Porter Loses Out To Vasconcelos In Quarantine Cup


Fixture: Essex v Northamptonshire
Date: Saturday 25 April
Venue: Adelaide Oval
Result: Northamptonshire won by 2 wickets

Match Report:

Essex coach Jamie Porter said he would be calling his players in for “naughty-boy fitness” sessions as punishment after his side collapsed with the bat in their defeat by Northamptonshire.

The Eagles’ Quarantine Cup hopes hang by a thread after finding themselves bowled out for just 16 at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday afternoon, and must now win their final match, scoring a plethora of boundaries in the process, and hope a series of results goes in their favour, if they are to reach the last four.

For Northamptonshire, the path to the semi-finals has become a little less treacherous. Ricardo Vasconcelos’s men will likely need to win both of their remaining fixtures, but they can at least rely on some momentum to get them through.

Northamptonshire, bowling first after making the long trip to Adelaide overnight, made an early breakthrough when Nathan Buck had Varun Chopra caught in the ring third ball.

Essex failed to make a run off the bat in Buck’s over, effectively reducing their innings to four overs, and though Cameron Delport launched his first delivery for six back over Ben Sanderson’s head, he was soon on his way back to the Pavilion.

Sanderson produced a remarkable 95mph inswinging yorker to send Delport’s leg stump cartwheeling towards the boundary.

Things went from bad to worse the very next ball for Essex, as Moises Henriques leathered a gorgeous chip through the legside, only to look up to his horror to see Blessing Muzarabani celebrating taking an absurd catch on the boundary.

Muzarabani added a wicket to his excellent catch, drawing Dan Lawrence into a hook which only reached Richard Levi at fine leg, and looked for all the world as if he cleaned up the Essex innings when he pinned Ryan ten Doeschate on the back pad in front of middle stump.

Neither the standing umpire nor the TV official were convinced, however, and a lack of Hawkeye technology gave Northamptonshire minimal recourse.

Still, the reprieve only helped Essex add six more runs, all off the bat of ten Doeschate from a single blow against Muzarabani, and the innings came to an abrupt end when Faheem Ashraf had Westley leg before for 1.

Northamptonshire would have hoped to have sauntered to their target, and for a while they did as they reached 12 without loss, but in the end they fell over the line struggling and wheezing.

Adam Zampa clean bowled Vasconcelos as he marched down the wicket and tried to deposit the Australian over long-on; Simon Harmer struck with his first delivery, as Levi chipped a catch to midwicket; and Keiron Pollard picked out midwicket with four runs still required.

For the briefest of moments, Essex had a sliver of a chance, but Adam Rossington soon clipped Harmer to the legside fence to secure victory with two overs to spare.

Match Highlights: