Match Report: Essex v Warwickshire


Essex v Warwickshire

LV= Insurance County Championship
The Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford


Team News:

Essex: Alastair Cook, Feroze Khushi, Tom Westley (c), Matt Critchley, Paul Walter Feroze Khushi, Simon Harmer, Will Buttleman (wk), Doug Bracewell, Sam Cook, Jamie Porter.

Essex: Rob Yates, Alex Davies, Will Rhodes (c), Jacob Bethell, Dan Mousley, Ed Barnard, Michael Burgess (wk), Dom Bess, Hassan Ali, Jake Lintott, Chris Rushworth.

Match Details:

Umpires: Richard Kettleborough and Tom Lungley
Match Referee: Peter Such
Toss: Essex won the toss and elected to bat
Result: Essex won by nine wickets

Scorecard: View Here

Day Three Reaction: Simon Harmer:

Day Three Highlights:

Day Three Report:

Simon Harmer claimed the fourteenth 10-wicket match haul of his career (9th for Essex) as he helped Essex to a nine-wicket victory that catapulted them into second place in the Division One table.

The South African off-spinner had played a key part in dismissing Warwickshire for 158 in the first innings with his 32nd five-wicket haul for the county, and he added no. 33 second time around. He bowled unchanged from the River End throughout the 94 overs of Warwickshire’s second innings for match figures of 10-230. He now has 36 wickets this season.

However, it was not all plain sailing for Harmer and his team-mates. That Essex did not have the win wrapped up much earlier was down to two lower-order half-century stands, both involving Yorkshire loanee Dom Bess (63).

He shared 82 runs from 75 balls with Dan Mousley (61) for the seventh wicket, and 64 runs for the ninth with Jake Lintott, whose T20-esque hitting garnered him a career-best 78.

The three of them helped take Warwickshire past and then beyond the total needed to make Essex bat for a second time. The Bears were eventually all out for 381, leaving Essex requiring 83 from a minimum of 122 overs.

In the end they needed just 15 of them as Sir Alastair Cook (23) and Tom Westley (12) saw them over the line under leaden Chelmsford skies, reaching the target with four byes. However, en route they lost the aggressive Feroze Khushi who hit two sixes and five fours in a 46-ball 40 before chipping up to bat-pad off the ubiquitous Bess.

The back-to-back home wins provided ample amends for Essex’s only defeat in the LV= Insurance County Championship this season in the corresponding fixture at Edgbaston last month.

With 299 the target to make Essex bat again, Rob Yates and Will Rhodes, the not-out overnight pair, looked as if they were going to dig in until Christmas. They knocked off 31 in the first 55 minutes of the third day.

However, the early tension in the home camp was eased when Jamie Porter brought one in from outside off-stump to Rhodes and Will Buttleman took the catch down legside. Rhodes batted for 118 balls for his 46.

Five overs later, Yates became Harmer’s 400th first-class wicket for Essex when the left-hander leaned forward tentatively and fell to another catch behind.

Warwickshire sent in Ed Barnard to break up the left-handed sequence at the top of the order. He did not last long, dollying a leading edge off Doug Bracewell to mid-off.

Jacob Bethell had looked composed, driving the majority of his seven fours through the covers, but he departed to a bat-pad catch off Matt Critchley for 36. Three balls on, the leg-spinner who has gained a reputation this season as a ‘golden arm’, also accounted for Michael Burgess, caught by a diving Cook at slip.

The 21-year-old Mousley reached his fourth Championship fifty of the season during a Harmer over from which he plundered 18 runs.

However, as so often, Harmer had his revenge when Mousley charged down the wicket in an attempt to land a fourth maximum and was stumped by several country miles. His disgust with himself was plain to see.

Hassan Ali cracked Critchley for a six but his was a short stay as he picked out Khushi at deep midwicket to give Harmer his fourth wicket of the innings.

Eight down, Warwickshire were then still 30 runs away from returning Essex to the crease, but Bess reached a well-deserved fifty just before that breakthrough point was reached in the 83rd over. He departed in an eventful over from Porter in which he hooked a six, was dealt a painful blow in the solar plexus and nicked behind.

Lintott’s maiden first-class fifty came at a run-a-ball and had Essex struggling to defend the boundary, His free-wheeling innings of 14 fours and two sixes was ended when Khushi held on in the deep to provide Harmer with another match-ball for his burgeoning collection.

Day Two Highlights:

Day Two Reaction: Mick Lewis

That was pretty much the dream day wasn’t it?

Yeah it was the perfect day for us. Getting those quick runs this morning was great and the bonus point, with a few balls to spare. Then the bowlers were brilliant and bowled as a whole unit today.

Is game an example of the blueprint of how Essex want to play?

Yeah obviously that’s how it’s worked out this game and it’s been a pretty faultless performance from us, but I think we just take it as it comes. Looking back to the last game against Somerset, we had to bowl them out on the final day. So of course this is an ideal way to play, but we back ourselves to deliver in any scenario.

You must be delighted with the efforts of all of the bowlers today?

It was really pleasing to see Doug come back from injury and put a few up them today. Porter and Cook just don’t move from the stumps and Harmy was obviously brilliant.

We’ve seen plenty of spinners bowl here and struggle to match Harmer, and opposition batters fail to find a way to play him. What is it that makes him so effective?

I think other spinners can try too much when they come here, but he just doesn’t move from his length and gets that extra bit of bounce that batters really struggle with.

Harmer bowled more than 30 overs today. How important is not only his effectiveness but also the amount of overs he gets through?
It’s a real luxury for us to be able to rotate the seamers especially at the moment. I think of the past 26 days 24 have been playing, travelling or training so it’s important to keep the seamers as fresh as possible and Harmy allows us to do that.

Do the bowlers want to hang on to the Kookaburra, or are they looking forward to getting back to the Dukes? Or aren’t they bothered?

They’d bowl with a tennis ball if they had to and still take wickets.

Day Two Report:

Warwickshire capitulated in the face of Simon Harmer’s mesmeric off-spin as they stared down the barrel of a demoralising defeat at Chelmsford.

Harmer notched up his 32nd five-wicket haul in seven summers at Essex as Warwickshire were forced to follow-on 299 runs in arrears on first innings. Having already taken five for 65, Harmer added another wicket in the 24 overs of Warwickshire’s second innings in the early evening sunshine, taking his season’s tally to 32.

The South African spinner bowled 33 overs from the River End during the day broken only by three interval breaks. He was backed up by seamer Jamie Porter, who took three front-line wickets as Warwickshire were dismissed for 158.

Essex head into the third day of the LV= Insurance County Championship match needing nine wickets to leapfrog their second-placed opponents in the Division One table. The visitors closed on 74-1 after an unbroken second-wicket stand of 66 between Rob Yates and Will Rhodes.

Essex had been forced to reshuffle their line-up overnight after Dan Lawrence, who had tops-scored with 152 of their first-innings 457, was summoned to Lord’s in preparation for Wednesday’s second Ashes Test. Nick Browne had already been named as the nominated replacement and duly took his place in his regular close-catching position.

Warwickshire’s first knock on a cooler, overcast day lasted 50 overs; the die was cast when they lost two wickets inside the first 24 deliveries. Yates was taken low down at second slip by Harmer diving forward to give Porter his first, and Alex Davies followed when he withdrew his bat to one that swung in from Sam Cook.

Jacob Bethell joined Rhodes in a rearguard third-wicket stand of 67 runs in 21 overs that stemmed the tide for a while. It was a partnership that was peppered with some pugnacious hitting from Bethell, who hit eight fours in his 64-ball 37, including three in succession off Doug Bracewell.

However, the 19-year-old left-hander stepped back to give himself room to cut Harmer and only managed to edge to Will Buttleman.

The wicketkeeper took two further catches in the space of four balls from Porter to reduce Warwickshire to 107 for five. The seamer got one to leave Dan Mousley before Rhodes played down the wrong line to depart for 43.

The collapse continued three balls after Michael Burgess had lofted Harmer for six over long leg. Burgess thrust forward his front leg rather extravagantly but was deceived by the equally extravagant turn and was bowled. Dom Bess was similarly undone by Harmer, turning the ball into leg slip’s lap.

Harmer’s fourth wicket came with the last ball before tea when Hassan Ali popped up a catch to Browne at bat-pad.

Bracewell joined the party when he induced an edge from Jake Lintott’s bat to give Buttleman a fourth catch in the innings before Harmer had Chris Rushworth chipping up to mid-on to complete the innings. Ed Barnard watched six of the wickets fall from the other end and remained not out 23 from 47 balls.

Kookaburra ball or not, Essex threw it to Harmer at the start of Warwickshire’s second innings and he continued where he left off. Eleven balls into his spell he had Davies caught by Browne high above his helmeted head.

Much, much earlier, Essex chalked up a fifth batting point with two balls of the allotted 110 overs to spare when Sam Cook smashed the delivery back past Jake Lintott for the four to take them to 450.

That Essex reached maximum points for the second time this season was due to some lusty hitting by Bracewell and Buttleman in a seventh-wicket stand of 46 in 10 overs that was only ended when the New Zealander was trapped lbw by Rushworth.

Once the morning’s target was achieved, Buttleman was caught for a spritely 43 at back-stop when mis-hooking Hassan Ali. Lintott wrapped up the innings by bowling Cook to finish with figures of 3-68.

Day One Reaction: Tom Westley

Day One Highlights:

Day One Report:

Tom Westley and Dan Lawrence, England past and present, combined for an imperious double-century stand that put Essex firmly in control of the LV= Insurance County Championship match against Warwickshire.

Lawrence, allowed to play by England on the proviso he is ready to scuttle down to Lord’s if required, when he will be replaced in the Essex line-up by nominated substitute Nick Browne, gave full range to his shots in an immaculate 152, his second century of the season.

The third-wicket pair put on 227 in 59 overs of elegant stroke-play until Westley dragged Ed Barnard to short midwicket. His 193-ball 114 took his season’s tally to 739 runs, by far the most of any player in Division One.

Matt Critchley upped the tempo with 47 from 43 balls in a 70-run stand with Lawrence, who finally departed after five and a half hours, 225 balls and 15 fours, a second victim for Warwickshire loanee Dom Bess. By the close, Essex had amassed 391 for seven 

Westley had won the toss on a green-tinged Chelmsford wicket used previously for a one-day international between Bangladesh and Ireland, and consigned Warwickshire to a sweaty day under floppy sunhats in the field.

The captain found himself at the wicket at the end of the first over after Feroze Khushi – replacing Browne at the top of the order – dabbed at a ball from Chris Rushworth and nicked behind. 

Lawrence joined Westley five overs later to resurrect Essex from 20 for two after Sir Alastair Cook was tucked up by Hassan Ali and also went caught behind. 

Warwickshire had lost spinner Danny Briggs when he limped out of the Blast last week with a hamstring injury and acted quickly by bringing in Bess on loan from Yorkshire. 

Westley took a liking to the one-time England spinner and cracked two fours through the covers before bouncing down the wicket and striking him over midwicket for another boundary. Bess toiled in the sun and ended the first day of his Warwickshire spell with figures of 32-1-143-2.

Westley passed fifty for the sixth time in the Championship this season when he drove his 72nd ball to mid-on for a single. It was marginally quicker – by two balls – than Lawrence’s third score beyond fifty this year.

The partnership was worth 99 at lunch and clicked on to three figures from 150 balls straight after. By tea, another 128 runs were added in 34 overs.

In between, Lawrence was showing what Essex will miss when he moves to Surrey at the end of the season. There was a glorious off-drive to the fence off Hassan Ali and then an effortless straight-drive off the Pakistan bowler.

Warwickshire had also brought in the 30-year-old wrist spinner Jake Lintott at the expense of Olly Hannon-Dalby for only his second first-class appearance. Westley took a liking to him, too. Indeed, his 17th boundary, driven through the covers, took him to his century from 154 balls.

Lawrence’s ton also came from 154 balls when he flicked Will Rhodes through midwicket for his 11th four.

After Westley’s four-hour stay ended to the first ball after tea, Critchley took up the cudgels, punishing Barnard for his audacity in removing the captain with three boundaries in an over. 

A six straight back over Bess’s head by Critchley brought up the fifty partnership in just 10 overs. But the ball after he had deposited Lintott over midwicket for a second maximum, he presented the spinner with his first red-ball wicket by slashing a skyer to backward point. He later added Simon Harmer, caught behind, to return figures of 2-56

In between, Bess took a debut wicket when he had Paul Walter chipping to short mid-on, but was then reverse-swept for the four that brought up Lawrence’s 150. However, Bess claimed Lawrence’s scalp when he flicked a catch off his legs.