Cook and Browne smash Partnership Record


Essex and England opener Alastair Cook shared a record opening partnership with Nick Browne on Day 3 of the Specsavers County Championship match against Middlesex under the lights at Chelmsford.

Cook contributed with his sixth century of the 2017 season in all competitions, whilst Browne recorded his highest score in the County Championship this year as the pair put on an opening stand of 373 to put Essex firmly in the driving seat going into the final day of the tie. The pair arrived at the crease late in the evening on Day 1 and they remained there for a total time of six and a half hours. Once the pair had departed the crease, the Essex charge was left in good hands with Varun Chopra recording an unbeaten century off just 75 balls, a score which contained two fours and six sixes. Essex Captain Ryan ten Doeschate decided to put Middlesex out of their misery as Essex reached a total of 542-3 dec, and with the Middlesex reply adding just 27 runs to their first innings total, this means that Middlesex would require another 269 runs on Day 4 to avoid defeat without Essex having to bat again.

With Cook and Browne being so successful with their time spent in the middle, numerous records were broken by the pair on Day 3 the most notable being their surpassing of the previous record set by Graham Gooch and Paul Prichard, for the highest first-wicket partnership in Essex’s 141 year history. Gooch and Prichard’s partnership of 316 achieved in the summer of 1994 on the same outfield was eclipsed as Cook provided 193 runs before Browne would go through the gears to reach a personal best score of 221, which initially formed a partnership of 373 after 104.1 overs.

Essex faced Kent in the previously named Britannic Assurance County Championship at Chelmsford in May 1994 where Essex legend Graham Gooch scored 236 runs form 332 balls, including 26 fours and three sixes, in the first innings. The Wisden Cricketer of the Year of 1980 was partnered at the crease by Paul Prichard, who later became captain of Essex between the years of 1995-1998. Prichard complimented Gooch very nicely on this day scoring 109 runs before being caught and bowled by right-arm off spinner Carl Hooper. The Essex pair however produced an outstanding record opening partnership of 316, a record which had not been broken until now.

Play resumes at 2:00pm on Day 4 with Middlesex 27-0, with Essex having claimed all available bonus points. The Essex bowlers will look to try and pick up some early wickets in order to help their case for gaining their 5th win of the season to cement their place at the top of Division One. Gates open at 1:00pm with tickets on sale on the door. There will be reduced ticket prices after the tea break in this installment of Day-Night cricket at the Cloudfm County Ground.