Match Report: Sussex v Essex



Sussex v Essex

Bob Willis Trophy (South Group)
The 1st Central County Ground, Saturday 15 – Tuesday 18 August


Team News:

Essex: Alastair Cook, Nick Browne, Tom Westley (c), Dan Lawrence, Ryan ten Doeschate, Paul Walter, Adam Wheater (wk), Simon Harmer, Aaron Beard, Jamie Porter, Matt Quinn.

Sussex: Phil Salt, Tom Haines, Harry Finch, Tom Clark, Ben Brown (c) (wk), Aaron Thomason, Delray Rawlins, George Garton, Stuart Meaker, Henry Crocombe, Mitchell Claydon.

Match Details:

Umpires: Ian Gould & Mark Newell
Match Referee: Stephen Davis
Toss: Essex, who elected to field
Result: Essex win by 3 wickets

Day Four Highlights:

Paul Walter’s Day Four Reaction:

Day Four Close of Play Report:

Dan Lawrence struck a defining 60 as Essex showed their virtues of character and determination as they beat Sussex by 3 wickets in the Bob Willis Trophy clash with Sussex to record their third successive victory in the competition.

Chasing 196 for victory in 52 overs, they completed their task with 6.1 overs to spare, reaching 199-7 but not before a few nervy moments.

Lawrence, who had offered the best innings of the match, gloved a short ball from George Garton to the wicket-keeper and at that point, Essex required a further 43 runs from 14.5 overs with 5 wickets intact.

But the loss of Adam Wheater and Simon Harmer three overs and 19 runs later left Essex 172-7 and the responsibility on the shoulders of Paul Walter. And he responded superbly, playing with unruffled technique to ease his side across the line with an unbeaten 27, although it was Aaron Beard who glided the winning runs down to fine leg off Stuart Meaker, his second boundary amongst his 10 not out.

Essex were given a sound start by Nick Browne and Alastair Cook who posted 44 in 10 overs before both fell to the bowling of George Garton. Both openers had looked confident with Cook striking 5 boundaries in 30 balls before he edged to slip with Garton claiming his wicket for the second time in the match.

Then Browne went 5 runs later when he failed to deal with a yorker-length ball and was leg before for 19 to leave the visitors 49-2.

Tom Westley, who was timing the ball well from the start, was joined by Lawrence and by Tea, the pair had taken their side to 80-2 and 116 from their target with a minimum of 31 overs remaining.

The Essex skipper, showing fluidity in his strokeplay, realised the half-century stand with Lawrence spanning 79 balls with the latter contributing 33 of that liaison. They continued to pick off the runs until Westley, who had scored 24, had his off-stump knocked back by Stuart Meaker.
His departure left his side requiring another 78 runs with 25 overs at their disposal.

Lawrence continued in accomplished style in his first match in the competition moving sweetly to a 60-ball half-century when he executed a superb cover drive.

Ryan ten Doeschate joined him to put on 24 in 6 overs before the former Essex Captain was caught at deep mid-wicket when facing the bowling of the impressive Garton, who returned 4/50, to leave Essex 142-4 and looking set for a comfortable victory.

But Sussex refused to cave in and when Mitch Claydon accounted for Wheater (14) and Harmer (for a second-ball duck), the match was finely poised.

Walter though remained confident and unperturbed. With 10 overs remaining, a further 18 were required but he and Beard chipped away to carry Essex to the win and 19 points.

Having been on the backfoot after both sides had completed their first innings that left Essex trailing by 54 runs, it was the destructible duo of Simon Harmer and Jamie Porter that set up the opportunity for victory as they accounted for some indeterminate batting.

They returned figures of 5/54 and 3/28 respectively as Sussex were bowled out for 141 having started the last day on 57-2. Porter captured the wicket of major threat Phil Salt in his third over and wrapped up the innings with the dismissal of Henry Crocombe to bookend some incisive work by his off-spin colleague.

The threat offered by Harmer was realised immediately he came into the attack taking his first 2 wickets at a cost of 5 runs. Delray Rawlins at least looked to take on the guileful Harmer twice sending deliveries from the off-spinner high over the boundary.

He had scored an entertaining 40 from 42 balls but Harmer was to have the last word when he trapped his opponent whose intended sweep proved injudicious to earn a leg before dismissal.

Harmer’s 5-fer was the 20th time in his 47 first-class matches for Essex that the he had completed that particular milestone, as he carried his tally of victims for the Club to 245 since making his debut in 2017.

Essex now face Hampshire at Arundel in their next Bob Willis Trophy starting on Saturday.

Day Three Highlights:

Anthony McGrath’s Day Three Reaction:

Day Three Close of Play Report:

Essex are facing a big day of cricket in the Bob Willis Trophy tomorrow after Sussex ended Day Three on 57-2, representing an overall lead of 111 runs.

The home side had started their second innings with a 54 run lead after dismissing their opponents for 140, and although Jamie Porter soon had Tom Haines snapped up by Simon Harmer with only 7 runs on the board, Phil Salt and Harry Finch carried their side onto a three-figure advantage.

Although Finch was out for 32 when he was caught by Adam Wheater off Aaron Beard with the last ball of the day, Sussex will believe they are in a strong position to go in search of their second win of the season.

Essex were undone by medium-fast left-armer George Garton who returned career-best figures of 5/26. He included Alastair Cook and Dan Lawrence amongst his early victims and then bagged Essex top-scorer Paul Walter who struck 33 before the bowler clipped the top of off-stump with the first ball after Tea.

The visitors’ innings was in trouble from the start with Nick Browne and Tom Westley both falling for just 4 apiece as Lunch was taken with the Country Champions 28-2.

Their plight worsened when Lawrence was caught behind with the last ball of the first over after the resumption. Cook had looked composed in posting 20 before his hour and a half occupation of the crease was brought to an end by Garton who produced a skiddy delivery that struck the former England Captain on the front pad as he moved across his stumps.

Only Walter looked comfortable bringing the virtues of application and sound shot-selection to address an attack that prospered with through the disciplines of line and length on a pitch offering some encouragement.

He figures in the two highest partnerships of the innings, 30 with Adam Wheater who scored 6 and then 29 with Simon Harmer who scored 17 before he was trapped in front by Mitch Claydon.

The liaison with Harmer ended with the first ball after Tea when Walter was beaten by a Garton delivery that hit the top of off stump to leave Essex 119-7. Two further wickets fell on 121 but last man Matt Quinn scored 13 before former England U19 bowler Garton ended his interest and the innings.

Earlier in the day, Porter had taken 2 of the remaining 4 wickets when Sussex resumed their first innings to leave the 27-year-old paceman with figures of 5/60. It was his 13th 5-fer in 80 first-class matches for Essex, since making his debut at the back end of the 2014 season.

Sussex had resumed on 155-6 in this rain-affected contest but the innings lasted another hour whilst 39 runs were added. Harmer and Beard joined Porter amongst the wickets to finish with 3/48 and 2/45 respectively.

Day Two Highlights:

Andre Nel’s Day Two Reaction:

Day Two Close of Play Report:

Once again, inclement weather frustrated the players on a day when only 31 overs were possible between Sussex and Essex in the Bob Willis Trophy at Hove with the home side 155-6 at the close.

Play started on time but rain began just before Lunch and continued for much of the afternoon with the post-lunch session completely lost. The downpours intensified during the lunch interval although, by the time tea was taken at 3:45pm, the weather had improved.

Umpires Ian Gould and Mark Newell arranged for a 5pm. inspection of conditions as the ground staff got to work with their mopping-up operations.

However, the officials decided that play could not be resumed and called play off for the day

Simon Harmer had bowled unchanged before Lunch, sending down 16 overs and picking up the wickets of Ben Brown (11) and Delray Rawlins (7) to take his tally for the season to 22 whilst there was a further wicket for Jamie Porter (to add to his 2 the previous day) and one for Aaron Beard as the hosts reached 155-6 when Lunch was taken.

Sussex had resumed on 93-2 under grey skies and the floodlights were soon switched on and it was hard work for the batsmen made increasingly so by the tight control exerted by Harmer and Porter.

Harmer sent down 9 maidens and conceded just 26 runs in the session whilst paceman Porter was also frugal sending down his 6 overs at a cost of just 7 runs with 3 maidens and gaining his wicket with the removal of Harry Finch for 11 in the fourth over of the morning.

Teenager Tom Clark took 30 balls before he got off the mark with a thick edge off Porter to the third man boundary but he looked a promising player as he played Harmer watchfully whilst seeking to play more freely against the pacemen.

The 19-year-old left-hander had reached 21 from 82 balls when he was superbly caught low down at backward point by substitute fielder Feroze Khushi for 21 to give Beard his wicket and leave the South Coast side 131-5.

That wicket came amid wickets for Harmer. Having collected a boundary against earlier in the over, Brown came down the pitch and deposited him over mid-on. But in his next over, Harmer had Brown caught at mid-on by Paul Walter attempting another lofted drive.

Rawlins misjudged a sweep, the ball looping up off his glove to Cook at slip and leaving Aaron Thomason (14), playing only his fourth first-class match, and George Garton (8) to take their side through 6 overs until the weather closed in for the day.

Day One Highlights:

Jamie Porter’s Day One Reaction:

Day One Close of Play Report:

Jamie Porter continued his excellent form by grabbing both Essex wickets as Sussex, who were put in to bat, reached 93-2 on a day when only 30 overs of play were possible because of rain in the Bob Willis Trophy clash at The 1st Central County Ground.

Paceman Porter, who has twice taken 4 wickets in an innings the 2 matches this season, had all the batsmen in trouble and might have gained further reward for his efforts before having to settle for figures of 2/35 when play ended prematurely.

Openers Phil Salt and Tom Haines both played and missed on occasions but had carried the total to 38 in an hour when Porter ended the stand after switching to the Cromwell Road End.

Haines, on 14, was the first to go when he edged to Simon Harmer at second slip.

In grey conditions and with the floodlights on, Salt played enterprisingly but was fortunate to survive a let-off when he gave a difficult chance to Dan Lawrence with his score on 36 but the batsman carried on to post his third half-century of the season.

He had reached 57 when Porter found the edge of the bat with a delivery that came back in to the right-hander and Harmer dived to his right to take the catch. That dismissal ended an innings spanning 82 balls with 11 powerfully struck boundaries and brought in Tom Clark to join forces with Harry Finch.

Clark was still to get off the mark having faced 27 balls when Tea arrived but during the break, rain fell again and play was called off for the day.

It took three inspections by umpires Ian Gould and Mike Newell before they gave the nod for the match to finally get underway 2:30pm, after morning rain had left the outfield damp and leaving 55 overs of play possible.

Essex made 3 changes to the side that beat Surrey earlier in the week with Ryan ten Doeschate, Dan Lawrence and Matt Quinn coming in for Varun Chopra, Feroze Khushi and Sam Cook.

Day Two begins at 11am on Sunday and our Live Stream of the game is available via the Essex Cricket Matchzone – here.