Essex v Worcestershire | Specsavers County Championship | The Essex County Ground
Essex team | Alastair Cook (26), Nick Browne (10), Tom Westley (21), Ravi Bopara (25), Dan Lawrence (28), Ryan ten Doeschate (27), James Foster (7), Will Rhodes (-), Graham Napier (17), David Masters (9), Jamie Porter (44).
Worcestershire team | Brett D’Oliviera, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Fell, Joe Clarke, George Rhodes, Ross Whiteley, Ben Cox, Joe Leach, Ed Barnard, Jack Shantry, Miguel Cummins.
Umpires | Neil Bainton & Neil Mallender
Toss | Contested, Worcestershire won the toss and elected to bat
Result | Essex won by an innings and 161 runs
Day Three | Match Highlights
Day Three | Close of Play Report
Leaders Essex took another huge step towards the Division Two title when they beat Worcestershire by an innings and 161 runs in their Specsavers County Championship clash at The Essex County Ground.
After posting a total of 601 for 5 declared, they bowled the visitors out for 210 in the second innings to claim a third successive Championship victory and the sixth of the summer.
Graham Napier was the spearhead of the attack with 5 for 59, his fourth five-wicket haul in the Championship this season, which carried his list of victims to 59 in the competition.
Essex had resumed the day on 514 for 4 and soon afterwards, Tom Westley’s masterful innings came to an end when he was run out for 254 by Brett D’Oliveira‘s direct throw from backward point.
His marathon effort spanned nearly eight and a half hours and brought him 38 fours from the 383 balls he faced.
Westley’s dismissal brought an end to a partnership of 165 in 32 overs with skipper Ryan ten Doeschate who went on to make an unbeaten 109 from 120 balls with 11 boundaries.
It was ten Doeschate’s third century of the season and during it, he reached 1,000 Championship runs for the summer.
James Foster hit an unbeaten 37 before the declaration that left Worcestershire going in again with a 371 runs deficit and it soon became apparent they were fighting a losing battle.
They started encouragingly with an opening stand of 44 between Daryl Mitchell and Brett D’Oliveira although both were dismissed in the overs immediately either side of the lunch break.
Mitchell, who had been dropped at third slip by Nick Browne when facing Jamie Porter without a run on the board, was bowled by David Masters to give the veteran bowler his eight wicket of the match before D’Oliveira could only fend off a rapid rising delivery from Napier to wicket-keeper Foster.
Joe Clarke dragged on against Napier with the total on 76 and nine runs later, Tom Fell became a victim of Will Rhodes as Browne pulled off a brilliant catch at backward point.
A half-century stand featuring George Rhodes and Ross Whiteley held up Essex for a while but it was brought to an end when ten Doeschate turned to spin for the first time in the match.
Westley trapped Whiteley with his fourth delivery and in his next over, struck again when Foster pulled off a smart stumping – his first of the season in the competition – to get rid of Rhodes for 41.
The remaining resistance was soon swept away, Napier picking up the wickets of Joe Leach, Ed Barnard and Jack Shantry in between whilst masters removed Cox on his way to match figures of 9 for 113.
With just two matches remaining, Essex hold a 24 points lead over Kent in the race for the title. The teams meet at Canterbury in the final match of the season starting on September 20.
Before then Kent entertain Northamptonshire at Beckenham next week whilst Essex host Glamorgan at The Essex County Ground, starting on September 12.
Day Three | Tea Report
Essex are set to complete the sixth Championship win of the season – and the fourth by an innings margin – as Worcestershire arrived at tea on 158 for 7 with Ben Cox unbeaten on 15 and Ed Barnard 1 not out.
Without addition to the lunch score of 44 for 1, Graham Napier produced a brute of a delivery to get rid of Brett D’Oliveira. The ball lifted off a length and the batsman, having scored 25, could only fend it into the gloves of James Foster.
Then with the total on 76, Joe Clarke dragged a delivery onto his stumps to leave Napier with a further success. Another wicket followed 9 runs later when Will Rhodes, in his opening over, got rid of Tom Fell with the assistance of Nick Browne who took a magnificent catch at deep backward point from a full-blooded stroke.
George Rhodes and Ross Whiteley, however, were to provide dogged resistance while sharing in a half-century stand. But immediately that had been posted, their defiance was broken when Ryan ten Doeschate brought Tom Westley into the attack. It was the first time in the match that spin had been utlised by the home side but the initiative produced rewarding results.
Off-spinner Westley trapped Whitely for 15 with his fourth delivery to leave the visitors 136 for 5 and still trailing by 235 runs as Essex closed in on victory.
Westley then struck in his next over when he brought Rhodes forward and Foster completed a smart stumping to end a fighting innings of 41 as Worcestershire slipped to 141 for 6.
Before the tea interval, Napier claimed his third wicket when he bowled Joe Leach for one with the bowler enjoying figures of 3 for 32 at the break. Westley has so far taken 2 for 13 from 5 overs.
Day Three | Lunch Report
Essex were given a splendid boost in the quest to secure their 6th Championship win of the campaign when David Masters removed Worcestershire skipper Daryl Mitchell for 19 immediately before lunch to leave the visitors 44 for 1 in their second innings and trailing their opponents by 327 runs in the Specsavers County Championship clash at The Essex County Ground.
The home side had declared on 601 for 5 after Tom Westley hit a supreme 254 whilst Ryan ten Doeschate was 109 not out when the declaration came by which time the Essex captain had passed 1,000 Championship runs for the season.
Resuming on 512 for 4 at the start of play, Westley needed just 14 balls to score the 12 runs needed to take his contribution to 250. He and ten Doeschate gathered runs freely before Westley’s marathon effort spanning 8 hours and 26 minutes was brought to an end by a direct throw by Brett D’Oliveira from backward point.
Westley had faced 383 balls, 38 of which he sent to the boundary and his fifth wicket partnership with ten Doeschate had realised 165 runs in 32 overs to leave the hosts 533 for 5.
Ten Doeschate continued at pace and was soon able to complete his 3rd Championship “ton” of the summer, this latest effort from 114 balls with 11 boundaries.
Joined by James Foster, the pair raced to a 68 runs stand in 9 overs before the declaration came with Foster 37 not out.
Facing a deficit of 371 runs on first innings, Worcestershire were fortunate not to lose a wicket in the first over of their second innings when Jamie Porter found the edge but Nick Browne put down the chance at third slip to give Mitchell a let-off without a run on the board.
Masters shared the new ball sending down 3 overs before he was repaced by Graham Napier.
Just before the interval, Masters rejoined the attack, this time from the Hayes Close end from where he had wreaked havoc in the visitors first innings. With his fifth delivery, and bowling with a close-set field, he brought Mitchell forward and knocked back off stump.
Day Two Review | Tom Westley reflects on Day 2
Day Two | Close of Play Report
A career-best 238 not out by Tom Westley was the highlight of the Essex innings as they dominated the second day’s play in the Specsavers County Championship match with Worcestershire at The Essex County Ground.
It beat his previous best of 185 against Glamorgan four years ago and helped the county to a close of play total of 512 for 4, in reply to their opponents score of 230 all out.
Westley had passed 1,000 Championship runs for the season on his way to an overnight 58 out of the hosts 111 for 1 and he was to defy all attempts to remove him during the three sessions of play on day two. He has so far struck 37 fours in his 361-ball and 8 hour stay.
It was the 27 year-old’s fifth first-class century of the summer.
But he did survive one piece of good fortune on reaching 85 when Daryl Mitchell put down a difficult slip catch off the bowling of Ed Barnard.
As the Worcestershire bowlers were made to toil and suffer in the sunshine, they were able to celebrate just one success during the first two sessions of play. That came when Alastair Cook edged Barnard to Ross Whiteley in the slips after he made 66 – a dismissal that ended a partnership worth 153 runs.
The visitors had to wait for another 56 overs before collecting another wicket as Westley and Ravi Bopara plundered runs with embarrassing ease with fine strokes on either side of the wicket.
During that time, they scored 213 carrying the total to 367 and it came as a surprise when Bopara was removed just one run short of his century. He had started cautiously but then broke free to join Westley in a stylish exhibition of well-timed and well-placed strokes.
Bopara’s half-century was completed with a supreme cover drive off Miguel Cummins that brought him his ninth four.
He was eventually undone by Jack Shantry when an intended drive finished up in the hands of the solitary slip, Whiteley, and bringing to an end the batsman’s effort that included 15 fours and a straight six off George Rhodes which landed on the roof of a house at the Hayes Close End.
His innings had spanned 172 deliveries and he departed with Essex 367 for three.
Dan Lawrence followed him back to the Pavilion one run later as Brett D’Oliveira held a fine catch low down at backward point to provide Joe Leach with success.
But normal service was resumed when Ryan ten Doeschate joined Westley in the middle. The Essex captain was soon driving and pulling with authority as the pair powered the league leaders to maximum batting points in the 102nd over.
Ten Doeschate was to complete his half-century from 52 balls containing six fours soon after the 100 stand was realised in just 17 overs.
He reached the close on 77 as Essex go into the third day 282 runs ahead.
Day Two | Tea Report
Essex continued to prosper in the sun adding a further 146 runs to their lunch total without losing a wicket to arrive at tea on 351 for 2.
Tom Westley, resuming on 98 reached three figures when striking his fifth ball after the break to the cover boundary when facing Jack Shantry. It was the 18th boundary of his innings that had spanned 182 balls at that point.
Ravi Bopara was by now entrenched and soon afterwards, he completed his half-century having faced 82 balls and containing nine fours and a six.
As the third wicket pair continued to dominate, the 100 stand was raised in 34 overs as Essex headed for a substantial lead.
The visitors continually switched their attack in an effort to break through but the runs continued to flow as the pair found the gaps repeatedly with well-timed strokes on both sides of the wicket.
Westley arrived at his 150 from 251 balls with the aid of 25 fours and at the tea interval, he had advanced to 173 – just 12 runs short of his highest score.
The break arrived with Essex on 351 for 2 representing a lead of 121 runs. Bopara was then on 89 which included 13 fours and 1 six, having batted for 3 hours and 20 minutes whilst the partnership was worth 198.
Day Two | Lunch Report
Tom Westley was within two runs of his third Championship century of the season as Essex, who began the day on 111 for 1, continued to consolidate their healthy position against Worcestershire in the Specsavers County Championship clash at The E.C.G.
The right-hander batted throughout the morning session and has struck 17 boundaries in his 177 balls stay at the crease thus far as the home side reached the lunch interval on 205 for 2 in reply to their opponents 230 all out.
He did enjoy a lucky escape when on 85 as Daryl Mitchell failed to hold on to a difficult catch at first slip off Ed Barnard.
Barnard had earlier claimed Worcestershire’s only morning success when he got rid of England captain Alastair Cook.
After carrying his score to 66, he pushed forward and edged a slip catch to Ross Whiteley. It was a dismissal that brought to an end a partnership of 153 and heralded the arrival of Ravi Bopara.
Following a cautious start, Bopara opened up to take three fours in an over against Barnard, punishment which saw the bowler removed from the attack.
He also unleashed a straight drive for six against George Rhodes, the ball landing on a roof at the Hayes Close End of the ground.
Bopara reached the interval on 29 in a partnership that has so far yielded 51 runs in 18 overs.
Day One Review | David Masters reflects on his figures of 7-52 and Day One
Day One | Close of Play Report
David Masters turned in the best figures of any Essex bowler this season as the county bowled out Worcestershire for 230 in the Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash at The Essex County Ground.
The paceman emerged with figures of 7 for 52 from 21.2 overs, his most sensational spell arriving in the morning session.
Worcestershire, who won the toss, had moved to 35 without any real alarms for the opening batsmen before Masters left them in disarray by capturing four wickets in ten balls without conceding a run.
He began by having Brett D’Oliveira superbly caught at short leg by Ryan ten Doeschate and in the same over, got rid of Tom Fell and Joe Clarke for ducks.
Fell was an lbw victim to the first ball he faced while Clarke was bowled.
With the total on 36, Masters trapped Daryl Mitchell for 15 and before lunch, breached the defence of Ross Whiteley 12 runs later. At that stage, he had picked up five wickets in 32 deliveries at a personal cost of just two runs.
Ben Cox and George Rhodes went on a recovery mission for the visitors with the former leading the way with some magnificent drives that brought him a dozen fours. He scored 63 from 72 balls before driving Jamie Porter into the hands of Dan Lawrence in the covers. All those runs came during a stand of 94 and was bought to a close with Porter’s 50th Championship victim of the summer.
Rhodes, and new partner Joe Leach, continued the recovery with a partnership of 58 that carried the total to 200 but at that point, Rhodes (59) pushed forward against his Essex namesake, Will, and was taken low down by Alastair Cook at first slip.
The return of Masters into the attack saw off Leach for 34 with the help of a smart catch by Lawrence in the gully and the same fielder in an identical position displayed a safe pair of hands to get rid of Jack Shantry and provide Rhodes with his second wicket.
Masters fittingly brought the innings to an end by bowling Miguel Cummins.
Table-topping Essex had every reason to be satisfied with their efforts in the field but their response to the Worcestershire first innings did not get off to the best of starts.
Nick Browne was trapped in front of his stumps for a duck by Leach while shouldering arms and Cook should have followed him back to the Pavilion with only 12 runs to his credit out of the 42 runs on the board.
He survived though because Rhodes failed to hold onto a catch low down at third slip off the bowling of Leach.
Cook took advantage of his good fortune to reach the close on 43 and carry Essex to 111 for 1, just 119 runs behind.
Keeping him company was Tom Westley who will resume on 58 during which he completed 1,000 Championship runs for the season.
It was the 12th time in 16 First-Class matches this summer that he had scored 50 or more in an innings.
Westley has so far struck 10 boundaries in a knock spanning 80 deliveries to leave Essex firmly on course for the title.
Day One | Tea Report
A spirited Worcestershire revival was launched after lunch when the visitors resumed on 64 for 5. Ben Cox was especially impressive in the fightback as he produced a series of drives to complete his half-century. It arrived with his eleventh boundary and from 65 balls.
It also brought up the 100 and George Rhodes, although not so aggressive, kept the scoreboard moving with some eye-catching strokes.
The partnership was worth 94 and had carried the total to 142 before Cox departed for 63; his half-century having arrived for 107 balls that included eight fours. His effort was brought to a close by Jamie Porter with the help of a catch in the covers by Daniel Lawrence and it gave the bowler his 50th Championship wicket of the season.
The dismissal of the Worcestershire wicket-keeper paved the way for Rhodes to share in another useful stand, this time with Joe Leach. The pair added 58 in 15 overs taking the visitors to their first batting point when Rhodes innings came to a close.
Will Rhodes, on-loan to Essex from Yorkshire, was the bowler to strike when his namesake pushed forward to have him caught low down by Alastair Cook at first slip for 59 as the West County side faced a scoreboard now showing 200 for 7.
It did not take long for Essex to bring their opponents innings to an end following the departure of Rhodes.
The return of Masters accounted for Leach when he had made 34 as Lawrence held a sharp chance in the gully. The same fielder, and still in the same position, provided Will Rhodes with his second success, Jack Shantry departing for a duck, whilst Masters claimed his seventh wicket by bowling Miguel Cummins for 4.
It left Ed Barnard 18 not out as his side were dismissed for 230.
Masters returned the excellent figures of 21.2-7-52-7, Rhodes picked up his two wickets at a cost of 42 runs from 9 overs and Porter took 1 for 53 in 12 overs.
Day One | Lunch Report
David Masters produced a magnificent spell of bowling as leaders Essex took full control of their Specsavers County Championship Division Two battle against Worcestershire at The E.C.G.
The paceman claimed five wickets in 32 balls at a personal cost of just two runs as the visitors lost half their side for 48 runs.
At lunch Worcestershire, who won the toss, had moved to 64 for 5 from 28 overs.
There was no hint of the drama to follow as Daryl Mitchell and Brett D’Oliveira carried the total to 35 with some confident strokes but then Masters embarked on his sensational spell which saw him pick up three wickets in his sixth over.
The first arrived as Ryan ten Doeschate took a fine diving catch to get rid of D’Oliveira for 20 and with his next delivery, Masters trapped Tom Fell leg before.
Three deliveries later, Joe Clarke was bowled without score and soon afterwards, Mitchell became another lbw victim as Masters claimed his fourth success in 12 deliveries.
Worcestershire skipper Mitchell had batted for 68 minutes in contributing 15 of the 36 runs on the board at that stage but Masters was not yet finished. There was simply no stopping the 38 year-old and he completed his spell of destruction by comprehensively bowling Ross Whitely for 6 as the visitors slumped to 48 for 5.
Masters was then withdrawn from the attack with figures of 12-4-21-5 and it was left to Ben Cox and George Rhodes to keep their side afloat as they reached the lunch interval on 7 and 15 respectively.