Essex 2nd XI v MCC YC – Trophy
Kiwi Henry Nicholls century and 4 wickets for debutant spinner Dipiyan Paul sealed a comfortable victory for MCC Young Cricketers at Garon Park, a result that could harm Essex’s hopes of a semi-final berth in the Second Eleven Trophy.
An early wicket for Maurice Chambers, dismissing YC’s skipper Tom Lewis in the third over, gave Essex a perfect start, but Nicholls and wicketkeeper Stuart Poynter seized control with a stand worth 165 in 23 overs for the second wicket. Poynter, with a 62-ball 57, and Nicholls found the boundaries square of the pitch with regularity as Essex’s bowlers struggled to regain control. Nicholls eventually fell for 108 as Essex picked up 2 wickets in 3 balls, as Chambers finished with 3-36, but James Southgate and Adam Hose helped the visitors to 259-6 from their 40 overs.
Essex’s reply got off to a disastrous start, as Billy Godleman was dismissed of the last ball of the first over, then 2 balls later, Ben Foakes was run out without facing. Jaik Mickleburgh (38) and Tom Westley (13) started rebuilding the innings, then Mickleburgh and Michael Comber (40) put on 53 for the 4th wicket. Comber and Harry Ramsden added a further 44 before the introduction of Paul brought about a collapse from 134-4 to 153-9, and an eventual 92 run defeat.
Essex 2nd XI v MCC YC – Championship
Michael Comber’s centuries in each innings, becoming only the sixth Essex player to achieve the feat, were the highlights of the drawn game against MCC Young Cricketers at Garon Park.
Having won the toss and choosing to bat first, Essex’s batsmen scored consistently at better than 4 runs an over. Nick Browne (48) and Jaik Mickleburgh (24) put on 46 for the first wicket inside 14 overs, but real impetus was provided by Ben Foakes’ 72-ball 74. Foakes and Comber added 69 for the third wicket, before Comber (119) and debutant Bradley Scriven (50) put on 111 for the 5th, with Comber reaching his 2nd Championship century.
Essex declared on 356-6, allowing an awkward 8 over session that MCC YC survived comfortably. On the 2nd morning, Maurice Chambers made a breakthrough, dismissing Stuart Poynter for 26, but Tom Lewis and Adam Hose added 91 before 2 quick wickets appeared to put Essex in charge just before the lunch break. First, Hose responded to Lewis’ call and was run out by an accurate Chambers throw, then Tom Craddock dismissed James Southgate leg before with the next delivery. Henry Nicholls (48) and Alex Ross (64) added 71 for the 5th wicket but despite taking 3 wickets in 6 overs, MCC YC were able to gain all 4 batting points before Chambers (4-63) ended the innings to give Essex a 34 run lead.
Mickleburgh (69) and Foakes (41) extended Essex’s lead allowing Comber (111) and Harry Ramsden (36) to add 116 for the 4th wicket. Comber, in a 93-ball innings, hit 7 fours and 7 sixes as he reached his second century of the match, allowing Essex to set MCC YC 315 to win in a minimum of 56 overs.
Chambers (2-38) took 2 early wickets and a run out left MCC YC at 64-3, but Lewis (64*) and Nicholls (50*) batted through to the last hour without difficulty and the captains shook hands with 14 overs remaining.