Match Report | Essex v Lancashire


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

Essex | Nick Browne (10), Varun Chopra (6), Tom Westley (21), Dan Lawrence (28), Ravi Bopara (25), Ryan ten Doeschate* (27), James Foster+ (7), Paul Walter (22), Simon Harmer (11), Peter Siddle (64), Jamie Porter (44).

Lancashire | Liam Livingstone (C), Tom Bailey, Shiv Chanderpaul, Jordan Clark, Alex Davies, Haseeb Hameed, Keaton Jennings, Joe Mennie, Graham Onions, Matt Parkinson, Dane Vilas

Umpires | Rob Bailey & Neil Bainton

Toss | Uncontested, Lancashire elected to bowl first.

Result | Essex win by 31 runs

Day Three Match Highlights:

Day Three | Close of Play Report

Essex were to experience some nail-biting moments before they were able to celebrate a 31 run victory over Lancashire at The Cloudfm County Ground.

The champions looked set for a much more comfortable victory when the visitors lost their ninth wicket with the total on 246 in their quest to reach a victory target of 320.

But Joe Mennie condemned them to a jittery finale. With Matt Parkinson providing obdurate defence at one end, Mennie opened his shoulders at the other.

He smashed three sixes – two off Ravi Bopara and one against Simon Harmer – as he helped himself to 56 from 91 deliveries that also contained a couple of fours.

In the end, his valiant effort ended in failure with the total on 288 as Jamie Porter breached his defences going for another big hit.

That gave Porter his fourth wicket of the innings. His successes came at a cost of 54 to finish with a match haul of 9 for 80.

On a pitch which became slower and flatter as the game wore on, Essex whose opening game against Yorkshire was abandoned without a ball being bowled, were made to fight hard for their triumph.

It had promised to be a much easier when Porter and Peter Siddle removed openers Haseeb Hameed and Keaton Jennings  early on with 32 on the board.

But Alex Davies, Jordan Clark and Mennie had other ideas. Davies led the fightback after Hameed had his off stump knocked out of the ground by Porter with a superb 71 from 85 balls that included 11 boundaries.

Davies was finally undone by a Porter yorker that trapped him lbw with the total on 139 and the visitors a long way from the winning post with only five wickets left.

But Clark was to show there was still plenty of fight left in Lancashire with a fine 59 from 81 deliveries that contained five fours. He too became an lbw victim of the impressive Porter leaving Mennie to step up a couple of gears and leave the nerves of Essex players and supporters jangling.

It was fitting  hat Porter  proved the match winner. He was the most impressive bowler on view, his ability to maintain  a good length  being a key factor  on a docile pitch.

In contrast Simon Harmer was unable to make his usual telling impression. It was not until his 25th over  of the innings that the off-spinner collected his solitary wicket and his eventual 29 overs cost 109 runs.

Left-arm seamer Paul Walter was to play a decisive part in the county’s success when he removed Liam Livingstone and Shivnarine Chanderpaul within the space of six deliveries immediately after lunch. He finished with 2 for 21 from 6 overs while Siddle emerged with 2 for 55 from 20 overs – his first wickets for the county.

Essex claimed 19 points from the match whilst Lancashire settled for just 3 points as they experienced their second defeat in as many matches his season.

Day Three | Tea Report

The introduction of Paul Walter after Lunch met with immediate effect when he struck twice within the space of six deliveries.

Lancashire resumed on 84 for 2 but four runs later, Walter had Liam Livingstone caught behind in his first over. Then the tall left-arm seamer dispatched Shivnarine Chanderpaul lbw for a single in his next over to leave Lancashire 98 for 4.

Alex Davies, however, continued to bat fluently and reached a deserved half-century from 66 balls with seven boundaries.

He had now been joined by Dane Vilas on a ground which harboured happy memories for both.

In the corresponding fixture last season, Davies made an unbeaten 140 and Vilas 92 in a drawn match but there was to be no repeat on this occasion.

Davies reached his half-century having faced 66 balls with seven boundaries and had moved onto 71 with the total on 139 when  he was lbw to a yorker sent down by Jamie Porter.

The visitors lost their sixth wicket with the score now on 172, when Peter Siddle returned to remove Vilas lbw for 22.

Siddle then turned the game squarely in Essex’s favour when he ran out Tom Bailey with a direct throw from the mid-wicket area. He was sent back by Jordan Clark only for the Australian, who was bowling, to swoop on the ball and beat the despairing  dive of the Lancashire batsman.

But Essex hopes of wrapping up the innings swiftly were frustrated by Jordan Clark and Joe Mennie.

The pair took their side through to the tea interval with an unbroken partnership of 36 as Lancashire reached the break on 231 for 7, still needing a further 89 runs for victory.

Day Three | Lunch Report

Essex were being met with gritty resistance as they went in search of their first win of the Championship season, having set Lancashire 320 runs for victory at The Cloudfm County Ground.

At Lunch, the visitors had reached 84 for 2, with Alex Davies unbeaten on 33 and Liam Livingstone 20 not out.

After removing the openers for 32, Essex were frustrated by an unbroken third wicket partnership of 52 to leave the match very much in the balance.

Jamie Porter claimed Essex’s first success in his second over when he sent the off stump of Haseeb Hameed cartwheeling out of the ground with just 7 runs on the board.

Then Peter Siddle picked up his first wicket for the County in his seventh over, after going wicketless while sending down 13 overs in the first innings.

The Australian owed his success to a fine catch low down at first slip by Varun Chopra to get rid of Keaton Jennings, who like Hameed, is being touted for a place in the England test side.

Jennings had completed a useful 24 before his departure but that proved the home side’s last success before the interval.

Off-spinner Simon Harmer was brought into the attack after only 10 overs but although the batsmen never looked entirely comfortable against him, they managed to keep the South African bowler at bay.

Davies and Livingstone were forced to adopt a cautious approach against bowlers who gave very little away until Davies suddenly upped the tempo tasking three boundaries in an over when Porter returned for another spell.

Day Two Match Highlights:

Day Two Reaction | James Foster:


Day Two | Close of Play Report:

An 8th wicket stand between James Foster and Simon Harmer leaves Essex favourites to win the Specsavers County Championship duel against Lancashire at The Cloudfm County Ground.

It yielded 103 runs as the reigning Champions were bowled out for 313 just before the scheduled close to leave their opponents going in the third day with a victory target of 320.

Foster, who has often come up trumps when the county need him to perform, was last man out for 69 while Harmer followed up his five-wicket haul with a valuable 49.

It represented a superb effort on their part as they seized the initiative with a mixture of determination and aggression.

They came together with the game seemingly evenly poised at 208 for 7.

Essex had earned a slender first innings lead of six runs after bowling their opponents out for 144.

The day started with the home side requiring just nine deliveries to claim the remaining two Lancashire wickets.

Jamie Porter shattered the stumps of Graham Onions with just three runs added to the overnight 141 for 8 to finish with 5 for 26 from a dozen overs, the eighth five-wicket haul of his career.

Then Harmer picked up his fifth wicket when he brought the innings to a close by bowling Jordan Clark. His haul came at a cost of 46 in 15.1 overs.

Varun Chopra was soon scoring freely when Essex went in again, collecting seven boundaries while contributing 32 in an opening stand of 48 with Nick Browne.

He departed when Graham Onions breached his defences and two more wickets fell quickly in somewhat controversial circumstances with the dismissals of Browne and Dan Lawrence.

Both initially stood their ground questioning whether the ball had been carried, in Browne’s case to Dane Vilas in the gully while Lawrence had played the ball to Liam Livingstone in the slips.

Umpires Neil Bainton and Rob Bailey conferred before confirming their dismissal verdicts, Browne departing for 17 and Lawrence 5.

Following their exits, Tom Westley batted responsibly and with authority to make 49 before driving leg-spinner Matt Parkinson into the hands of short cover while Ravi Bopara and Ryan ten Doeschate both fell in the 20’s when looking well set.

Paul Walter became a victim of Joe Mennie but that was to pave the way for what could prove a match-winning stand.

The new ball was taken with the score on 270 for 7 but it failed to curb the collection of runs for the hosts

Foster struck eight fours in completing his half-century from 80 balls while Harmer had moved to within one run of his 50 having collected 5 fours when Tom Bailey had him caught behind with the total on 311.

One run later, Peter Siddle, who top-scored in the first innings with an unbeaten 33 fell lbw to Bailey for a duck while the same bowler ended Foster’s fine innings when he trapped him in front of his stumps. The Essex stalwart had faced 125 deliveries and collected 10 boundaries during his 169 minutes stay at the crease.

Bailey finished with 3 for 73 while Onions and Mennie also picked up three wickets at a cost of 57 and 47 respectively.

Day Two | Tea Report:

After starting the post-lunch session on 82 for 3, Tom Westley and Ravi Bopara both caught the eye after lunch with attacking strokes on either side of the wicket while putting together a half-century stand.

But it was brought to an end after it had produced 57 runs to carry Essex to 127. It was then that the fourth wicket fell as Bopara provided a slip catch to Liam Livingstone having scored 26.

Another useful stand featured Westley and Ryan ten Doeschate, it advancing the total by 39.

It ended disappointingly when Westley drove tamely to short cover against leg-spinner Matt Parkinson when one run short of his 50. His innings contained six boundaries.

Next to go was ten Doeschate, an lbw victim of Graham Onions with the score on 174. The Essex skipper made 25 and his departure left the match delicately poised.

Much now was likely to rest on the shoulders of James Foster if Essex were to pat a challenging total and he and Paul Walter carried them through to the tea interval at 194 for 6, a score that gave them an overall lead of 200 runs.

Foster reached the break on 12 while Walter was 8 not out.

Day Two | Lunch Report:

Essex needed just 9 deliveries to capture the last two Lancashire wickets as the visitors were bowled out for 144 that earned the title holders a first innings lead of 6 runs in the County Championship clash as The Cloudfm County Ground.

Jamie Porter and Simon Harmer took a wicket apiece to finish with 5 for 25 and 5 for 46 respectively.

Essex scored freely as they sought to build on the narrow advantage as they arrived at lunch on 82 for 3 with Tom Westley unbeaten on 17 and Ravi Bopara 3 not out.

Porter claimed the eighth 5-wicket haul of his career when he scattered the stumps of Graham Onions with three runs added to the overnight 141 for 8.

Without addition, off-spinner Harmer brought the innings to a close by bowling Jordan Clark.

Nick Browne and Varun Chopra put together the highest partnership of the match when the home side went in again.

Chopra led the way with seven boundaries in an aggressive 32 before he lost his off stump when facing Graham Onions with 48 runs on the board.

Ten runs later, Browne followed him back to the pavilion amid an air of controversy.

He was caught low down at gully by Dane Vilas off Joe Mennie but while the Lancashire fielders celebrated, Brown stood his ground awaiting confirmation that the ball had carried.

After the umpires consulted, Browne was sent on his way and remarkably the same situation emerged with the total on 70.

This time, Dan Lawrence was reluctant to go after being taken at second slip by Liam Livingstone and it took another meeting between umpires Neil Bainton and Rob Bailey before the batsman headed for the Doug Insole Pavilion.

Day One Match Highlights:

Day One Reaction | Simon Harmer


Day One | Close of Play Report:

After an absorbing day’s play in which 18 wickets fell, Essex and Lancashire just about shared the honours in the Specsavers County Championship clash at The Cloudfm County Ground.

On a pitch where the ball seamed and swung enough to make batting difficult, Essex, the defending champions, were bowled out for a modest 150 in 50 overs.

But they fought back through their dynamic duo of Jamie Porter and Simon Harmer to reduce their opponents to 141 for 8 by the close.

The match was the county’s first taste of action in the competition following the abandonment of their opening fixture against Yorkshire at Headingley when not a ball was bowled.

And the lack of action in the middle showed as they struggled to make progress when Lancashire asserted their right to bowl first.

Against a four-pronged attack of Joe Mennie, Tom Bailey, Jordan Clark and Graham Onions, the home side lost wickets at regular intervals and it was only a last wicket stand of 37 between Porter and Peter Siddle that gave them an air of respectability.

Their partnership was the highest of the innings and included the top-score of the innings with Siddle contributing 33 not out.

He opened his shoulders to despatch fellow Australian Mennie and leg-spinner Matt Parkinson for a six apiece and played with a confidence throughout his 38-ball innings.

The partnership ended when Porter was run out diving full length attempting to complete a single but failing to beat the throw from Dane Vilas from mid-wicket. But he had provided a solid defence while keeping Siddle company.

Nick Browne was the county’s second highest scorer with 23 before he was bowled by Mennie who emerged as Lancashire’s most successful bowler with 3 for 52 while his pace colleagues picked up two wickets each.

However, it was not long before the visitors found themselves in trouble as Porter, one of Wisden’s five ‘Cricketers of the Year’, showed just why he was deserving of such recognition.

In his first five overs, he removed Keaton Jennings, Alex Davies and Haseb Hammed at a personal cost of 11 runs to leave the Red Rose county 19 for three.

A partial recovery came from Liam Livingstone and Vilas who carried the total to 65 before off spinner Harmer struck with the fifth ball of his opening over to have Livingstone snapped up by Ryan ten Doeschate stationed at forward short leg after the batsman had made 33.

Harmer was to get rid of Vilas, again with the skipper’s assistance. It was ten Doeschate’s third catch of the innings having held on to a chance in the covers to get rid of Davies.

Porter returned to claim his fourth wicket of the innings when he had Shivnarine Chanderpaul caught behind.

Clark and Mennie batted with great determination taking the total onto 141 before Harmer struck again to remove Mennie for 12 in the final over of the day.

Porter has so far returned figures of 4 for 25 from 11 overs while Harmer’s four successes have arrived from 14.4 overs at a cost of 44 runs.

Day One | Tea Report:

Essex were bowled out for 150 on the opening day of the County Championship match with Lancashire.

The highest partnership of the innings came from their last wicket when Peter Siddle dictated a stand with Jamie Porter as 37 runs were added in 9 overs before Porter was run out for 4.

That left his partner unbeaten on 33 which was the highest contribution in the Essex total.

Resuming on 65 for 4 after Lunch, the home side lost wickets at regular innings.

Dan Lawrence was the first to go when he was caught at first slip off the bowling of Jordan Clark for 14 to the fourth ball of the afternoon session to leave Essex 68 for 5.

James Foster and Ryan ten Doeschate added 17 before the former flashed outside off stump edging a catch to wicket-keeper Alex Davies having scored seven.

Then ten Doeschate and Paul Walter fell in three overs. Walter was caught at gully for 7 off Australian pace bowler Joe Mennie who then removed the Essex skipper for 14 when he was trapped in front of his stumps.

That left the hosts 105 for 8 and eight runs later, Simon Harmer was walking back to the Pavilion having been caught at second slip for 10 off the bowling of Tom Bailey.

However, Siddle took the fight to the Red Rose county with an aggressively responsible innings that included two sixes, one off fellow countryman Mennie and the other when facing leg spinner Matt Parkinson.

Having taken the total to 150, the last wicket pairing finally succumbed when Porter was run out running to the strikers end and failing to beat the throw from Dane Vilas from mid-wicket.

Day One | Lunch Report:

Essex found it tough going in defence of their title in the first session against Lancashire at The Cloudfm County Ground.

After an uncontested toss, they struggled to 65 for 4 by Lunch against a pace attack that gave very little away while underlining the merits of line and length.

The county went into action after their opening fixture against Yorkshire fell victim to the weather without a ball being bowled.

Varun Chopra opened with Nick Browne and was removed in the sixth over when Graham Onions trapped him leg before wicket  with only 12 on the board.

Tom Bailey beat the bat or found the edge on three occasions without reward, before giving way to Joe Mennie and the Australian was soon to make an impact when Browne, following a couple of fluent drives, was bowled for 23 with the total on 38.

The return of Bailey was to account for Tom Westley 10 runs later, an edge finding the hands of Haseeb Hameed at first slip after he had made 17.

Worse was to follow for the home side because in the final over before Lunch, Ravi Bopara pushed forward outside the off stump against Jordan Clark and edged a catch to Liam Livingstone in the slip cordon.

At the break, Dan Lawrence was unbeaten on 12, with Essex desperately needing him to provide the type of innings he put together when the two counties met at Chelmsford last season.

There was blow for the County Champions before the match started when it was learned that promising fast bowler Sam Cook had sustained a fractured finger in training on Friday. The injury is likely to keep him sidelined for around two weeks.