D40 Pursuit: Northamptonshire v Essex – Match Report


Northamptonshire v Essex Ability XI
D40 Pursuit
Wantage Road, Northampton
Sunday 28 May 2023

Essex Falcons: Martyn Doe, Matthew Hazell (Capt), Joe Moss, Jack Gair, Lee Wheeler, Issac Elles, Jack Flowers, Laila Robinson, Benny Fryatt, Alfie Jeeves, Matthew Thomas, Billy Gibbons (12th man)

Northamptonshire: Joe Batten, Amelia Ridgway, Craig Fowler, Matthew Parkin, Connor Flaunty, Tom Clark, Lew Pagano, Noah Eyles, F Church, Rob Gayk, Ethan Prince

Match Details:

Innings 1: Essex Falcons 199/7 (40.0 overs)
Innings 2: Northamptonshire 193/6 (40.0 overs)

Toss: Northamptonshire won the toss and elected to bowl
Result: Essex Falcons won by six runs

Scorecard: View here

Match Report:

Essex Falcons edged out Northamptonshire by six runs in a dramatic D40 Pursuit contest played at the County Ground, Wantage Road.

Led by the impressive Craig Fowler, the Northamptonshire attack provided the visitors with plenty to think about. Nevertheless, after an uneasy start which saw Essex lose three wickets in the opening seven overs, Joe Moss and Lee Wheeler steadied the ship, putting together an 80-run stand for the fourth wicket.

Wheeler departed on 34, while Moss scored 57. However, Essex’s 2022 Play of the Year, Issac Elles came to the crease and hit a majestic unbeaten 54 off 56 balls. Ably supported by Benny Fryatt (14*) Elles’ innings included seven 4s and two 6s. Fowlers returned figures of three for 29 for Northants, while Matthew Parkin took 2/28.

Moss had made an impressive debut for Essex, taking four wickets during a notable victory over Middlesex. He wasted little time in adding to that tally, removing Amelia Ridgway’s middle stump with the first ball of the second over.

But to their enormous credit, Northants hit back, with Fowler now providing a masterful performance with the bat. His 73 off 93 balls included eleven boundaries and appeared to have tipped the balance back the way of the hosts. However, his inning was concluded by a brilliant catch by Alfie Jeeves off the bowling of Benny Fryatt as the see-saw contest continued to fascinate the small but enthusiastic audience.

Rob Gayk scored 31 but became Moss’s second victim in what proved to be a dramatic final over. The latter held his nerve to bowl two dot balls to keep the home side at bay by the narrowest of margins, handing Essex their second victory in as many matches and elevating them to the top of the table, eight points ahead of second-placed Middlesex.

Moss returned figures of 2/33, while Fryatt took 2/29, Jeeves and Wheelers Essex’s other successful bowlers on a day that both teams should be remarkably proud of their performance and the entertainment they provided.