to 97 having so far gathered 17 boundaries catching the eye with some impressive cutting and he never looked in any problems against the five bowlers employed.

Aaron Beard claimed the only wicket to fall in the morning’s play when, with the total on 134, he had Liam Livingstone well taken at cover point by Nick Browne for 28.

That paved the way for Dane Vilas to join Davies and he also progressed with ease to reach the interval on 33, the pair having so far shared in a stand of 78 runs in 25 overs.

Day Two | Match Highlights

Day Two | Chris Silverwood reflects on a tough day of cricket

Day Two | Close of Play Report

Essex were left facing a massive task if they were to steer clear of defeat in their Division One clash with Lancashire at The Cloudfm County Ground.  At the close, the visitors had reached 114 for 1 an overall lead of 274 with nine second innings wickets intact.

The home side were rolled over for a disappointing 159 to finish 160 runs behind on first innings before their opponents ensured complete control by the end of the day after Alex Davies completed an unbeaten half-century from 113 balls that included 8 boundaries.

On a pitch that was true, the Essex innings fell way short of expectations, even allowing for Jimmy Anderson demonstrating what a fine bowler he is.

The England fast bowler picked up three wickets  at a cost of 56 runs in 18 overs but he could  quite easily have emerged  with a richer harvest  so often did he beat the bat and keep batsmen guessing.

He produced a superb delivery  to have Tom Westley caught  behind for 15, a dismissal  that came after Varun Chopra  chased a wide delivery  from Kyle Jarvis  and was also caught by wicket-keeper  Davies.

That left Essex on 53 for 4 after they had resumed  on 39 for 2 and they only briefly gave the impression  that they would recover.

Dan Lawrence  and Ravi Bopara added 38 before the former, having struck six boundaries, was caught in the slips when left-arm spinner Stephen Parry joined the attack.

Lawrence departed for 37 while Bopara went on to make 46 before he clipped Anderson to mid-wicket.

Bopara rarely played a shot in anger during the early part of his innings. He managed only two scoring strokes from his first 33 balls  but later accelerated  to lace his innings  with six boundaries to add to the one  that got him off the mark.

He added 48 with skipper Ryan ten Doeschate, the highest  stand of the innings, the pair coming together  after Adam Wheater became another Parry victim when falling lbw for a single in the first over after lunch that left the home side reeling on 99 for 6.

The innings folded quickly after Bopara’s departure. Simon Harmer was trapped leg before by Ryan McLaren who then got rid of ten Doeschate as Davies pouched his fifth catch of the innings.

Parry wrapped up the Essex innings by removing Jamie Porter to finish with 3 for 28 from 14.4 overs.

Lancashire decided against  enforcing the follow-on  and made steady progress in consolidating their advantage although Essex  helped the visitors by spurning three  catches.

Westley, Lawrence and ten Doeschate were the guilty ones  before Aaron Beard  finally found the breakthrough by having Haseeb Hameed caught by Wheater for 45 with the total on 83.

That was to prove the county’s only success  as Davies  (50) and Liam Livingstone  (13 ) left Lancashire going into the third day with a sizeable lead.

Day Two | Tea Report

Essex lost their five wickets after lunch for just 62 runs as they were bowled out for 159 to give Lancashire a first innings lead of 160 runs.

Starting after lunch on 97 for 5, Adam Wheater went to the last ball of the first over after the break when he was leg before wicket to spinner Stephen Parry for 1.

That left Ravi Bopara and Ryan ten Doeschate as the only recognised  batsmen  and they were to add 48 before  the innings went into rapid decline.

With the total on 147, Bopara clipped Jimmy Anderson to short mid-wicket when within 4 runs of a half-century having batted for 2 hours and 10 minutes and faced 112 deliveries. The remaining three wickets  fell in the space of nine overs.

Simon Harmer went lbw to Ryan McLaren’s first delivery of a new spell  and the same bowler  had ten Doeschate caught behind  for 19 to give wicket-keeper Alex Davies his fifth catch of the innings.

With the score on 159, the  innings came to a close when Jamie Porter was  trapped lbw by Parry who along with Anderson picked up three wickets at a cost of 28 and 56 respectively.

Day Two | Lunch Report

Essex found it tough going when they continued their reply to Lancashire’s 319 all out in the Division One clash at The Cloudfm County Ground.

Resuming on 39 for 2, they reached the interval on 97  for 5 with Ravi Bopara unbeaten on 11 and Adam Wheater 0 not out.

Varun Chopra and Tom Westley had started the day at the crease  but both were back in the pavilion whilst  14 runs were added to the overnight total.

Chopra chased a wide delivery from Kyle Jarvis that was edged to wicket-keeper Alex Davies , who then claimed his fourth catch of the innings  to get rid of Westley.

Jimmy Anderson was the successful bowler on that occasion with a superb delivery that moved away from the batsman.

Daniel Lawrence and Ravi Bopara faced the task of rebuilding an innings that had slipped to 53 for 4 against an attack that gave little away. Lawrence did find the boundary  with his first delivery from Jarvis and again picked up  fours with sweetly-timed drives.

Bopara was in very cautious mode and after getting off the mark with a straight driven  four off Jordan Clark, from the 14th ball he received,  he then took another 19 balls before adding to his score.

It was left to Lawrence to keep the scoreboard moving and he twice punished  Ryan McLaren through mid-wicket.

But having reached 37 that included six boundaries, he was to depart when spinner Stephen Parry was introduced into the attack turning the ball into the hands of Liam Livingstone at slip.

His departure came with the total on 91 but Bopara successfully played out the final over before lunch collecting a couple of runs from the final over before the break and then adding a boundary. He has thus far batted for 72 minutes and faced 53 balls.

Day One | Match Highlights

Listen | Aaron Beard reflects on even first day

Day One | Close of Play Report

Essex were 39 for 2 in reply to Lancashire’s 319 all out at the end of the opening day of the Specsavers County Championship Division One season at The Cloudfm County Ground. Varun Chopra was unbeaten on 8 and Tom Westley was 12 not out

The home side were frustrated by a last wicket half-century partnership which featured Kyle Jarvis and Jimmy Anderson who put together a stand of 51 and enabled Lancashire, who won the toss, to post a respectable total.

On a day of fluctuating fortunes, Essex will have been disappointed that they failed to press home their advantage after reducing Lancashire to 160 for 6 and then 269 for 9.

But there were bright spots in their performance on a day when wicketkeeper James Foter was omitted in favour of Adam Wheater.

Aaron Beard and New Zealand Test player Neil Wagner, making his county  debut, bowled at a lively pace to capture three wickets each while Jamie Porter, who was probably the pick of the pace attack, collected a couple of victims.

It was Porter who struck the first blow and an early one at that, when he found the edge to get rid of Alex Davies with Wheater’s help with only 10 runs on the board.

That brought in Liam Livingstone who struck six fours while moving to 28 before Beard claimed his first success. The batsman edged an extravagant drive with the total on 50 and second slip Tom Westley  knocked the ball up for Varun Chopra to complete the catch at first slip.

By then, Haseeb Hameed was well entrenched and together with Steven Croft, carried Lancashire to a healthy 114 for 2 by Lunch.

But in the first hour of the afternoon session, Essex seized control with four wickets.

Hameed failed to add to his 47 when he shouldered arms and was bowled by Porter and soon afterwards, Croft provided South African spinner Simon Harmer with his first wicket for the county when he top-edged a sweep to square leg.

Then Essex tightened the screw by picking up two wickets with the total on 160.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul was run out following a mix-up with Dane Vilas and Ryan McLaren departed first ball to the Wagner-Wheater combination.

But Lancashire were to display their resilience and depth of batting to put the game on an even keel.

With Vilas playing the leading role, there was a stand of 57 with Jordan Clark, whose effort of 24 came to an end when Beard trapped him leg before.

A partnership of 47 followed before Wagner accounted for Stephen Parry while Beard ended the fine innings of Vilas. He had made a forceful 74 from 101 balls with ten boundaries when an off-drive against Beard finished in the hands of Wagner.

But then Anderson joined forces with Jarvis to share in the third half-century stand of the innings that was finally brought to an end by Wagner shortly after the new ball had been taken.

Wagner and Beard finished with 3 for 100 and 3 for 47 respectively while Porter’s two successes came at a cost of 64.

Essex did not get off to the best of starts in reply. Nick Browne was caught behind by Davies when facing Jarvis having scored 16 of the 22 runs on the board while the ploy of sending in Beard as night-watchman failed.

He was quickly undone by Anderson for 3 as Davies claimed his second catch leaving Chopra and Westley to survive and fight another day.

Day One | Tea Report

Essex fought back strongly in the first hour after Lunch as they reduced Lancashire to 160 for 6 before the visitors recovered to reach the tea interval on 240-7.

Jamie Porter began by bowling Haseeb Hammed with the total on 118, the opener shouldering arms and failing to add to his lunch score of 47.

Steven Croft  was two runs short of his half-century when a top-edged sweep finished up in the hands of substitute fielder Callum Taylor, deputing for Ravi Bopara, at square leg that was to provide spinner Simon Harmer with his first wicket for the county.

A mix-up between Dane Vilas and Shivnarine Chanderpaul ended with the latter being run out for 15 after Taylor threw the ball to the non-striker’s end.

Ryan McLaren then fell to the first ball he received when he edged the ball to Tom Westley at second slip to provide Neil Wagner with his first wicket in an Essex sweater to reduce the Red Rose County to 160 for 6 after they had resumed the afternoon session on 114 for 2.

But Vilas and Jordan Clark led a revival with a mixture of solid defence and aggressive strokes to put together a 50 run partnership spanning 12 overs.

Soon afterwards though, with the total on 217, Clark was trapped in the crease by Aaron Beard for 24.

Vilas continued to prosper and reached a fine half-century from 68 balls, 8 of which he sent to the boundary and arrived at Tea on with 54 runs to his name with Stephen Parry 11 not out.

Day One | Lunch Report

Jamie Porter struck in only his second over as Essex embarked upon a new season against Lancashire at The Cloudfm County Ground.

The visitors reached Lunch on 114 for 2 with Haseeb Hameed 47 not out and Steven Croft 34 not out.

Porter got rid of Alex Davies who had scored 5 when he edged to wicket-keeper Adam Wheater. Only 10 runs were on the board when Porter made the breakthrough in a match which signalled the county’s return to Division One following an absence of six years.

However, the visitors could still point to a satisfactory opening session after winning the toss.

Young opener Haseeb Hameed was key to them recovering from that early setback batting throughout the morning and confirming he has recovered from a recent hand injury.

Essex had Simon Harmer and Neil Wagner making their Championship debuts for the county, the latter taking the new ball with Porter and conceding 30 runs in his first spell of six overs.

It was Aaron Beard who claimed the home side’s second success of the morning with the total on 50.

Liam Livingstone had made an aggressive 28 when he edged a full-blooded drive that flew towards the slip cordon. Tom Westley, stationed at second slip, knocked the ball up and Varun Chopra, at first slip completed the catch.

It was Beard, however, who was the more impressive bowler and on several occasions, fund lift that troubled all the batsmen.

Just before the interval, Essex introduced spinner Harmer, the recruit from South Africa, but Hameed and Steven Croft continued to make encouraging progress putting together an unbeaten half-century stand.