Match Report: Essex v Somerset


Essex v Somerset

LV= Insurance County Championship
The Cloud County Ground, Monday 25 – Thursday 28 July


Team News:

Essex: Nick Browne, Alastair Cook, Tom Westley (c), Dan Lawrence, Paul Walter, Matt Critchley, Adam Rossington (wk), Simon Harmer, Shane Snater, Aaron Beard, Jamie Porter.

Somerset: Matt Renshaw, Tom Lammonby, Tom Abell (c), George Bartlett, Lewis Goldsworthy, James Rew (wk), Lewis Gregory, Kasey Aldridge, Craig Overton, Peter Siddle, Jack Leach.

Match Details:

Umpires: Nicholas Cook & Chris Watts
Match Referee: Simon Hinks
Toss: Essex, who elected to bat
Result: Match drawn

Scorecard: View Here

Day Four Highlights:

Day Four Reaction: Anthony McGrath

Day Four Match Report:

Tom Banton and James Rew celebrated contrasting maiden LV= Insurance County Championship centuries as Somerset and Essex meandered to the inevitable draw.

Banton only entered the match at the beginning of the day as a concussion replacement for Lewis Goldsworthy and enjoyed himself with a scintillating 126 off 120 balls.

Rew, the 18-year-old who only made his Championship debut last month, was the picture of serenity throughout his vigil. As Nick Browne and Matt Renshaw before him, he ground the bowlers down and ended unbeaten on 101.

The Somerset scorecard became a curiosity at the start of the play. Seven batters had started their innings, three had been dismissed, and four not out batters were listed.

Tom Abell had already halted his innings on 90 after injuring his hamstring on Day Three while attempting a quickly run second.

While Abell could technically continue, Lewis Goldsworthy’s absence from the match was permanent. The 21-year-old had turned his head into a Shane Snater short delivery, but despite undergoing two concussion tests on the field, it was decided overnight that his condition had worsened.

Banton replaced him in the XI and showed an attacking flair rarely seen during this match. He seemed particularly keen to get on top of Simon Harmer with sweep shots, often from well outside his off stump.

He had previously topped out at 79 in the Championship but strolled to his ninth career 50, and third of the season, in 66 balls.

Banton, who had scored 92 runs in the morning session, had only played 27 first-class matches ahead of this game and went to three figures in 104 balls with a flick to the leg side and a fist pump.

At the other end, Rew accumulated with his compact set-up. Risks were rarely taken, but reverse sweeps were consistently timed impeccably. He reached his maiden century in 209 balls.

Rew and Banton put on 164, with 199 runs in total added for the fourth wicket, before the latter was caught at long-on, soon after he had been dropped in the same position.

Rew and Lewis Gregory ticked through another 70 runs before Gregory was run out and Craig Overton was stumped before Tea, which brought a declaration with a 100-run lead.

Browne, who had been left 234 not out in the first innings, only lasted 5 balls before edging Peter Siddle to Renshaw at first slip but that is where the excitement started and ended as Tom Westley and Paul Walter batted out the rest of the day.

Day Three Highlights:

Day Three Match Report:

Matt Renshaw mimicked Nick Browne’s run accumulation as Somerset and Essex headed towards a draw in the LV= Insurance County Championship clash at Chelmsford.

Australian Renshaw was unflappable to gather 146, his highest score in the Championship, having spent 6 hours and 34 minutes at the crease.

He put on an unbroken 193 runs with Tom Abell for the second wicket before the Somerset Captain was forced to retire hurt on 90 after appearing to damage his hamstring.

Somerset ended the day on 359-3 in reply to Essex’s equally massive 505, still 146 behind heading into a final day unlikely to inspire a result.

Renshaw and Abell had begun their partnership the previous evening with a free-flowing and breezy half-century together. The same adjectives could not be used again on Day Three, where turgidity and gritty were better suited.

The morning session in particular was a practice in patience and copied the rhythm of much of the earlier portion of the match. Only 87 runs were scored, as Renshaw and then Abell moved past 50, in 139 and 105 balls respectively.

On his 100th first-class appearance, Adam Rossington was absent having taken a blow to his finger. Will Buttleman stood in, tidily, behind the stumps throughout the day.

Abell joined him in withdrawing from the action after a quickly run 2 saw him pull up and limp off back to the dressing room.

Meanwhile, Renshaw remained unflinching to bring up his 15th first-class century, and 5th for Somerset over two spells at the Club.

Much of what was written and said about Browne’s 234 not out the previous two days could be also aimed at Renshaw. Both showed off deep levels of concentration and stubbornness to take the opportunity of scoring a high score for their team.

George Bartlett had arrived to replace Abell and pinged a straight six to take the second wicket stand to a record against Hampshire, before he was adjudged to have gloved to short leg, giving Simon Harmer his second wicket in the 48 overs sent down in the innings.

Renshaw gloved a pull off Aaron Beard behind to end with 146 before Lewis Goldsworthy and James Rew took the game slowly past the 356 follow-on target and to the end of the day. The duo adding an unbroken 35.

Day Two Highlights:

Day Two Reaction: Nick Browne

Day Two Match Report:

Nick Browne tenaciously scored the fourth LV= Insurance County Championship double century of his career as Essex afflicted 505 on Somerset.

Opening batter Browne has a belligerent and unflustered temperament which gives him the ability to go big once he gets in. His mammoth unbeaten 234 showcased the best of these traits.

Tom Lammonby collected 3/35 for his personal best figures and Peter Siddle claimed his 700th first-class wicket in a testing 5-and-a-bit sessions for the visitors.

In reply, Simon Harmer pinched his 45th wicket of the season as Somerset reached 99-1 at quite a tempo, ending the day 406 runs in arrears.

Browne batted and batted and batted some more, 10 hours and 38 minutes to be precise from 11am on Monday to the time Tom Westley finally pulled his side in on Tuesday afternoon.

Not much changed in his approach through his vigil, very rarely altering from his tried and tested late-play methods, only slowly accelerating through his innings. His first 50 came in 124 balls, his second 104, then 95 and 94 deliveries to move to 200.

Somerset’s inroads were as equally hard to come by as on the first day, but the decision to throw the ball to Lammonby in the 114th over was inspired. The left-arm pace bowler had 6 wickets ahead of the game, but within 4 overs had added 2 more scalps.

Paul Walter’s 172 partnership with Browne ended first when he lost his off stump for 86 before Matt Critchley followed when he couldn’t resist prodding behind.

Adam Rossington arrived, pumped 32 off 40 balls, added 72 with the unmovable Browne and slog-swept to deep midwicket, giving Lammonby his third.

Simon Harmer didn’t continue the acceleration, sitting on 7 off 49 balls at one point in the afternoon where the rate slowed right down, a period where 15 overs passed without a boundary.

Meanwhile, Browne had taken himself past 200 in 417 balls. He had previously celebrated double centuries against Middlesex and twice v Derbyshire. By way of reference, Alastair Cook has never reached the milestone for Essex, although the legendary Graham Gooch managed it 10 times.

Incredibly Browne eventually faced 454 balls, which was four more than Sam Northeast dealt with in his incredible 410 for Glamorgan against Leicestershire last week.

Harmer did pick up his pace against the Somerset spinners, thrice swiping them to the midwicket boundary, before slogging to long off to depart.

Shane Snater and Aaron Beard both showed attacking intent and both fell to maximum attempts before the declaration came.

Other than a dropped catch behind in the first over, Somerset openers Matt Renshaw and Lammonby tottered around nicely to score 40 in the first 9 overs before Harmer arrived on the scene from his favourite River End.

Where Leach had gone wicketless in 39 overs, Harmer needed only 4 balls to bowl Lammonby. The off-spinner had laid a seed of panic with his first delivery which sharply turned but the fourth was fuller and Lammonby fatally went back and chopped onto his stumps.

It turned out to be a false dawn for the hosts, Renshaw and Tom Abell continued the quick scoring with a 59-run stand in the 27 evening overs.

Day One Highlights:

Day One Reaction: Nick Browne

Day One Match Report:

Nick Browne scored his second LV= Insurance County Championship century of the season as Essex assembled 281-3 against Somerset on Day One at Chelmsford.

Opening batter Browne mixed his usual determined self with some more glamourous shot-play to guzzle his season-best 129*, the 18th time he has reached three figures in first-class cricket.

His punishing innings was welded together by 105 put on with Alastair Cook (44), 56 with Dan Lawrence (35) and 115 with Paul Walter, who ended the day unbeaten on 57.

Browne and Cook cruised through the wicketless morning session, having chosen to bat, with barely the hint of a play-and-miss or false shot.

The pair bided their time, but the usually gritty openers’ boundary striking made the slow going worth it. Browne, in particular, punished any width with gloriously timed drives and cuts, 10 of the 15 boundaries in his century came between point and straight.

During the morning, Somerset had an injury scare with Craig Overton, released by England to play in this match. The bustling quick started the day having problems landing and limped away from an over. The major worry came after while attempting to field a ball. He was forced off for the rest of the session with a shoulder injury.

He returned after Lunch and offered up the half volley which Browne gleefully pounced on to drive himself to his half-century.

In the 37th over, Somerset got the ball changed and for the first time, the pitch produced a modicum of help for the bowlers.

Balls passed the bat with more regularity and after 4 overs, Essex had lost their first 2 wickets.
Peter Siddle, on his return to The Cloud County Ground, having spent 3 years at the County, picked up the wicket of Cook for the third time this season. Having got him nicked off twice at The Cooper Associates County Ground, this time the Australian had his former Test nemesis leg before.

Tom Westley followed in the next over when he prodded Overton forward to Lewis Gregory at first slip.

Lawrence showed his typical suppleness of wrist to readjust the momentum back towards the hosts by adding 56 with Browne but fell to the last ball of the afternoon. Part-time spinner Matt Renshaw claimed the wicket, as Lawrence edged a very wide delivery to slip Gregory, who held on to take a smart catch.

But Browne strode on, and despite getting somewhat stuck on 99, moved to a deeply popular century with another drive, this time only for 3. His milestone came in 228 balls and was rewarded with a fist bump from Siddle.

Walter was spritely at times, helping the run rate up to 3s for the first time in the day, and moved past 50 for the third time this season, in 85 balls. Included was a towering straight six off Jack Leach.