Match Report: Essex v Durham



Essex v Durham

LV= Insurance County Championship
The Cloudfm County Ground, Thursday 15 – Sunday 18 April


Team News:

Essex: Alastair Cook, Nick Browne, Tom Westley (c), Dan Lawrence, Paul Walter, Ryan ten Doeschate, Adam Wheater (wk), Simon Harmer, Ben Allison, Sam Cook, Jamie Porter.

Durham: Alex Lees, Scott Borthwick (c), David Bedingham, Jack Burnham, Will Young, Ned Eckersley, Stuart Poynter (wk), Brydon Carse, Chris Rushworth, Ben Raine, Matthew Salisbury.

Match Details:

Umpires: Peter Hartley & Billy Taylor
Toss: Essex won and elected to bat first
Result: Essex won by 44 runs

Day Four Highlights:

Day Four Reaction:

Day Four Match Report:

Simon Harmer spun Essex to a superb 44-run victory over Durham in the LV= Insurance County Championship match at The Cloudfm County Ground when he claimed 5 for 57 to finish with a match haul of 10 for 136.

The visitors had started the final day on 60-3 in search of a target of 168 but they never really threatened to deny Essex their triumph which seemed so unlikely for much of the match.

Durham were bowled out for 123 shortly before lunch as their opponents claimed their 12th success in 13 matches to maintain an unbeaten record at Chelmsford stretching back three years.

Harmer embarked upon his destructive spell by having Jack Burnham caught on the long-on boundary by Tom Westley for 43 in the tenth over of the morning.

In his next over, he trapped first innings century-maker Scott Borthwick lbw for 24 to end a vigilant 169-minute vigil at the crease by the watchful Durham captain who had faced 92 balls before reaching double figures.

Now 87 for 5, the visitors lost another wicket for the addition of just a single when Sam Cook won the lbw shout to get rid of Stuart Poynter.

That paved the way for Harmer to weave his magic with three more wickets in quick succession.

Ben Raine became the third batsman in 11 balls to succumb to Harmer’s guile when he was pinned in the crease for 3 and then Ned Eckersley was caught at leg slip for 13 by Dan Lawrence to leave Durham on the cusp of defeat at 108 for 8.

Next to depart was Brydon Carse, who had scored 15 when he was lbw to Harmer who had now enjoyed an incisive spell of 4 wickets in 26 balls at a personal cost of 16 runs.

That left Jamie Porter to bring the Durham innings to a close by breaching the defences of Matt Salisbury who lost his middle stump.

Harmer’s performance heralded his sixth 10-wicket match haul for Essex since he joined in 2017 and it was also the 22nd occasion that he had taken 5 wickets or more in an innings.

It also signalled a remarkable triumph for the County Champions after they had been rolled over for 96 on the opening day and later, trailed by 163 runs on first innings scores.

Essex picked up 19 points for the win and will travel to Edgbaston for their next Championship match that starts against Warwickshire on Thursday.

Day Three Highlights:

Day Three Reaction:

Day Three Match Report:

Essex have put themselves in contention for what would be a remarkable victory over Durham in the LV= Insurance County Championship match at The Cloudfm County Ground.

After trailing by 163 runs after both sides had batted and finding themselves deep in trouble in their second when they lost their seventh wicket when just 45 runs ahead, Essex finished up by setting the visitors a victory target of 168.

And by the close, Essex had reduced their opponents to 60 for 3 with Jack Burnham (31) and Scott Borthwick 9 not out.

The reigning champions began the day on 208 for 6 and lost Simon Harmer to the third ball of the morning without adding to the score when he was removed lbw by Ben Raine.

But any hopes Durham may have entertained of bringing the innings to a swift end soon disappeared.

Paul Walter, who was 49 overnight, combined with Ben Allison to put together a partnership of 58 before another half-century stand further frustrated the north-east county.

After Walter was caught behind for a career-best 77 that included 8 boundaries and spanned 189 balls, Allison and Sam Cook posted another half-century stand. It yielded 53 in 26 overs before it was brought to an end by paceman Brydon Carse after Allison had made 52, compiling his maiden half-century at first-class level.

Allison fell lbw after the same bowler had accounted for Walter with the help of a straight-forward catch to wicket-keeper Stuart Poynter.

Soon afterwards, Cook became another victim of the Poynter/Carse combination although not before Cook had equalled his career-best 37 as the innings was brought to an end with the score on 330.

Carse finished with figures of 5 for 82 before Essex removed both Durham openers without a run on the board.

Will Young shouldered arms and was bowled by Sam Cook while Alex Lees was trapped leg before by Jamie Porter. When Cook struck again to have David Bedingham caught at point by Allison for 18, Essex were in the ascendancy.

But first innings century-maker Scott Borthwick and his colleague Jack Burnham resisted all attempts to remove them as Durham ended the day 108 short of the winning post with 7 wickets in hand.

Borthwick has so far faced 88 balls in making a patient and solid nine and remains a difficult obstacle for Essex to overcome if they are to go on and win the game.

Even so, skipper Tom Westley will be satisfied that his side are still in the game on the final day after they were dismissed for a paltry 96 in their first innings.

Day Two Highlights:

Day Two Reaction:

Day Two Match Report:

Despite 76 from Dan Lawrence and an unbeaten 49 from Paul Walter, Essex are looking to save the game and avoid a first defeat in 13 home red-ball matches having reached the close on 208 for 6, a lead of just 45 runs.

The visitors added 111 runs for their last two wickets in the morning to gain a first-innings advantage of 163 but after losing both openers cheaply, a third wicket partnership worth 103 between Lawrence and Tom Westley had given Essex hope that they could muster a total to give themselves a slim chance of turning around their fortunes.

However, the departure of both batsmen within the space of 5 overs allowed Durham to retain their vice-like grip on proceedings.

Walter though played resourcefully with calm authority picking off the loose deliveries and he will resume in the morning with Simon Harmer, who is 6 not out. Picking off the loose deliveries.

Essex commenced their second innings after lunch trailing and they lost two wickets with only 19 runs wiped off the deficit.

For the second time on the match Nick Browne, who had made 4, was bowled by Chris Rushworth to leave the hosts 6 for 1 and 13 runs later, Alastair Cook was caught at short mid-wicket off Matt Salisbury for 12.

Westley and Lawrence drove with noticeable accomplishment with Lawrence deftly clipping the ball off his toes to find the boundary whilst his partner also favoured the leg side to good effect.

Both produced a number of handsome strokes and they had just brought up a century partnership when, with the total on 122, Westley steered a ball from Brydon Carse into the hands of first slip.

Shortly after, Lawrence also fell to the same bowler when puling a delivery to deep mid-wicket.

At that stage, the County Champions were still 24 runs adrift.

Walter and Ryan ten Doeschate had just wiped off the deficit when the canny captaincy of Scott Borthwick brought further problems. He introduced himself into the attack picking up two wickets in 12 balls with his leg-spin as Essex slumped to 180 for 6.

Ryan ten Doeschate had scored 16 but then drove firmly at a half-volley and Borthwick dived to hold a return catch inches from the ground. Then Adam Wheater was caught behind for 6 to leave Essex floundering at 180 for 8 and staring at defeat.

It had taken the home side 33 and a half overs in the morning to wrap up the Durham first innings after the visitors resumed on 148 for 8 before being eventually dismissed for 259.

Leading the way was former Essex bowler Matt Salisbury who posted a career-best 41 during a 94 runs stand with Stuart Poynter, a county record for the ninth wicket in matches between the two counties.

It was Harmer who finally broke the partnership when he had Salisbury snapped up by ten Doeschate at forward short leg to give the bowler his 5th wicket of the innings and his 21st five-for in his Essex career. This latest effort came at a personal cost of 79 runs from 34 overs of which 12 were maidens.

Sam Cook called on the assistance of namesake Alastair to account for last man Rushworth who was caught at first slip for 15 to give the bowler figures of 3 for 57 and that left Poynter 52 not out.

Day One Highlights:

Day One Reaction:

Day One Match Report:

Scott Borthwick scored a superb century on a dramatic opening day’s play at The Cloudfm County Ground where Essex were bowled out for just 96 before Durham reached 148 for 8 at the close.

The Durham skipper played with composure, determination, and skill, qualities that had not been in too much evidence elsewhere, stroking his way to a 119-ball century that included 15 boundaries.

But with his score on 100, the spin of Dan Lawrence breached his defences and he was bowled. Lawrence then bowled Brydon Carse with his next delivery to leave Durham 143 for 7 and Essex back in contention after Simon Harmer had taken three wickets and Sam Cook two Essex had been dismissed for 96, in 41.3 overs before they showed character and resolve to keep their interest alive after the north-east county had been in apparent total control.

Cook recorded his 100th first-class wicket for Essex when he removed Alex Lees for 5 with the score on 11 when Durham replied but Will Young and Borthwick combined taking the visitors past the Essex paltry total with both batsmen looking comfortable at the crease.

But then the visitors wobbled.

Harmer brought the 87 runs liaison to an end when he had debutant Young picked up by Lawrence at leg slip for 24 and 6 runs later, had David Bedingham caught by Tom Westley at long-on for a duck with Durham just 8 runs ahead.

Jack Burnham was then bowled for a single by a Cook delivery that was angled across him (114-4) but after Ned Eckersley and Borthwick added 27, four wickets fell for three runs.

Eckersley was caught at slip off Harmer for 4 before Lawrence struck twice in as many deliveries and Harmer took his tally to 4 for 41 when Ben Raine edged to first slip just before the close with Durham 52 runs ahead.

The Durham bowlers took full advantage of the helpful conditions, none more so than Chris Rushworth who led the way with 3 for 37 from 11 overs of which 8 were maidens. Carse also grabbed three wickets at a cost of 37 runs whilst Raine and former Essex man Matt Salisbury shared the remaining four wickets.

Essex won the toss and elected to bat but on an overcast morning, the scoreboard painted a gloomy picture as five wickets fell for 36 runs in a little over an hour. Three of those went before half an hour had been played with Nick Browne, Alastair Cook and Westley were all victims of the Durham new ball attack.

And by the time 14 overs had been bowled, they were joined by Paul Walter and Ryan ten Doeschate with none of the five victims managing to contribute more than 7 runs. It had taken five sessions of play in the previous match at Chelmsford for five wickets to fall but the batting paradise of that match against Worcestershire was replaced by the nightmare start from the home side.

With the ball nibbling about on a well-grassed pitch, the chapter of calamities began from the start of the match. Browne dragged the third ball of the match onto his stumps without a run on the board to give Rushworth the first of his two wickets.

Then his new ball partner and former Essex paceman Salisbury moved a ball away from Westley, who had scored a double-century against Worcestershire, and the Essex skipper edged the ball onto the gloves of Stuart Poynter. He departed for 4 with Essex 7 for 2 and that became 15 for 3 when Alastair Cook’s barren run of form continued.

Pushing half-forward against Rushworth, the former England captain was struck on the pads and departed for 6 as his side reeled to 15 for three.

Lawrence and Paul Walter combined for 17 before the introduction of Carse brought further woes for the County Champions.

With his first delivery, he encouraged Walter, on 7, to drag the ball onto his stumps from outside off and three balls and 4 runs later, had ten Doeschate caught at third slip off the edge of the bat as the Essex batsman ducked into a short delivery.

With ten Doeschate gone for 4 and the scoreboard showing a sorry 36 for 5, Lawrence was joined by Adam Wheater, and the pair set about rebuilding the innings. Lawrence, selective in driving, played well off his legs and twice collected boundaries in the same over against Raine.

The plucky Wheater was twice hit on the body by short-pitched deliveries and offered Lawrence valuable support playing with good sense.

Lunch was taken early when rain, 10 minutes before the scheduled interval, gave Essex (74-5) some respite from their troubles of the morning.

Further delight for Durham followed upon the resumption of play when they struck three times in 28 deliveries. Without addition to the lunch score, Raine encouraged Wheater to flirt with a ball outside off stump and was caught at second slip for 18.

Lawrence’s resistance came to an end on 32 when he was undone by a beauty from Salisbury that straightened with the ball clipping the bails to leave the home side 74 for 6.

Two runs later, Raine had Harmer caught for a duck at first slip by Bedingham and after a further shower on 81 for 8 held up the action for 40 minutes, it did not take long for the Durham attack to wrap up the innings.

Ben Allison was caught behind for 4 to a ball from Rushworth that straightened and Sam Cook was caught at slip for 15 when a bouncer from Carse struck the grill of the helmet.