Match Report: Essex v Kent


Essex v Kent
Specsavers County Championship
Monday 27 May – Thursday 30 May
The Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford

Essex Team: Nick Browne, Alastair Cook, Tom Westley, Dan Lawrence, Ravi Bopara, Ryan ten Doeschate (c), Michael Pepper (wk), Simon Harmer, Peter Siddle, Jamie Porter, Sam Cook.

Kent Team: Sean Dickson, Zak Crawley, Joe Denly (c), Daniel Bell-Drummond, Heino Kuhn, Wiaan Mulder, Ollie Robinson (wk), Darren Stevens, Happy Podmore, Matthew Milnes, Imran Qayyum.

Toss: Uncontested – Kent elected to bowl

Umpires: Michael Burns & Robert Robinson

Result: Essex win by 113 runs

Day Four: Match Highlights

Day Four Reaction: Simon Harmer

Day Four: Close of Play Report

Simon Harmer spun Essex to a comfortable 113 run victory over Kent in their County Championship Division One clash at The Cloudfm County Ground.

The South African off-spinner returned figures of 8 for 98 from 32.5 overs in the visitors second innings, bowling unchanged from the 10th over.

Kent were left a target of 338 but never mounted a serious challenge as they were undone by Harmer’s variety and guile and were bowled out for 224 in the final session.

It was the 30 year-old’s third haul of five-wickets or more in an innings this season and earned him a match return of 11 for 169 from 67.5 overs.

He has now taken 29 wickets in the Championship this summer, the highest by any bowler in the country this season so far.

Only Daniel Bell-Drummond was able to defy him for a substantial amount of time. Coming in at the fall of the second wicket with the total on 50 in the 18th over, he batted resolutely to score 81 before he was the last man out.

Bell-Drummond’s valiant effort consumed 176 deliveries and included 10 boundaries and fittingly, it was Harmer who claimed his scalp by bowling him five minutes short of the final scheduled hour.

Harmer started on his course of destruction by removing Zak Crawley and Joe Denly before lunch as well as holding a slip catch to leave Kent 60 for 3 at the lunch break.

After the interval, Harmer continued to weave his magic even though Darren Stevens broke the shackles to strike two sixes while making 32 from 34 balls.

Kent’s most productive partnership featured Bell-Drummond and Heino Kuhn who put on 75 together in 23 overs for the fourth wicket, but Kuhn was given two lives before suffering the ignominy of falling lbw when offering no stroke whilst facing a Harmer delivery.

By tea, Kent had reached 188 for 6 still requiring a further 150 runs for victory with a minimum of 30 overs at their disposal.

But six overs after the interval, Stevens (32) drove to Dan Lawrence at mid-wicket to become another Harmer victim and within another eight overs, the match was over as Harmer completed his rout.

His match-winning contribution came after Essex had added another 25 runs in the morning session before deciding to declare on 206 for 7.

It was one that will send the County into their match with Yorkshire at Headingley next Monday with renewed confidence, having completed back-to-back Championship wins following their success against Nottinghamshire a fortnight ago in Chelmsford.

Day Four: Tea Report

Daniel Bell-Drummond and Heino Kuhn kept Essex at bay for 23 overs whilst putting on 75 to take the total to 126 before Kent lost their fourth wicket.

Kuhn departed in embarrassing fashion as he was given out leg before wicket to Simon Harmer without offering a stroke soon after the off-spinner had switched to bowling around the wicket.

Bell-Drummond went onto complete a fighting half-century containing seven fours, but was to lose two more partners before the tea break.

Ollie Robinson was snapped up at short leg by Ravi Bopara to give Harmer his fourth wicket and Wiaan Mulder fell to a fine catch by Michael Pepper without scoring to give Sam Cook his first success of the innings.

In the final over before tea with the score 188 for 6, Darren Stevens struck a four and a six from successive Harmer deliveries to reach the break on 19 not out. Bell-Drummond had made 67 from 135 balls with Kent needing a further 150 runs from a minimum of 30 overs to reach their victory target.

Day Four: Lunch Report

Simon Harmer was making the biggest impact as Essex pressed for victory against Kent in the Specsavers County Championship match at The Cloudfm County Ground.

After the visitors were set a target of 338, the off-spinner picked up two wickets and also held a slip catch as Kent reached lunch on 60 for 3.

Harmer struck in his second over with the total on 34 to separate the openers by trapping Zak Crawley lbw for 18, just four deliveries after Ryan ten Doeschate had failed to claim a catch at short-leg.

The spinner then had Joe Denly taken by Nick Browne at deep mid-wicket for 11 immediately after the 50 was reached. This was after Denly had earlier survived a stumping chance which would have provided Michael Pepper with his sixth victim.

Harmer is also recognised as one of the safest slip fielders and he underlined the point to get rid of Sean Dickson to provide Peter Siddle with his first wicket of the innings to leave Kent in serious trouble at 51 for 3.

Another wicket should have fallen immediately afterwards when Heino Kuhn was put down in the slips by Tom Westley when he edged Siddle, but he and Daniel Bell-Drummond survived the final minutes before lunch which arrived with the visitors thinking in terms of avoiding defeat rather than pushing for victory.

Earlier in the morning Essex added a further 25 runs after resuming play on 181 for 6, but the hosts lost Michael Pepper for 7 who was trapped in front of his stumps by Matt Milnes.

Harmer (20 not out) and Siddle (3 not out) were in the middle when the declaration arrived to turn the home sides attention from batting to claiming ten wickets for a second successive victory.

Day Three: Match Highlights

Day Three Reaction: Andre Nel

Day Three: Close of Play Report

A rain interrupted third day ended with Essex holding a lead of 312 over Specsavers County Championship Division One rivals, Kent with four innings remaining.

The day’s action at The Cloudfm County Ground finished with Essex on 175 for six after Alastair Cook again proving the mainstay of the innings.

The opener contributed 90 of those as he just missed out on claiming two centuries in a match for the first time in his career, having scored 125 on the opening day.

Cook was denied his back-to-back tons when he was the sixth batsman out, after being caught in the slips by Sean Dickson off Wiaan Mulder.

His latest effort spanned 160 balls, containing a dozen fours, in what was the type of disciplined knock that has characterised his career.

Nick Browne made 19 of an opening stand of 55, while Tom Westley and Ryan ten Doeschate perished in the 20’s.

Daniel Lawrence made 15 but Ravi Bopara failed to trouble the scorers. Both fell in successive deliveries from Harry Podmore as Zak Crawley held on to slip catches.

The second of those to send Bopara on his way was a magnificent one-handed effort from Crawley diving to his right, a dismissal which was followed by the first stoppage.

Podmore’s impact came with the last two balls of the 42nd over and when play resumed 25 minutes later with Essex 130-4, he was denied his hat-trick by Cook.

Shortly after Cook’s dismissal the arrival of more rain put paid to further play, on a day when 37 overs were lost to the weather.

Podmore has taken 2-48 from 13 overs while the remaining wickets were shared by Mulder, Darren Stevens, Matt Milnes and Joe Denly.

Essex will have been more disappointed by the adverse weather and, if the rain holds off tomorrow, they are likely to search for quick runs to leave themselves with enough time to go in search of a second Championship win of the season.

Day Three: Tea Report

Essex added 96 runs whilst losing five wickets in a rain-affected afternoon session.

Tom Westley departed soon after lunch with only four runs added when he fell leg before wicket to Matt Milnes for 20.

Alastair Cook, however, looked secure and unruffled. His seventh boundary took him to his half-century from 98 deliveries and he had moved into the 70’s when he lost two partners with the total on 130.

Dan Lawrence edged to Zak Crawley at third slip when facing Harry Pridmore after making 15 and with his next delivery, the bowler removed Ravi Bopara, again with the assistance of Crawley. Bopara edged an outswinging delivery and Crawley pulled off a magnificent one-handed catch in the slip cordon.

Those successes came with the last two balls of the 42nd over at which point, play was held up by rain for 25 minutes.

Cook was to deny Pridmore his hat-trick while Ryan ten Doeschate, his new partner, quickly moved into double figures with the help of two boundaries. But having made 22 and with Essex leading by exactly 300 runs, Doeschate fell to Joe Denly.

Cook was 10 runs short of his second century of the match when he was sixth out with the total on 175, caught in the slips by Sean Dickson off the bowling of Wiaan Mulder. The opener’s 90 included a dozen fours and lasted 160 balls.

Soon afterwards, rain emerged again and tea was taken with the score on 181 for 6 when the lead was 312.

Day Three: Lunch Report

Alastair Cook was amongst the runs again as Essex built up a substantial lead in their County Championship Division One duel with Kent at The Cloudfm County Ground.

Following his 125 in the first innings, he batted throughout the morning session to reach 49 runs from a total of 85 for 1 at which point the county held an overall lead of 216 runs.

Cook has so far found the boundary on 6 occasions and has faced 89 balls.

The only setback that the home side suffered before the interval was the dismissal of Nick Browne. He had got the scoreboard moving in the third over when he drove a ball from Harry Podmore to the boundary.

Browne was given an extra life early on when he was put down by Matt Milnes at cover point, attacking the bowling of Harry Podmore when he had made eight out of the 11 runs on the board.

But after an hour and 28 minutes at the crease, he fell leg before wicket to Darren Stevens for 19 with the total on 55 in the 22nd over.

Tom Westley replaced Browne and reached lunch on 16 with the assistance of two boundaries.

Day Two: Match Highlights

Day Two Reaction: Michael Pepper

Day Two: Close of Play Report

Michael Pepper claimed the major honours as Essex dominated the second day of the County Championship match against Kent at The Cloudfm County Ground.

The 20-year-old wicket-keeper, appearing in his first match since recovering from an appendix operation, picked up five catches as the visitors, who were replying to a total of 313, were bowled out for 182 with the final ball of the day.

The pick of his successes was an acrobatic dive to his right to get rid of Harry Podmore, but it was not all plain sailing for the youngster.

Just before the close, a delivery from Jamie Porter slipped through his gloves and struck him in the face, the game being held up for several minutes while he received medical treatment, but he resumed his position to see the last wicket pair of Matt Milnes and Imran Qayyum bat for 18 overs and put on 45, the best partnership of the visitors innings.

The final wicket partnership turned out to be vital as Kent avoided the follow-on and spared their side from real embarrassment.

Earlier in the day, resuming on 303 for 8, Essex lost their last two wickets of Simon Harmer and Jamie Porter for the addition of 10 runs. Their departures meant the county lost their last seven wickets for 38 runs.

However, Kent’s reply saw the visitors lose Sean Dickson in the first over as he edged Porter to Harmer at second slip, and from then on Kent were always struggling.

Their progress was slow, emphasised by Zak Crawley who needed 28 deliveries to get off the mark and consumed 67 deliveries in making 15 before turning Harmer into the leg trap where Ravi Bopara took the catch.

Joe Denly faced 49 balls whilst making 20 before becoming the first of Pepper’s victims, meanwhile Daniel Bell-Drummond needed 82 deliveries to compile 28 runs.

As Kent continued to crawl at the rate of two an over, Ollie Robinson stood firm for 85 deliveries for his 22 while Wiaan Mulder faced 58 balls for his 19 runs.

The accuracy of the Essex attack told its own story. Harmer sent down 35 overs, claiming 3 for 72 and Peter Siddle took 3 for 29 in 17 overs.

Porter and Sam Cook proved just as miserly while finishing with 2-34 and 2-28 from 20 and 16.2 overs respectively.

It was Cook, who conceded just one scoring stroke in his opening six overs, who brought the Kent innings to an end when he bowled Milnes for 23, leaving Imran Qayyum unbeaten on 14 in a last wicket partnership spanning more than an hour.

Essex will start their second innings on Day Three with a lead of 131 and nursing high hopes of pressing home their advantage to claim their second Championship win of the season.

Day Two: Tea Report

Having resumed after lunch on 42 for 3, Kent lost their next wicket to a Peter Siddle delivery with the score on 79.

The Australian paceman produced a delivery that cut back and had Heino Kuhn caught behind by Michel Pepper. He had contributed 20 of a stand that advanced the total by 37 in 13 overs.

Pepper was to pocket his third catch of the innings when Sam Cook collected a well-deserved wicket by removing Daniel Bell-Drummond whose 28 had spanned 82 balls.

That left Kent 98 for 5 before the 100 was eventually raised in the 50th over.
Ollie Robinson and Wiaan Mulder were now left shoring up the innings and they stayed together until tea with the score 118 for 5.

At that stage, Robinson had crawled to 13 from 71 balls while his partner had also progressed to 13.

At the break, Kent were still 195 runs behind in an innings that as so far spanned 58 overs.

Day Two: Lunch Report

After resuming on 303 for 8, Essex added just 10 more runs before their innings was brought to a conclusion by Kent in the County Championship clash at The Cloudfm County Ground.

But the home side’s bowlers then hit back to claim 3 wickets before lunch as the visitors reached 42 for 3 at the break.

Jamie Porter was trapped leg before by Harry Podmore for 1, giving the bowler his 100th first-class wicket, before Matt Milnes claimed a similar dismissal against Simon Harmer, who had scored10, to leave Essex 313 all out.

Then with the sixth ball of their first innings, Kent lost Sean Dickson when he edged Jamie Porter to Harmer at second slip without a run on the board.

It was not until the fifth over that the visitors scored their first runs when Joe Denly drove Porter to the boundary. Meanwhile opener Zak Crawley needed 28 balls to get off the mark.

He was lucky to survive on several occasions as Sam Cook beat the bat without reward during an opening spell of six overs, five of which were maidens.

He was replaced by Harmer and the arrival of the spinner had the desired effect.

Denly was caught behind by Michael Pepper when he edged an intended drive to the keeper and then Crawley fell in the final over before lunch.

He had made 15 from 67 balls when he turned a delivery from Harmer into the hands of leg slip where Ravi Bopara took a simple catch to leave Kent 42 for 3 after 23.1 overs.

Day One: Match Highlights

Day One Reaction: Ravi Bopara

Day One: Close of Play Report

Alastair Cook recorded the 65th first-class century of his career as Essex ran up a total of 303 for 8 after an uncontested toss on the opening day of their County Championship Division One match against Kent at The Cloudfm County Ground.

He struck 125 from 242 balls with 14 fours before he was run-out and in doing so collected his 22nd century for Essex in what was his 100th game for the county.

It was his first Championship hundred since his 193 against Middlesex in 2017 and there was an inevitability about it from the start of his innings.
Displaying a resolution and unflappable temperament that has been his trademark over the years, Cook never looked in any trouble against the six bowlers employed by the visitors.

He scored freely off his legs in typical style either whipping the ball in the arc of midwicket or deftly turning the ball off his hips.

So in control was he it came as a surprise when he was removed from the scene and then it needed a run out to send him on his way.

Attempting a second run, he was inches short of making his ground when Sean Dickson, running from the slips to square leg, threw the ball to keeper Oliver Robinson to complete the dismissal.

It was the first time he had been dismissed in this manner while playing first-class cricket for Essex and his partnership with Ravi Bopara yielded 130 after the pair came together at the fall of the third wicket on 145.

Bopara reached a fine half-century, containing 7 fours, from 97 deliveries but needed a slice of luck in doing so. He was dropped at first slip by Dixon on 35 and went on to make 61 before falling lbw to Darren Stevens.

Cook’s departure signalled a Kent fightback with the new ball and he was the first of 5 wickets to go down in 11 overs while 26 runs were added.

Ryan ten Doeschate, after having a let-off with a single against his name when Harry Podmore failed to accept a return catch, fell to the same bowler as Dickson held a slip catch.

And then Michael Pepper, appearing in his first game of the season following an appendix operation, edged Stevens to Robinson. Peter Siddle then departed with the total on 301, again Robinson holding an edge offered against Matt Milnes for a single.

Milnes finished the day with figures of 3 for 56 from 19 overs while Stevens picked up 3 for 53 from 24 overs. It was Stevens who made an impact in the morning session, first having Nick Browne caught behind for 24 and then pulling off a superb catch low down midwicket to get rid of Tom Westley.

Daniel Lawrence scored 42 out of a third-wicket stand of 74 with Cook, an effort including 7 fours, before he was bowled by Milnes with the first delivery of a new spell.

Simon Harmer, still to get off the mark, and Jamie Porter, who has a single, will resume the Essex innings in the morning.

Day One: Tea Report

Essex reached the tea interval on 197 for 3 having added 105 runs for the loss of Dan Lawrence in the afternoon session.

Lawrence survived a difficult chance to Zak Crawley in the slips but, on 42, he was bowled by Matt Milnes with the first delivery of the pace bowler’s new spell.

Cook meanwhile looked rock solid and after completing his half-century from 128 balls, having moved up a gear with two consecutive fours in an over from Milnes.

He had been joined by Ravi Bopara who quickly found the boundary with a powerful drive.

The 50 stand arrived with the help of two byes, it consuming 13 overs and at the interval, Cook and Bopara had accumulated an unbroken stand worth 52 runs in 14 overs.

Cook was then on 78, an innings that has so far spanned 175 balls while Bopara had moved to 23 from 50 deliveries.

Day One: Lunch Report

Alastair Cook batted throughout the morning session as Essex reached lunch on 92 for 2 after an uncontested toss in their County Championship Division One match with Kent at the Cloudfm County Ground.

He reached the interval on 35 and never looked in any trouble against the four bowlers used by the visitors.

Cook shared an opening stand of 41 with Nick Browne who had scored 24 when Darren Stevens found the edge as the batsman played forward to be caught by wicket-keeper Ollie Robinson.

Tom Westley survived a confident leg before wicket appeal in the same over before driving the same bowler to the boundary.

However, Westley fell victim to a superb catch by Stevens at mid-wicket to provide Matt Milnes with success.

Cook has so far faced 75 deliveries while Dan Lawrence brought a much-needed tempo to proceedings with three boundaries while arriving at the break with 14 having faced 23 balls.