Match Report: Essex v Gloucestershire


Essex v Gloucestershire

LV= Insurance County Championship
The Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford, Sunday 05 September – Wednesday 08 September


Team News:

Essex: Nick Browne, Alastair Cook, Tom Westley (c), Michael Pepper, Paul Walter, Josh Rymell, Adam Wheater (wk), Simon Harmer, Shane Snater, Sam Cook, Jamie Porter.

Gloucestershire: Ben Charlesworth, Miles Hammond, James Bracey (wk), Chris Dent (c), Tom Lace, Graeme van Buuren, Ryan Higgins, Ollie Price, Zafar Gohar, Tom Price, David Payne.

Match Details:

Umpires: Neil Bainton & Tom Lungley
Toss: Essex, who elected to field

Scorecard: View Here

Day Three Highlights:

Day Three Reaction: Anthony McGrath

Day Three Match Report:

Simon Harmer took his LV= Insurance County Championship wicket tally for the season to 49 as Essex maintained their top spot in Division Two with an innings and three-run victory over Gloucestershire.

Off-spinner Harmer returned four for 78 as Essex claimed the five wickets needed on day four before lunch – with Gloucestershire bowled out for 197.

Essex have won both their Divisional stage matches by an innings, having previously thrashed Glamorgan.

Essex’s initial pursuit of the final five wickets didn’t take long as three wickets fell for no runs.

Sam Cook dragged Tom Lace outside off stump and caught an edge to bucket hands Simon Harmer at second slip with the 11th ball of the morning.

Ten balls later and Cook struck again with a fullish delivery to strike Graeme van Buuren on the pads.

In the following over, Chris Dent bravely attempted to leave Harmer – who had been getting significant turn and bounce – only for that delivery to cannon into middle and off.

Ryan Higgins and Zafar Khan wobbled Gloucestershire off 134 – with the former finding fluency with four fours and a six.

Pakistani overseas Zafar also found the boundary four times on his way to 24 during a 78-minute partnership with Higgins, worth 54.

But Harmer eventually ended the stand when he snared an outside edge to Alastair Cook at first slip.

And the victory was wrapped up at 12:18pm when Higgins was run out attempting a second run by Shane Snater at square leg.

Day Two Highlights:

Day Two Reaction: Paul Walter

Day Two Match Report:

Essex found themselves on the brink of victory in the Division Two clash with Gloucestershire at The Cloudfm County Ground after a superb innings by Paul Walter, who was dismissed four runs short of a his maiden Essex century.

That outstanding and responsible performance underpinned an Essex first innings advantage of 200 runs and the value of this innings became more apparent as the visitors were reduced to 132 for 5 by the close; still requiring a further 68 runs to avoid an innings defeat.

Only Ben Charlesworth and James Bracey put up any real resistance. The pair resisted for 27 overs while adding 58 after opener Miles Hammond was trapped lbw by Shane Snater for 17 with the total on 35.

Charlesworth made 49 from 124 deliveries of which he steered six off them to the boundary before becoming another lbw victim, this time to the irrepressible Simon Harmer. Bracey went on to complete a battling half-century from 118 balls that included seven fours but was then dismissed when he flashed at a delivery from Sam Cook and was caught by Harmer in the slips.

Once Charlesworth and Bracey had been separated, the innings went into rapid decline with three wickets falling for 9 runs in 21 deliveries late in the day.

Bracey’s dismissal on 123 was followed by that of Tom Price one run later as the batsman steered a Harmer ball into the hands of Nick Browne at backward short leg and then brother Ollie Price, sent in as nightwatchman, was run out without score by an outstanding direct throw from Josh Rymell at deep square leg.

Essex had begun the day on 150 for 5 but only added another 4 runs before Adam Wheater was dismissed.

He had scored 34 in a partnership of 79 with Paul Walter before Tom Price had him caught by his brother Ollie at second slip.

Walter and Harmer however scored freely as they carried the total beyond 200, during a stand worth 71, to earn the county their first batting point.

Harmer adopted an aggressive approach with a series of fine strokes as he collected seven boundaries while making 45 from 69 deliveries.

He lost his wicket when Tom Lace held a sharp catch low down at third slip off the bowling of Ryan Higgins soon after Walter attempt to record his maiden Championship century fell agonisingly short.

The tall left-hander, who has now posted four half-centuries in the Championship this summer, was also caught by Lace who juggled with the ball at third slip before completing the catch to give paceman David Payne a success.

It left the batsman who showed a range of strokes without risk arriving at his 50 from 117 balls before advancing towards his hundred only to fall for 96 that spanned 241 deliveries and contained 15 fours.

Shane Snater was removed by spinner Zafar for 10 but an entertaining last wicket partnership of 32 between Sam Cook – who contributed an unbeaten 22 – and Jamie Porter took Essex to a total of 276 and a first innings lead of exactly 200.

That landmark was reached with an onside 6 by Porter against Zafar before the batsman fell in the same over for 17 and his highest score for three seasons.

Day One Highlights:

Day One Reaction: Sam Cook

Day One Match Report:

On a day when 15 wickets fell at The Cloudfm County Ground on the first day of the LV= Insurance County Championship match, Paul Walter provided the standout innings as Essex reached the close on 150-5 having bowled Gloucestershire out for just 76 in the morning session.

Jamie Porter took 4/32 whilst Sam Cook and Simon Harmer shared six wickets as the visitor’s innings was demolished in 28 overs but the home side also lost wickets cheaply slumping to 32-4 in reply until Walter orchestrated a recovery.

Understandably, he batted cagily initially eschewing possible demise with a disciplined and controlled technique. He was content to pick off the loose delivery and arrived at his 4th red-ball half-century of the summer with his 8th boundary having faced 118 balls.

By the close, his unbeaten 71 had proved the bedrock of a valuable lead of 74 runs.

He found valuable support from Josh Rymell and Adam Wheater. He and 20-year-old Rymell more than doubled the score with a partnership worth 43 before the patient Rymell was caught at first slip for 14 when facing Pakistan orthodox left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar.

Then Wheater joined Walter for an unbroken stand worth 75, with Wheater contributing 30 as the pair successfully foiled the threat of spinner Zafar as they batted through 31 overs to the close.

Porter and Cook had wreaked havoc to the visitors batting who, having been put onto bat, immediately experienced problems to find themselves 32-6 before 10 overs had been completed.

Porter, playing the 100th first-class match of his career, soon celebrated the milestone with the dismissal of both openers, Miles Hammond in his second over of the morning before claiming Ben Charlesworth 8 balls later – both batsmen falling to leg before shouts.

The removal of Charlesworth, who was the only batsman in the top six to reach double figures (12) started a spectacular collapse with five wickets toppling in 20 balls for 12 runs to leave the West Country side in disarray as the innings declined to 32-6 with Cook banking three wickets. He found the edge to have James Bracey caught behind then Tom Lace had his off-stump knocked back when failing to play a shot.

With their tails up, the Essex new ball duo continued to run amok. Porter had Chris Dent caught by Simon Harmer at second slip and then Graeme van Buuren shouldered arms when facing a Cook delivery and was bowled as four wickets went down in 14 balls.

Ryan Higgins played with good sense to provide the major contribution of 25 as a series of unwise strokes proved the undoing of a number of his colleagues.

Oliver Price picked out Nick Browne in the gully to give Porter a fourth wicket and leave the visitors 47-7. Higgins was then joined by Zafar and the pair had colluded for a stand worth 26 when Harmer joined the attack for the first time.

In three overs, he wrapped up the innings. With his third delivery, he had Zafar caught at square leg for 12 – the joint second-highest score of the innings – and four balls later, he induced a fatal edge from Higgins as Michael Pepper took the catch at short-leg.

Five balls later, Harmer bagged his 45th Championship wicket of the campaign when breaching the defences of last man David Payne as Gloucestershire were bowled out in 28 overs.

Cook took his tally for the season to 43 in the Championship with figures of 3/27 whilst Harmer was 3/2 runs in 3 overs taking his tally to 45 in the competition.

The home side also experienced problems early on losing Browne, Tom Westley and Pepper for single figures scores whilst Alastair Cook made 15 before he was trapped in front of his stumps by Higgins.

However, Walter stepped forward to address the problems and leave Essex in the driving seat.