Match Report: Essex v Lancashire


Essex v Lancashire

LV= Insurance County Championship
The Cloud County Ground, Tuesday 20 – Friday 23 September


Team News:

Essex: Nick Browne, Alastair Cook, Tom Westley (c), Dan Lawrence, Feroze Khushi, Matt Critchley, Adam Rossington (wk), Shane Snater, Simon Harmer, Sam Cook and Jamie Porter.

Lancashire: Luke Wells, Keaton Jennings, Josh Bohannon, Steven Croft, Dane Vilas (c), George Bell (wk), George Balderson, Tom Hartley, Tom Bailey, Will Williams and Matt Parkinson.

Match Details:

Umpires: Richard Kettleborough & David Millns
Match Referee: Wayne Noon
Toss: Lancashire, who elected to bat
Result: Lancashire won by 38 runs

Scorecard: View Here

Day Two Highlights:

Day Two Reaction: Anthony McGrath

Day Two Report:

George Balderson claimed a hat-trick to wreck Essex hopes in an incredible match at Chelmsford that spanned just a little over 4 sessions.

The pace bowler finished with 5/14 from seven overs and was duly supported by Will Williams who returned 4/24 as Essex lost lost nine wickets for 35 runs in pursuit of 98 to win.

Only two Essex batters reached double figures against the telling and incisive bowling of the Lancashire duo. They helped their side to 19 points, whilst Essex have to settle for three after a dramatic Championship clash.

Lancashire had resumed their second innings on 25-6 with debutant, George Bell looking settled on 24.

However, his 28-ball knock ended when he was bowled around his legs by Snater to reduce Lancashire to 34-7. Snater had taken 5/6 in 4.2 overs at that stage.

The two Toms, Bailey and Hartley, both hit successive boundaries in an uncharacteristically wayward over from Sam Cook that cost 17 runs.

Bailey then threw the bat to the first ball of the next over only to pick out Lawrence on the long-leg boundary and hand Snater his sixth wicket and incredible figures of 6/10.

Cook gained a measure of personal satisfaction when Hartley attempted an upper-cut to a short ball and only succeeded in edging behind to give Sam Cook his 200th first-class wicket for Essex.

Simon Harmer had the last word when he struck Matt Parkinson full on the front pad to end the visitors’ second innings inside 24 overs for 73.

With the floodlights on throughout the day, the home side, seeking a third successive Championship victory in September, set out on the task of reaching 98 runs for victory.

Alastair Cook and Nick Browne made a comparatively serene start to the chase and had 24 on the board in seven overs to ease the nerves of the home camp before Browne was trapped lbw by Bailey.

The introduction of Balderson was instrumental from a Lancashire point of view and he had Cook beaten all ends up with his second delivery by one that ducked in and dislodged his leg bail.

His next ball had Dan Lawrence chipping to Will Williams at mid-wicket before the bowler breached Matt Critchley’s defences to claim his hat-trick.

Lunch arrived soon afterwards with Balderson feasting on figures of 2-2-0-3, while Essex left the field on 34-4.

Feroze Khushi soon followed after the break as he was bowled by Will Williams for a single as Essex moved on to 35-5.

Adam Rossington opted for aggression and collected two boundaries before Balderson wiped him out and with the score on 55, Essex lost their seventh and eight wicket, both to Williams.

During all the carnage, skipper Tom Westley had stood firm but he finally succumbed for 13 having survived 41 balls when he was caught to become a fifth wicket for Balderson.

Williams rounded off proceedings when he bowled Sam Cook to leave Lancashire celebrating victory.

All-rounder, Snater capped off a fine individual performance by being awarded his county cap during the lunch interval following an outstanding season for the Club.

Day One Highlights:

Day One Report:

Simon Harmer’s prodigal return from international duty with South Africa was marked with another five-wicket haul for the Club with 26 wickets falling on the opening day at Chelmsford.

The off-spinner, who had bowled just 23 overs in two months since his last appearance for Essex in late July, claimed his sixth five-wicket haul of the summer to take his tally past fifty for the fifth time in six seasons. But while his 5/41 helped skittle Lancashire for 131, Essex struggled initially to capitalise in the third v fourth clash in the LV= Insurance County Championship.

Lancashire seamer Tom Bailey matched Harmer’s efforts by taking 5/36 as Essex were dismissed for 107. Only Alastair Cook’s resolute 40, the highest by anyone on an extraordinary day, prevented Lancashire from eking out a bigger first-innings lead than the 24 runs they managed.

However, that was not the end of the strange affair. When Lancashire batted for a second time in the evening gloom, Luke Wells was bowled first ball by Sam Cook before Shane Snater had three lbw appeals upheld in four balls to account for Keaton Jennings, Steven Croft and Dane Vilas.

When Cook then had Josh Bohannon caught behind Lancashire were reeling on four for five. And that became worse when Snater took a fourth wicket, his sixth of the day, knocking over George Balderson’s stumps. By the close, at 25 for six, Lancashire’s lead was a precarious 49.

Lancashire, who won the toss on a wicket of variable bounce under leaden skies, were all out first time around three-quarters of an hour after lunch. Snater started their demise with his first ball, beating the outside of Wells’s bat and rapping the off-stump. The first-wicket stand of 25 turned out to be the largest of the innings, and second largest of the game to date.

Snater also removed Lancashire’s other opener, Jennings, at the start of his fourth over when an uncontrolled inside edge ballooned into the covers. In between, Cook, who had switched to the Hayes Close End to accommodate Snater, trapped Bohannon lbw to one that kept low.

Harmer’s magisterial entrance was delayed until the 18th over and he bowled unchanged from the River End until Lancashire’s brittle resistance was ended. Croft reverse-swept him for four before he rediscovered his range and sent one skidding through to claim Vilas lbw.

Croft hung around for a time before he chanced another reverse sweep, realised his error, tried to rectify it and dabbed the ball to the diving Alastair Cook at slip.

Harmer went to lunch with a third scalp under his belt when George Balderson injudiciously left the last ball before the break and was another lbw victim.

Lancashire were seven down soon after the interval when George Bell marked his first-class debut by attempting an extravagant drive at Cook and was bowled. Will Williams did not last long before he was struck on the pad by Cook with bat nowhere near ball.

The innings was wrapped up in the 40th over – with Bailey unbeaten on 24, the highest of the innings – when Parkinson edged to slip to give Harmer his 29th five-wicket return in six seasons for Essex.

Essex’s reply followed a similar dreary pattern. Nick Browne went third ball when he tried to whip Bailey through the onside and was lbw. Next over Tom Westley shouldered arms to Williams, turning to see his off-stump pegged back, before Bailey had Lawrence playing all around a delivery to depart lbw.

The procession back to the Pavilion continued. Balderstone removed Matt Critchley with his fifth ball, Hartley taking the catch at head height, to his right, at third slip.

Feroze Khushi batted brightly before he dragged the first ball after tea from Parkinson onto his stumps. Adam Rossington, meanwhile, fished outside off-stump and kept walking.

Alastair Cook had watched the wickets tumble, but after holding up his end for 98 balls, he was seventh out, pinned plumb on his back foot by Bailey. Essex’s innings finished seven overs later as Snater, Harmer and Jamie Porter departed in quick succession. That, though, was not the end of a bizarre day, not by a long way.