Match Report: Warwickshire v Essex


Warwickshire v Essex
Specsavers County Championship
Tuesday 10 September – Friday 13 September

Warwickshire Team: Will Rhodes, Dominic Sibley, Liam Banks, Sam Hain, Matthew Lamb, Michael Burgess (wk), Ethan Brookes, Henry Brookes, Jeetan Patel (c), Oliver Hannon-Dalby, George Garrett

Essex Team: Nick Browne, Alastair Cook, Tom Westley, Dan Lawrence, Ravi Bopara, Ryan ten Doeschate (c), Adam Wheater (wk), Simon Harmer, Aaron Beard, Sam Cook, Jamie Porter

Toss: Uncontested, Essex elected to bowl

Umpires: Nicholas Cook & David Millns

Result: Match Drawn

Day Four: Close of Play Report

Tom Westley and Alastair Cook batted superbly posting a second-wicket partnership of 157 that eased Essex to a draw in their County Championship match with Warwickshire at Edgbaston after the visitors had faced possible defeat earlier in the day.

The visitors ended on 158-2 with Westley scoring 97 to add to his 141 earlier in the match whilst his colleague and the former England captain made an unbeaten 57 in trademark deliberate diligent fashion.

They started their stand before lunch on the final day after Essex had lost Nick Browne without a run on the board when they followed-on still trailing by 193 runs with a minimum of 76 overs to be faced and the threat of Jeetan Patel.

The off-spinner had proved destroyer-in-chief when returning 6 for 73 as Essex were bowled out for 324 in their first innings but Cook and Westley negated his challenge with their uncomplicated approach as they both became an increasingly commanding presence at the crease.

They rarely offered the home attack any encouragement being commendably selective in shot-selection as they made sedate progress and having the gratification of seeing their contributions ease their side into the calm waters that had appeared somewhat potentially turbulent in the last hour on Day Three and this morning.

Cook was the first to arrive at his 50 having faced 98 balls whilst Westley half-century spanned 101 balls and both were completed with the batsman’s seventh boundary.

From there on, Cook was content to become as docile as the pitch whilst Westley took on the role of runs accumulator. He was in sight of his second century of the match when he drove Matt Lamb to Patel and departed for 97.

At the start of the day, Essex had resumed on 278-6 and still needed 90 runs to avert the follow-on but the loss of Adam Wheater and Simon Harmer in the space of three Patel deliveries heaped the pressure on the visitors as they slipped to 288-8.

That became 298-8 and with one over left to complete bonus points. Westley took a single from the third ball but Aaron Beard was unable to find a way through the field to notch the third batting point.

The return of Henry Brookes six overs later was to account for Westley when the batsman shouldered arms and lost his off stump having batted for 6 and a quarter-hours.

Four runs later, Beard was caught in the slip cordon to give Patel his sixth wicket and start a nervy period for the visitors when they followed-on. However, the redoubtable Cook and Westley ensured that Essex would emerge with dignity.

As a result of Somerset’s win against Yorkshire, the West Country side have now regained top-spot in Division One with an 8-points lead over nearest pursuers Essex.

Both counties now have just two matches each to play and Ryan ten Doeschate’s men will be hoping that they can beat Surrey at The Cloudfm Ground next week whilst hoping that Hampshire can avoid defeat to Somerset at The Ageas Bowl before the top-two in the table meet in the final round of matches.

Day Four: Tea Report

Alastair Cook and Tom Westley composed an unbroken century partnership during which both posted half-centuries to take Essex to the cusp of safety and the draw in their match with Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

With one session left of play, the visitors reached the tea interval on 117 for 1 with Cook unbeaten on 52* and Westley 62 not out with the county still trailing by 76 runs with a minimum of 34 overs to be bowled.

The two Essex batsmen naturally adopted a cautious approach after lunch with their diligence allowing them to frustrate Warwickshire’s hopes of removing their opponents for a second time in the match, after they had enforced the follow-on when Essex were dismissed for 324 in their first innings.

But Cook and Westley both played excellent and carefully-crafted innings and were dedicated to their team’s aspirations of forcing a stalemate.

They matched scores on a flat pitch with Cook arriving at his 7th Championship half-century of the campaign when he took successive fours against Oliver Hannon-Dalby taking his tally of boundary counts to seven having faced 98 balls at that time.

It also brought up a century stand in 34 overs and later in the same over, Westley too arrived at his half-century when gliding a ball down to the third man boundary. That was his seventh four of a 101-ball innings, another splendid effort to add to his earlier score of 141 that had held the first innings together.

Cook, yet to record a Championship century against Warwickshire, has so far faced 123 deliveries whilst Westley has received 126 balls this time around to add to the 266 in his first visit to the middle.

Day Four: Lunch Report

With two sessions remaining for play, Essex are battling to hold out for draw in their County Championship clash with Warwickshire at Edgbaston as they reached lunch on 26-1 in their second innings having followed-on.

Spinner Jeetan Patel returned 6 for 73 as Essex were bowled out for 324 in their first innings to leave left them with a deficit of 193 and they immediately lost Nick Browne when they batted again.

Facing the fourth ball of the second innings, the left-hander was caught at third slip by Liam Banks off George Garrett without a run on the board but Alastair Cook and Tom Westley successfully negotiated the remaining overs through to the break.

Cook will resume on 11 and Westley on 13.

Essex had started the day on 278-6 in their first innings with Westley 123 not out but Adam Wheater was caught at short leg off Patel for 4 to the first ball of the fifth over with just 10 more runs added.

And two deliveries later, Simon Harmer was bowled for a duck to give Patel his fifth wicket. At the start of the last available over for bonus points, Essex needed 2 runs for their third batting point and Westley, now on 129, took a single from the third ball sent down by Oliver Hannon-Dalby.

But Aaron Beard was unable to pierce the field from the remaining three deliveries as Essex concentrated on their quest to avert the follow-on but with the total on 320 and 48 runs still needed, Westley’s fine effort ended disappointingly.

With his score on 141 and having batted for 6 and a quarter-hours, the Essex number 3 misjudged the line when facing Henry Brookes, shouldered arms and was bowled.

Beard scored 20 before he was caught at gully off Patel leaving Essex with 76 overs to negotiate in the game.

Day Three: Match Highlights

Day Three Reaction: Tom Westley

Day Three: Close of Play Report

Tom Westley recorded his first century of the summer as Essex reached the close of the third day on 278-6 in their match with Warwickshire at Edgbaston, still trailing by 239 runs on first innings.

Westley was 123 not out when bad light brought a premature close with 9 overs still remaining. So far, he has batted for 5 and a quarter-hours and faced 234 balls with 16 boundaries.

The 30-year-old underpinned the visitor’s efforts to hunt down Warwickshire’s formidable 517 and he received solid support from opener Nick Browne who scored 65 as the pair put on 106 for the third wicket before being parted.

Although Dan Lawrence joined Westley to add a further 75 runs, the departure of the former to George Garrett for 28 started a decline in fortunes for the visitors as they slumped from 233-3 to 271-6 and still 97 runs from averting the follow-on.

Ravi Bopara was bowled through the gate by Patel for 11 and then seven balls later and with Ryan ten Doeschate still to get off the mark, the Essex captain was trapped in front of his stumps.

Westley, who was recording his 19th first-class century for the county, grafted responsibly as he reached his hundred with the 13th boundary of his innings that had spanned 197 balls at that stage.

He played with authority and composure throughout showing classic timing to pierce the field on a docile pitch from which only spinner Jeetan Patel found any assistance – and then only occasional turn.

With a three-figure score beckoning, Westley wasted little time in completing the milestone, collecting successive fours from Oliver Hannon-Dalby before adding another in the bowler’s next over taking his score to 102.

Essex had lost just one wicket in each of the first two sessions, with nightwatchman Sam Cook departing early in the day for 4 whilst opener Nick Browne fell an hour into the post-lunch session but only after playing with typical resilience.

The left-hander batted for 5 minutes short of four hours for his 65 during which he and Westley completed a century stand in 239 balls as both employed a necessarily cautious approach.

It was Patel who finally brought about Browne’s downfall when he struck the pad to gain the lbw verdict and collect the first of his three wickets on a day when he returned the excellent figures of 37-13-60-3.

With the visitors apparently serenely placed on 205 for 3 at tea, the last session of the day was to bring a series of problems for Essex leaving Westley to supervise the survival when play resumes in the morning with the aim of avoiding the follow-on and also finding the next 22 runs to add a third batting point to their tally.

Adam Wheater will join Westley in the morning having scored a single before play was called off prematurely.

Day Three: Tea Report

Tom Westley arrived at tea on 79 not out accompanied by Dan Lawrence with 19 as Essex reached the interval on 205-3 from 78 overs.

The pair have so far added 47 runs for the fourth wicket after the departure of Nick Browne an hour into the post-lunch session.

The left-hander had completed his 152-ball half-century, which included 8 boundaries, in the first over after lunch. Then, after batting for five minutes short of four hours, he pushed forward to spinner Jeetan Patel and was leg before wicket having scored 65.

He and Westley had just posted a vigilant century partnership spanning 239 balls that arrived with a boundary by Browne behind square off the bowling of Patel.

But the bowler then breached Browne’s defences with a flighted delivery to end the stand of 106 in 41 overs.

By then, Westley had collected his third Championship half-century of the summer, this one from 90 balls and completed with the sixth four of his innings when he executed a fine drive off the bowling of Henry Brookes.

With the wily Patel posing the most serious threat, Westley showed exemplary application as he grafted for his runs whilst also quick to pick off the looser delivery to sustain Essex who still trail by 312 runs.

Day Three: Lunch Report

Nick Browne and Tom Westley put together an unbroken partnership worth 68 runs for the second wicket to carry Essex to a lunchtime score of 120 for 2 on the third day of their County Championship clash with Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

Browne was 49* at the interval and Westley 37* as the pair displayed sound technique and application to ensure they eschewed their possible demise.

Night-watchman Sam Cook lasted a little more than 5 overs after the visitors resumed on 31 for 1 before he was caught at second slip for 4 when facing Oliver Hannon-Dalby.

Browne and Westley though soon displayed their disciplined approach as the pace bowlers kept the ball up to the batsmen, but as the ball became older and softer, life became easier for the batting side.

Both Browne and Westley executed a number of regal drives as they hit the ball cleanly with well-timed strokes to give foundation to the Essex first innings.

They also dealt with the spin threat of Jeetan Patel, who varied his flight, to lay the foundations for what is hoped to be a sizeable haul of batting points, a now realistic target after Warwickshire’s first innings had closed on 517 yesterday evening.

At the interval, Browne had faced 151 balls that included 8 fours whilst Westley’s contribution spanned 73 balls with four fours in their 25 overs together at the crease thus far.

Essex still trail by 397 runs.

Day Two: Match Highlights

Day Two Reaction: Anthony McGrath

Day Two: Close of Play Report

Simon Harmer bagged his 8th five-wicket haul as Warwickshire were finally dismissed for 517 before Essex lost Alastair Cook shortly before they closed on 31 for 1 with Nick Browne 16 not out.

The visitors had been left to face 14 overs but in the penultimate over with his score on 7, Cook pushed at a ball from spinner Jeetan Patel and was snapped up by Dom Sibley at second slip.

Sam Cook came in as night-watchman and will resume in the morning looking to get off the mark.

Off-spinner Harmer returned figures of 6 for 143 from his marathon stint that saw him send down 59.5 overs of which 15 were maidens. That took his tally of Championship wickets to 71 for the campaign as Essex collected two bowling bonus points after conceding their second-highest total of the summer.

The indefatigable Harmer toiled away to gain his rewards as the visitors suffered their second day of toil on a flat Edgbaston pitch.

The standout innings for the home side was played by 23-year-old right-hander Matthew Lamb who completed a maiden first-class century on his way to a final contribution of 173 after displaying a fine technique in only his 15th first-class match.

He did receive one slice of good fortune early into the post-lunch session soon after he had completed a 211-ball century. With the total on 367, he left his crease to return to the pavilion under the misapprehension he had been caught by Alastair Cook at slip. However, the fielder had spilled the chance but Harmer quickly grabbed the ball and threw down the stumps.

After initially raising his finger, the umpire then changed his mind and the batsman was recalled and took full advantage exhibiting a host of well-timed drives and cuts.

Earlier in the day, Essex took three wickets before the cut-off was reached for bowling points with Jamie Porter dismissing Sam Hain for 82 and Michael Burgess for 5, the latter’s dismissal owing much to a wonderful diving catch low down at second slip by the irrepressible Harmer.

Then predatory fielder turned successful bowler when Harmer claimed the first of his three wickets in the day having debutant Ethan Brookes caught in the leg trap for a duck paving the way for older brother Henry to join Lamb.

They added 105 runs for the seventh wicket before the inimitable Harmer showed his fielding talent once again this time when throwing down the wicket as Brookes (46) was left stranded after a mix-up with his partner.

Lamb though soldiered on with unwavering application and effectiveness adding a further 66 with Patel for the eighth wicket before he drove a ball from Ravi Bopara into the hands of mid-wicket where that man Harmer was stationed. The batsman had frustrated Essex for 7 hours facing 371 deliveries and collecting 100 of his runs in boundaries.

Although Oliver Hannon-Dalby quickly fell leg before to Harmer, the last pair took Warwickshire onto 517 with a 46 runs stand before George Garrett joined the list of Harmer conquests when stumped for 24 leaving Warwickshire skipper Patel 51 not out and Essex with an hour to face before the close of a demanding day.

Day Two: Tea Report

Warwickshire added 108 runs in the afternoon session whilst losing just one wicket after lunch to reach the tea interval on 468 for 7 with Matthew Lamb unbeaten on 173 and Jeetan Patel 27 not out.

The only wicket to fall was that of Henry Brookes as the home side enjoyed their run-fest against a side who conceded their highest score since the opening game of the season when Essex met Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.

However, there was a highly controversial moment early into the post-lunch session when Lamb, on 110 out of 367, was run out after Alastair Cook had spilled a chance at slip, only for Simon Harmer to throw down the stumps.

Lamb was recalled though after it was agreed that he had only left his crease under the misapprehension of believing he had been caught.

The 23 year-old flourished afterwards, building on his maiden first-class century to reach a 312-ball 150.

Skipper Ryan ten Doeschate consistently rotated his attacking options in vain as the league leaders tried unsuccessfully to find some spirited inspiration.

It was to prove an arduous afternoon for Essex before that man Harmer, finally ended a productive partnership for the seventh wicket worth 105.

On this occasion, the prolific off-spinner proved ace fielder when he capitalised on a misunderstanding between Lamb and Henry Brookes and threw the stumps down at the striker’s end from his mid-wicket position to leave the latter stranded.

That brought to a close a stand lasting 137 minutes that left the visitors increasingly frustrated and took their opponents onto 402 with outgoing batsman Brookes just four runs short of his half-century.

Lamb though was joined by Jeetan Patel as the duo became the fifth combination to post a partnership in excess of 50 during the Warwickshire innings which had seen Harmer send down 54 overs by tea.

Day Two: Lunch Report

Wickets for Jamie Porter and Simon Harmer afforded Essex another bowling point before Warwickshire progressed to a lunch total of 360 for 6 on the second morning of the County Championship clash at Edgbaston. Matthew Lamb posted an unbeaten maiden first-class century.

Porter struck twice before Harmer added another to his three-wicket haul from yesterday as the home side lost a trio of wickets in 23 balls whilst adding just 7 runs before Lamb and Henry Brookes swung the balance back in favour of the bat.

Twenty-one runs had been added to the overnight score in 38 balls when Porter removed Sam Hain. The batsman had reached 82 when he reached outside off and edged a catch to Dan Lawrence in the gully.

Six balls later, Porter struck again although he was indebted to Harmer who produced a magnificent one-handed catch diving to his left at second slip to remove Michael Burgess for five.

Harmer then turned from successful fielder to triumphant bowler when his classic off-spinner’s delivery proved too much for debutant Ethan Brookes who turned the ball into the waiting hands of Ravi Bopara at leg slip.

Porter was eventually withdrawn from the attack after sending down 6 overs in the morning session at a personal cost of 16 runs having taken his tally of Championship wickets to 41 for the season.

By the completion of 110 overs for available bonus points, the hosts were 320 for 6 and Lamb continued to display a superb technique, producing a fluent array of drives on both sides of the wicket as he teamed up with Henry Brookes in an effective partnership to diffuse the visitors hopes of further wickets.

Having just reached his century, Lamb was “caught” at slip by Alastair Cook but bowler Ravi Bopara had overstepped the crease allowing the 23 year-old batsman to survive.

Brookes supported his partner diligently and by lunch, the duo had posted an unbeaten 63 run partnership spanning 18 overs. Lamb reached his landmark century having faced 211 balls with the assistance of 15 boundaries and he will resume after lunch on 106 with Brookes 33 not out.

Day One: Match Highlights

Day One: Close of Play Report

Despite three wickets from Simon Harmer, Essex were made to toil on the opening day of their County Championship clash with Warwickshire at Edgbaston where the home side reached the close on 269-3.

After an uncontested toss, the hosts made serene progress to thwart the league leaders hopes with unbeaten half-centuries from Sam Hain and Matthew Lamb, whilst Dom Sibley also posted a fifty.

Finding reverse swing, the Essex pace attack went unrewarded despite beating the bat but without crucially finding the edge and it was the prolific Harmer that was left to unpick the Warwickshire batting.

After a brief four overs spell, he returned to send down 28 overs without change only making way when the second new ball was taken with the score on 224-3. At that juncture, he had figures of 32-10-62-3 taking his tally of Championship wickets onto 68 for the summer.

Will Rhodes and Sibley had composed a partnership of 87 in 111 minutes before Harmer got the breakthrough shortly before lunch when Rhodes, on 38, pushed forward and edged a catch to Adam Wheater.

And five balls later and on the stroke of the interval, the off-spinner struck again when Liam Banks turned a ball into the hands of Ravi Bopara at leg slip to depart for a duck as Warwickshire ended the first session on 91 for 2 with Sibley.

The patient Sibley, on 35 at Lunch, moved sedately to his eighth half-century of the campaign and another single saw him complete 1,000 Championship runs for the season.

But his innings came to an end when he tried to drive through mid-on and gave Harmer a return catch to leave the home side 140-3 and their opponents with the first bonus point.

However, Hain and Lamb batted with admirable temperament and composure to prosper. At Tea, the total had advanced to 171-3 and the pair continued to produce a fluent array of drives against a luckless attack for whom the seamers bowled well.

Hain and Lamb completed a century partnership spanning 213 balls during which Hain completed a 132-ball fifty whilst Lamb faced 110 balls before arriving at the landmark with both striking 8 boundaries.

The second new ball was taken with the home side on 224-3, but bat continued to dictate. Harmer was recalled into the attack after another 22 runs were added but he was unable to work his magic further as Hain and Lamb batted confidently combining for an unbroken stand worth 129 in 164 minutes to ensure Warwickshire ended the first day with bragging rights.

Hain will resume on 77 and Lamb on 69 whilst Harmer ended the day with figures of 36-11-67-3.

Day One: Tea Report

Simon Harmer claimed the one wicket to fall in the afternoon session as Warwickshire added 80 runs to reach the Tea interval on 171-3 with Sam Hain unbeaten on 39 and Matthew Lamb 14 not out.

Dom Sibley, who has enjoyed such a successful season, started the post-lunch session with 35 runs to his name and his vigilant but effective approach saw him continue to frustrate the visiting attack.

Playing straight but driving cleanly, he moved onto his eighth Championship half-century of the season (three of which he turned into three-figure scores) having faced 139 balls that included 4 boundaries.

Together with the effective Hain, he added 51 in 22 vigilant overs before the effective Harmer broke their resistance.

Sibley had collected a further single to move to 51 which completed his 1,000 Championship runs for summer when he offered a return catch to Harmer as he attempted to play through mid-on.

That wicket gave the bowler his 68th wicket of the season in the competition and eleventh so far this summer against Warwickshire after his match figures of 8 for 143 against them at Chelmsford in July.

Hain though continued batting with a sound technique that brought meaningful resistance whilst Lamb looked increasingly more settled after a nervous start against an attack that beat the bat on occasions without finding the edge to gain reward.

At Tea, Harmer’s figures were 24-9-34-3.

Day One: Lunch Report

Returning to red-ball action for the first time in three weeks, two wickets in 6 balls for Simon Harmer saw Warwickshire reach 91 for 2 at lunch on the opening day of their County Championship contest at Edgbaston with opener Dom Sibley 35 not out.

It was in the off-spinner’s second spell of the session that he made his mark. Having made 38 out of 87, Will Rhodes pushed forward and edged the ball to wicket-keeper Adam Wheater and four runs later, Liam Banks turned a delivery into the waiting hands of Ravi Bopara at leg slip. Those wickets gave Harmer lunch time figures of 6.2-2-10-2.

However, the league leaders could consider themselves unfortunate not to have split openers Rhodes and Sibley earlier as their pace attack passed the outside edge on a number of occasions.

Both new ball bowlers Jamie Porter and Sam Cook had the batsmen playing false strokes and then Aaron Beard also experienced misfortune as Rhodes played and missed.

Porter also found the edge when bringing Rhodes forward only for the ball to fall tantalisingly short of Alastair Cook at slip with the total on 29.

After an uncontested toss, unusually Porter and Cook both initially fell foul of umpires Nick Cook and David Millns with two of Porter’s first three deliveries of the match being called for front foot failings and he was then called once again by Millns in his next over.

Cook sent down two no balls in his third over.

The first boundaries of the match were claimed by Rhodes in the eighth over of the morning when facing Cook and by the end of the next over, Harmer was introduced into the attack. However, he was to produce one of his shortest spells of the Championship season being withdrawn from the attack after 4 overs that cost just 9 runs.

The 50 stand arrived in the 19th over, completed in style with a fine straight drive by Sibley off Beard but the return of Harmer twenty minutes before lunch was to galvanise the league leaders to leave them reflecting on a satisfactory first session.