Match Preview: Durham v Essex


Durham v Essex

Vitality County Championship
Seat Unique Riverside, Chester-le-Street
Friday 26 – Monday 29 April 2024 | 11:00am start

After seeing off Lancashire in crushing fashion inside three days last week, Essex make the long journey up to the Seat Unique Riverside to face Durham from Friday.

In a rain-affected encounter at The Cloud County Ground, the Red Rose were twice skittled, being bowled out for 146 and 107 to hand the Eagles victory by an innings and 124 runs.

Shane Snater led the way with the ball, claiming match figures of 7/59, while the returning Sam Cook collected five wickets and Jamie Porter took four.

Meanwhile, in the Eagles’ sole innings, Tom Westley top-scored with 81, Dean Elgar continued his fine start to life at Essex with 79, and Feroze Khushi blasted a 33-ball 53 at the top of the order.

It all added up to a convincing win for the hosts, who were afforded an extra day’s rest before the clash in the North East against last season’s Division Two champions.

Anthony McGrath’s side currently sit eight points clear at the summit of Division One with two wins and a draw from their opening three matches, and will aim to finish April with another victory.


New loan addition Harry Duke comes straight into Head Coach McGrath’s 14-player squad, replacing the injured Michael Pepper.

Adam Rossington and Paul Walter are both also absent due to their respective injuries, while Westley misses the match due to the impending birth of his second child.

The Inside Line: Sam Cook

The Opposition

Durham are back in the top flight for the first time since 2016 after they secured the Division Two title in emphatic style last time out.

Ryan Campbell’s side lost just once all season and collected 233 points, a tally that put them 66 clear of second-placed Worcestershire.

They have more than held their own since promotion too, and last week they sealed their first win of the season away to the also-promoted Pears in Kidderminster.

Batter David Bedingham remains their most potent run-scoring threat, having hit a total of 261 at 65.25 so far, and his knack of scoring runs in tricky April conditions is a key differential for Durham.

Wicketkeeper Ollie Robinson, who was signed from Kent on a three-year deal ahead of the 2023 season, is also in fine form, with four consecutive half-centuries.

Meanwhile, with the ball in hand, Paul Coughlin’s seven wickets lead the way, ahead of five apiece for Matthew Potts and last season’s leader Ben Raine.

Durham squad: Colin Ackermann, David Bedingham, Scott Borthwick (c), Graham Clark, Paul Coughlin, Brydon Carse, Daniel Hogg, Michael Jones, Alex Lees, Callum Parkinson, Matthew Potts, Ben Raine, Ollie Robinson (wk), Peter Siddle.

Last Time We Met

It is almost three years since Essex last visited Durham, in May 2021, but the Eagles came away with a convincing 195-run victory on that occasion.

Put in to bat, the visitors initially only mustered 182 despite Michael Pepper top-scoring with 92, as Chris Rushworth and Ben Raine both took four wickets apiece.

However, a whirlwind bowling performance from the Eagles then saw Durham forced onto the back foot as they were dismissed for just 99, with opener Cameron Bancroft the only batter to reach 20.

Sam Cook led the way, as he so often does, with figures of 4/38, as Jamie Porter and Peter Siddle both took three scalps apiece to give the Eagles an 83-run first-innings lead.

A second-innings total of 301 from Tom Westley’s side, in which Adam Wheater top-scored with 81 and Ryan ten Doeschate struck 55, then gave Durham a mountain to climb in their chase.

It was a mountain they were unable to climb, as Porter returned 4/31 and Siddle picked up 3/47 in dismissing the hosts for 189, securing a three-day, 19-point win for the Eagles.

Division One Table

How To Watch

If you are not able to make the long trip north in person, the game will be streamed live on our hosts’ YouTube channel and available to watch via the Essex Cricket Matchzone.

A report and reaction will be published on the Club website after each day’s play, while live updates and daily highlights will also be provided on the Club’s social media channels.


For anyone planning to join the Eagles in Chester-le-Street over the next four days, tickets can be purchased directly from Durham’s website in advance of each day.

These are priced at £14 for adults and £4 for juniors, with seating unreserved at the Seat Unique Riverside, and can be bought from the link below:

The Eagles Have Landed: The 2024 Vitality Blast at The Cloud County Ground

Fresh from a Finals Day appearance last summer, Essex return to shortest-format action in Chelmsford from Sunday 02 June.

Demand remains exceptionally high, and there is now just one Friday night fixture with availability remaining, the visit of Glamorgan to The Cloud County Ground on 07 June.

With the Eagles aiming to go one better in 2024, there is no time to waste to snap up your seats.

Sunday 02 June, 4:00pm: Essex v Middlesex – buy here
Friday 07 June, 7:00pm: Essex v Glamorgan – buy here (LAST FEW TICKETS)
Friday 14 June, 7:00pm: Essex v Sussex Sharks – SOLD OUT
Thursday 20 June, 7:00pm: Essex v Hampshire Hawks – buy here
Friday 05 July, 7:00pm: Essex v Somerset – SOLD OUT
Thursday 11 July, 7:00pm: Essex v Kent Spitfires – buy here
Sunday 14 July, 2:30pm: Essex v Surrey – buy here