Match Preview | Lancashire v Essex


Pace-setters Essex meet nearest pursuers Lancashire at Old Trafford starting on Tuesday in the race for the Specsavers County Championship Division One title.

After a fifth successive win in the competition this year with the victory over Somerset at The Cloudfm County Ground, Essex took the tally of wins to seven and remain unbeaten with just four matches remaining.

The Red Rose county also recorded a win in their last match when they beat Warwickshire and that left them 36 points adrift of the league leaders.

Chris Silverwood was naturally a proud man after watching his team brush aside a Somerset side after the home side had trailed by 5 runs on first innings. This was after losing the services of Mohammad Amir who was sidelined with a back spasm sustained during the early stages of the Somerset first innings.

However, fellow paceman Jamie Porter stepped forward to spearhead the attack. He took seven Somerset wickets in the second innings, taking his haul for the match to 12 and on the way, recorded his 50th Championship wicket of the summer.

“We showed great character,” the Essex Head Coach admitted. “Going into the last day, we knew we had a lot of hard work ahead but Nick Browne, Adam Wheater and Tendo [Ryan ten Doeschate] got runs on the board for us. Then, being a bowler down, for Ports to step up and do what he did was absolutely fantastic.

“So there were some good individual performances but Jamie’s was the stand-out one. To force the victory from where we were at one stage and with the loss of virtually a day’s play was incredible and the boys keep showing us they can find ways of winning.

“That’s what good teams do and these guys are turning into a good team.”

Looking ahead had to the Lancashire game, he continued, “We’ve got a nice healthy gap points wise between us and them, and it does give us a bit of a breathing space but there is a massive game in prospect next week when we play at Old Trafford.

“We are really looking forward to the contest and as I say, it should be a cracking match.

“We can’t wait to get started.”

Essex squad to face Lancashire:

Varun Chopra (27) Captain
James Foster (7) Wicket Keeper
Mohammad Amir (5)
Nick Browne (10)
Simon Harmer (11)
Sam Cook (16)
Paul Walter (22)
Ravi Bopara (25)
Dan Lawrence (28)
Matt Dixon (30)
Adam Wheater (31)
Jamie Porter (44)
Callum Taylor (67)
Ashar Zaidi (99)