Match Preview: Durham v Essex


Durham v Essex

LV= Insurance County Championship
Emirates Riverside, Chester-le-Street
Thursday 27 – Sunday 30 May
11am start

Essex trek to the North East as they continue their LV= Insurance County Championship campaign with a visit to Chester-le-Street where they meet Durham starting on Thursday.

When the two teams met at Chelmsford earlier in the season, Essex were dismissed for 96 in their first innings before their opponents gained a lead of 163 runs, but in the second innings, Dan Lawrence, Paul Walter and Ben Allison all contributed half-centuries. Left with a total of 168 for victory, Durham succumbed to the wiles of spinner Simon Harmer who bagged his second 5-wicket haul of the match to lead his side to a 44-run victory.

Essex will be keen to secure their third win of the season in the four-day competition in order to enhance their prospects of finishing in the top-two and winning a place in Division One later in the season to compete once again for the County Championship title.

At present, they have played seven of their 10 matches in the group stage and sit in second place with 88 points, nine fewer than Nottinghamshire who have played one match fewer. Durham sit in third place, just three points adrift of Essex and also with a match in hand.


Squad Template Away 

Hear from Nel:

With the weather badly affecting their last match, Essex will be keeping their fingers crossed that the elements do not intervene with the clash with Durham.

With just two victories from their seven matches so far, the visitors are hoping to complete the double over Durham.

Bowling coach Andre Nel was delighted with the County’s bowling attack last week in the match against Warwickshire.

He said: “I was really happy with the way we bowled and I think that is the best that we’ve bowled as a unit this season.

“In past games, one of our bowlers might have been a bit off whilst others were on fire but to see us bowl really well as a complete unit against Warwickshire is a real good positive to take to Durham and we look forward to playing some decent cricket up there.

“It was unfortunate that the rain played such a key part against Warwickshire but there are still plenty of positives to take out the game and some bonus points.”

Injury/Absentees News:

Dan Lawrence will miss both this match and the clash with Nottinghamshire at Chelmsford next week having been named in the England squad for the forthcoming two-match Test series with New Zealand.


Members of the Durham’s pace attack are enjoying a fruitful time at present. New ball bowler Chris Rushworth recently became Durham’s all-time leading first-class wicket-taker when he claimed his 528th victim to move ahead of Graham Onions.

Rushworth has now taken 32 wickets at 14.84 this season whilst fellow paceman Brydon Carse has 25 victims to his credit.

Aussie Cameron Bancroft has recently teamed up once more with Durham and he figures in a batting group that includes David Bedingham, who heads their averages with 624 runs at 78, which includes two centuries and two fifties.

Ned Eckersley passed 7,000 first-class runs during the recent match with Derbyshire whilst skipper Scott Borthwick has already made his mark on the Essex attack having taken 100 off them in the game at Chelmsford earlier this term.

One to Watch:

Australian international Cameron Bancroft is now back with Durham following a successful season for Western Australia and Perth Scorchers.

He was with the North East County in 2019 and played nine County Championship matches and topped their batting averages with 726 runs at an average of 45.37.


When the two teams met in County Championship at Chelmsford in mid-April, Essex staged a wonderful come-back to win the match by 44 runs.

That seemed an unlikely prospect after they were shot out for 96 (Dan Lawrence contributed 32) before Durham claimed a first-innings advantage of 163 runs.

In their second trip to the middle, Essex lost 6 wickets for 180 (Lawrence 76) but were galvanised by Paul Walter who scored a first-class career-best 77 and figured in a 58 run stand for the eighth wicket with rookie Ben Allison.

Then Sam Cook joined Allison to add 53 for the ninth wicket. Allison hit a maiden first-class half-century whilst Cook equalled his best score of 37 in Championship cricket.

Spin specialist Simon Harmer then took over as he weaved his way to figures of 5 for 57 (10/136 in the match) as Durham were dismissed for 123.

The last time that Essex contested a County Championship fixture at Chester-le-Street was in April 2010 when the match was drawn.

Jaik Mickleburgh scored 174 and James Foster 169, with the pair putting on 339 for the fourth wicket. Chris Wright, Ryan ten Doeschate and Tim Phillips each claimed 3 wickets as Durham were dismissed for 198 but following on, they had reached 352-7 (Phillips 4/113) when the Captains shook hands on the draw.

In the 17 Championship clashes so far, Essex have won nine times, Durham have secured victory three times whilst there have also been five draws.

Potential Milestones:

Nick Browne requires 23 more runs to reach 6,000 first-class runs for Essex.
Adam Wheater requires 2 runs to reach 3,000 first-class runs for Essex.
Jamie Porter requires 3 more wickets to record 350 first-class wickets for Essex.
Adam Wheater requires 7 more victims to reach 150 first-class dismissals for Essex. He has currently claimed 131 catches and 12 stumpings.
Simon Harmer requires 11 more wickets to record 300 first-class wickets for Essex.

How To Watch:

Our Live Stream service will be available across all four days of this game from 11am, which also includes player stats, scorecards and clips throughout the day. Access via the Essex Cricket Matchzone is available here.