Match Report: Durham v Essex


Durham v Essex

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


Team News:

Essex: Nick Browne, Alastair Cook, Tom Westley (c), Michael Pepper, Paul Walter, Ryan ten Doeschate, Adam Wheater (wk), Simon Harmer, Peter Siddle, Sam Cook, Jamie Porter.

Durham: Cameron Bancroft, Alex Lees, Scott Borthwick (c), David Bedingham, Jack Burnham, Michael Jones, Ned Eckersley (wk), Brydon Carse, Ben Raine, Matthew Potts, Chris Rushworth.

Match Details:

Umpires: James Middlebrook & David Millns
Toss: Durham won and elected to bowl first
Result: Essex won by 195 runs

Day Three Match Highlights:

Day Three Reaction: Sam Cook

Day Three Match Report:

Essex beat Durham with a day to spare after the home side were bowled out for 189 after they had been set 385 for victory at the Emirates Riverside.

Jamie Porter returned figures of 4/31, Peter Siddle 3/47 and Sam Cook 2/9, whilst Ryan ten Doeschate also chipped in with a wicket at a cost of 10 runs.

The two teams combined for an English record for lbw decisions in a first-class match when Jack Burnham was pinned in front of his stumps by Siddle to become the 19th lbw dismissal awarded by umpires James Middlebrook and David Millns.

Durham started their second innings an hour before Lunch and soon lost Australian international Cameron Bancroft when he went on the backfoot facing Jamie Porter in the third over and lost his middle and off stumps having scored four of the eight runs on the board.

Skipper Scott Borthwick arrived to dominate the scoring whilst Alex Lees attempted to anchor the innings with disciplined batting but with the total on 47, the partnership was broken when Sam Cook trapped Borthwick in front of his stumps for a 50-ball 29 that included four boundaries. It was the second time in the match that Borthwick had fallen to Cook in this fashion.

Lees was joined by Michael Jones and the pair attempted to fashion a revival but they were facing an attack that was bowling superbly with nagging lines and economy.

A plea to change the ball that had gone out of shape was upheld with the score 86-2 and the replacement cherry proved acceptable to Lees who, in the next over, straight drove Simon Harmer over the ropes.

The third-wicket pair completed their half-century partnership in 101 balls but a bowling change by skipper Tom Westley proved inspirational when Ryan ten Doeschate was introduced into the attack.

He persuaded Lees to change his mind when the batsman initially went on the drive and the checked shot merely popped up a simple catch to Nick Browne in the covers to send Lees back to the Pavilion two runs short of his half-century.

Now 104-3, an attritional period of play followed as the Essex bowlers tightened their firm grip on proceedings still further. Runs were hard to come by as Jones and Durham’s leading batsmen David Bedingham became entrenched in their backs-to-the-wall effort to survive.

They scored 22 runs in 11 overs as Durham reached tea on 126-3 still requiring a further 259 for victory.

The pedestrian pace continued after the resumption with 11 runs added in 12 overs against a frugal attack until Cook ended Jones dogged resistance encouraging the batsman to step across the line and become yet another lbw victim – the 18th of the match so far.

Jones had occupied the crease for six minutes short of three hours for his 35 and four overs later, he was joined back in the Pavilion by Jack Burnham whose occupation of the crease was much shorter. He had scored five in 15 minutes when he walked in front of his stumps allowing Siddle to set the new English record of 19 lbw verdicts in a match.

The next wicket to fall was altogether more conclusive. Ned Eckersley had scored six when his off-stump was flattened by Siddle as Durham recoiled to 161-6 and the return of Porter to the attack, quickly hastened the capitulation.

He grabbed two wickets in three deliveries. The first of that brace knocked out the off-stump of Ben Raine who had made seven although a bail flew into the face of wicket-keeper Adam Wheater who was standing up to the stumps. Fortunately, he was able to continue after receiving attention from Physiotherapist Chris Clarke-Irons.

Porter’s second scalp of this incisive over was that of Bedingham whose stoic effort ended with a ball angled into him. Bowled for 32, he had faced 120 balls and only found the boundary on one occasion when he struck a Harmer delivery over ropes.

Now 171-8, the conclusion of the match drew ever closer two runs later when Ben Raine nicked Siddle to the recovered Wheater for two before Porter sent Potts off-stump cartwheeling to conclude proceedings.

At the start of the day, the remaining two Essex overnight wickets added 38 runs before the innings closed on 301 with Harmer left 47 not out. With Cook, 43 had been added for the ninth-wicket before Raine picked up the last two wickets removing Cook for 22 and Porter for a duck.

Essex earned 19 points and Durham three from the encounter.

Day Two Match Highlights:

Day Two Reaction: Adam Wheater

Day Two Match Report:

Adam Wheater composed a superbly crafted 81 supported by 55 from Ryan ten Doeschate to lead Essex to a dominant position in their LV= Insurance County Championship match with Durham at Chester-le-Street.

At the close of Day Two, they were 263-8, representing an overall lead of 346 runs.

During an innings of the utmost pragmatism lasting three and a half hours, Wheater drove through the covers with authority and cut freely although resorting to solid defence where necessary.

It was his second half-century of the campaign. He scored 87 in the opening match of the season but had not passed 30 in nine innings since then but his return to form with the bat proved timely.

He was joined in a fruitful partnership of 125 by ten Doeschate who recorded his second half-century in three innings as the pair moved their side, seeking their third win of the season, into a position of authority.

ten Doeschate and Wheater’s partnership blossomed from the start as a result of judicious shot-selection from the pair that kept the score ticking over at an impressive rate of around 4 runs an over.

Playing responsibly, they drove profitably when appropriate to master the bowling. Their half-century partnership took just 53 balls with ten Doeschate the more aggressive claiming 30 of the runs but Wheater was steadily picking up pace.

Ten Doeschate was given a life on 34 when dropped by David Bedingham at second slip off Ben Raine with the total on 130 but otherwise, the pair played elegantly to take a firm grip on proceedings.

Their resourceful approach and application saw them pick off the loose deliveries to score freely. A boundary by ten Doeschate completed the hundred stand from 133 deliveries; ten Doeschate responsible for 48 runs and Wheater just one fewer.

With the pair working the ball around cleanly and running superbly between the wickets, Wheater followed his partner to their individual half-centuries; ten Doeschate’s occupying 82 balls and Wheater’s 74 balls with both batsmen gathering seven fours.

Tea was taken with the score 170-5 and Wheater had now overtaken the former Essex skipper, 55 to 54 having jointly extended the overall lead to 253 runs.

Eight runs later and with ten Doeschate having added one more run to his account, the fruitful liaison finally came to a close when ten Doeschate became the 15th lbw decision of the match, Brydon Carse getting the verdict.

However, Simon Harmer arrived to accompany Wheater to another valuable 50 runs stand diligently achieved, to strengthen the Essex grip on proceedings until Wheater’s outstanding effort was ended by a direct throw from Matty Potts at mid-on throwing the ball to the non-striker’s end.

He had faced 132 balls and found the boundary on 10 occasions.

Harmer proved vigilant and effective relying on a disciplined approach to prosper. Although Carse found the edge to have Peter Siddle caught behind for five, Sam Cook proved a dependable ally joining Harmer to successfully negotiate the remaining eight overs.

Harmer has so far faced 105 balls and is unbeaten on 30 whilst Cook is 11 not out and Essex firmly in the driving seat.

It was all in sharp contrast to the early tribulations experienced at the start of the innings when the top three in the order were removed in a sequence of 11 balls to leave the visitors 15-3 at Lunch. Ben Raine whipped out Nick Browne and Tom Westley for six and one respectively, both lbw decisions, whilst Chris Rushworth produced a beauty that hit off stump to breach the defences of Alastair Cook.

It was the third time in four innings this season that Rushworth had dismissed the former England captain, previously when Cook had scored six and two and, on this occasion, when he had scored seven.

As in the first innings, Michael Pepper and Paul Walter pursued a rebuilding mission. They went about their task with some confidence and no little purpose, playing with sound technique that brought a number of pleasing boundaries in a partnership that grew to 38 in eight overs before Walter chased a wider delivery from Raine and was caught behind for 22 to leave the visitors 53-4.

Pepper followed five balls later edging a Raine delivery into the gloves of Ned Eckersley for 22 but that paved the way for ten Doeschate and Wheater to continue the momentum during an afternoon session when 155 runs were added in 37 overs.

It had taken the three-man Essex pace attack just 14 overs in the morning to claim the remaining four Durham wickets as the home side moved from 58-6 to 99 all out.

Ned Eckersley was on 16 out of a total of 79 when he played across the line when facing Sam Cook and became the 12th lbw victim of the match.

Four balls later and without addition, Peter Siddle knocked out the off stump of Brydon Carse who had just moved into double figures.

Durham found themselves 99-8 after an hour’s play but Jamie Porter, in his third over of the session, struck twice in as many deliveries to conclude the innings. Potts was caught behind before the bowler made a mess of Rushworth’s wicket by re-arranging the middle and off stumps to give Essex a lead of 83 runs.

Cook returned figures of 4/38 taking his tally of victims for the season to 29 in seven matches, Porter finished with 3/27 and Siddle 3/29.

Day One Match Highlights:

Day One Reaction: Michael Pepper

Day One Match Report:

Michael Pepper played with noticeable accomplishment on a day when batsmen on both sides faltered alarmingly as 16 wickets fell, 11 of them lbw decisions.

Pepper hit 92 out of 182 all out before Durham staggered to the close on 58-6 in the LV= Insurance County Championship clash at Chester-le-Street.

After their modest total, the visitors were galvanised by their pace attack with five lbw victims, three claimed by Sam Cook and two by Peter Siddle after Jamie Porter had started the slide when Alex Lees was trapped in front in the third over of the reply. The opener failed to score, his second duck of the season against Essex and the revolving door of batsmen coming and going continued.

The total had crept up to 33 when three wickets fell in 12 balls for four runs.

Facing Cook, Scott Borthwick got his feet in a tangle and was out for eight, and five balls later Cameron Bancroft, attempting to play into the leg side, was removed by Siddle for 20. Then in his next over, Cook claimed Michael Jones for four when the batsman offered no shot.

Siddle then raced in three overs later to bag Jack Burnham, who was reaching forward, for two to enhance what had been a remarkable fightback.

And too conclude an amazing day’s play , David Bedingham was bowled by Cook for 10 with the final delivery.

Siddle ended the day with 2/15, Cook 3/20 and Porter 1/22.

It had been a landmark day for Pepper, whose previous best first-class score was 22, and who counter-attacked effectively producing some handsome strokes on a wicket always offering seam assistance.

He batted for three and a half hours striking 13 boundaries with controlled driving and proved an inspiring figure standing firm whilst others struggled. He did start nervously but grew in confidence to produce some expansive drives and cuts.

Harlow-born, the right-hander stepped into the void left by the selection of Dan Lawrence for the England Test squad ahead of the forthcoming series with New Zealand and the 22-year-old played admirably.

It was only his fourth first-class appearance and first in the longer format since May 2019. But his dismissal within eight runs short of a deserved century, brought about a dramatic collapse with Essex losing their last five wickets in 17 balls for just three runs.

They collapsed from 179-5 to 182 all out with Chris Rushworth claiming a trio of victims (two in one over) and Ben Raine a couple as a morbid procession of batsmen came and went all too quickly.

Pepper had been well-supported by Paul Walter as the pair found themselves in a tricky situation at the start of their fourth-wicket partnership with the visitors 40-3 after less than hour’s play.

Walter’s first three scoring strokes all reached the boundary but he was generally preoccupied with an effective solid defence approach that proved invaluable as he and Pepper battled to improve their side’s fortunes.

Their half-century partnership arrived from 100 deliveries in the over before Lunch (91-3) but seven balls into the afternoon session, Durham successfully requested the ball to be replaced, the original having gone out of shape.

And in the next over, Walter was bowled by Raine for 28 having batted for an hour and a half, undone by a full and straight delivery that uprooted off stump to leave the visitors 104-4.

Pepper though soldiered on with his attractive knock reaching the boundary for the eighth time, this an impressive cut to complete his fifty having faced 102 balls.

Ryan ten Doeschate, who had been dropped at first slip on one, was the next to go. He failed with his attempt to paddle sweep the leg-spin of Borthwick to be lbw for eight and half the side were now back in the Pavilion for 139.

Pepper, who had dominated a sixth-wicket partnership worth 40, was finally undone when trapped in the crease by Rushworth to start the calamitous conclusion to the innings.

Simon Harmer fell to Raine for one, the fifth of six lbw decisions in the innings, and then Wheater and Sam Cook were removed in the same Rushworth over, Wheater for eight nibbling outside off to edge a catch behind and Cook pinned in front for a single.

Raine concluded the visitors’ misery when he bowled Peter Siddle for a single with a delivery that snapped middle stump.

At the start of the day, Durham had won the toss and elected to bowl and the decision of Captain Borthwick was fully vindicated with three wickets in the first hour.

Nick Browne had faced the majority of the strike when, with the penultimate ball of the fifth over and with the total on 25, Rushworth broke the opening stand.

Back in 2009 at Riverside, Cook and his then Essex colleague Ravi Bopara had put on 213 for the 2nd wicket when playing for England against West Indies with Cook scoring 160 and Bopara 108 as the hosts went on to win by an innings and 83 runs.

But on this occasion, Cook had made only two when the bowler, who recently became Durham’s all-time leading first-class wicket-taker, added to his collection when Cook stepped across the line and was trapped lbw having faced nine balls.

Browne, who had worked the ball around the field well, had just taken his aggregate of first-class career runs for Essex to 6,000 when he reached 23 from 27 balls carrying the score to 33 when, without further addition, he was completely castled by Matty Potts with a delivery that left just one stump standing.

Raine replaced Potts and was soon in a celebratory mood when with the last ball of his opening over and the score on 40, he won the verdict of umpire David Millns. Tom Westley had spent 33 minutes at the crease and was still looking to get off the mark when he was struck on the pad attempting to turn a leg -ide delivery behind square and looked up to see the finger of fate raised.

There were more than 1,000 people in attendance at Riverside, the first time in 611 days that the gates had been opened to welcome crowds because of COVID-19 restrictions.

And after the clouds of an overcast morning gave way to pleasant post-midday weather, they were treated to Pepper’s superb effort amongst a fest of lbw decisions.