Match Report | Essex v Hampshire

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Essex v Hampshire
Specsavers County Championship – Division 1
The Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford

Essex | Alastair Cook, Nick Browne, Tom Westley, Dan Lawrence, Ravi Bopara, Ryan ten Doeschate (c), Adam Wheater (wk), Simon Harmer, Neil Wagner, Jamie Porter, Matt Quinn.

Hampshire | Michael Carberry, Liam Dawson, James Vince, George Bailey (c), Rilee Roussouw, Sean Ervine, Lewis McManus (wk), Gareth Berg, Kyle Abbott, Mason Crane, Fidel Edwards.

Umpires | Steven Garratt & Tim Robinson.

Toss | Uncontested – Hampshire elected to field.

Close of Play Report

Essex moved to the top of the Specsavers County Championship Division One table when they beat Hampshire by an innings and 97 runs at The Cloudfm County Ground with over a day to spare.

After the visitors had been shot out in their first innings for 115 after resuming the day on 92 for 7, they were dismissed for 148 in their second innings.

Jamie Porter was the key figure for Essex as they registered their second triumph from four matches in the competition this season.

He claimed career-best figures of 5 for 24 from 14 overs first time around and followed that with 2 for 21 in the second to end with match figures of 7 for 45.

It was a performance that certainly impressed Geoff Arnold, one of the ECB fast bowling scouts whose mission is to cast a critical eye on the young talent around the counties.

“It was the best sustained spell of bowling I’ve seen this season,” was his verdict.

Earlier in the day, Porter got rid of the overnight pair of Lewis McManus and Kyle Abbott after they shared in a stand of 75 in 20 overs.

Abbott edged to Alastair Cook at first slip for 36 whilst McManus had his defences breached with a beauty having top-scored with 39.

Neil Wagner brought the Hampshire innings to an end when Tom Westley took a catch at second slip to remove Fidel Edwards.

Porter was soon heaping more misery on the visitors when they followed-on 245 runs adrift, trapping Liam Dawson in his second over with only 5 runs on the board.

He was denied another success when Tom Westley put down a chance after Michael Carberry had made just 2.

James Vince was removed by Wagner as Nick Browne pulled off a smart catch in the covers before skipper Ryan ten Doeschate tossed the ball to Simon Harmer, the first time in the match that he had called upon a spinner.

It proved an inspired change. With his first ball, he trapped Carberry leg before for a painstaking  six consuming 47 deliveries to leave Hampshire  going to Lunch on 40 for four.

And when he resumed his over immediately after the break, he got rid of Rilee Rossouw lbw with his third delivery of the match. It was the batsman’s second duck of the match and he faced just three balls in the game.

Porter then returned to leave the stumps of Sean Ervine in disarray and half of the visitors side back in the pavilion with only 50 on the board.

George Bailey and McManus stayed long enough to put together 43, the highest stand of the innings but once the former was caught behind off Quinn for 32, Essex closed in on completing victory.

McManus swung Wagner to Quinn at deep fine leg, Abbott was run out by ten Doeschate’s direct throw from mid-off for a duck, Gareth Berg was bowled by Harmer having made 24 and Mason Crane, on 18, skied off-spinner Tom Westley to ten Doeschate at mid-off in the off-spinner’s only over.

Harmer finished with 3 for 23 in five overs as Essex emerged with 22 points in another commanding performance whilst Hampshire’s poor performance left them with a single point from the match.

Day Three | Lunch Report

Jamie Porter took the morning honours as Essex strengthened their grip against Hampshire in the Specsavers County Championship Division One clash at The Cloudfm County Ground.

After posting career-best figures when Hampshire were bowled out for 115, he quickly separated the visitors openers when they followed-on 245 runs behind.

Porter had finished with 5 for 24 from 14 overs after Hampshire had resumed on 92 for 7 with Lewis McManus and Kyle Abbott at the crease. They carried the total onto 109 before Porter was to remove them both.

Abbott, having swung Matt Quinn for 6, was snapped up at first slip by Alastair Cook for 36 to end a partnership worth 75 in 20 overs.

Then McManus lost his off stump and was bowled for 39 to give Porter his third career five-for.

It was left to Neil Wagner to bring the innings to an end by having Fidel Edwards caught at second slip by Tom Westley for a duck and leaving Mason Crane 4 not out.

Essex opted to enforce the follow-on and Porter was soon amongst the wickets once more striking in his second over to trap Liam Dawson lbw for 5.

The 23 year-old bowler might have added to their list of victims had Westley accepted a catch offered by Carberry with the total on 24 for 2.

It was Wagner who collected the third wicket when Nick Browne pulled off a fine catch low down in the covers to account for James Vince. The Hampshire batsman had scored 17 when he became Wagner’s second success of the morning.

Essex completed a wonderful morning’s work when skipper Ryan ten Doeschate introduced Simon Harmer into the attack for the final over of the session and his first over of the match.

Bowling from the Hayes Close End, Harmer obliged immediately when his first delivery struck Carberry on the pads to win the leg before decision. Carberry had looked completely out of sorts while gathering just 6 runs from 47 balls and his dismissal left Hampshire 40 for 3, still 205 runs away from avoiding an innings defeat.

Match Reaction | Coach Silverwood discusses a remarkable final session

Day Two – Close of Play Report | Essex’s seam attack took full advantage of favourable conditions to rip through the Hampshire batting in sensational style in their County Championship Division One match at The Cloudfm County Ground.

After posting an imposing total of 360, they had reduced their opponents to 92  for 7 by the close after the visitors failed to come to terms with magnificent bowling spearheaded by Jamie Porter.

The drama unfolded as five wickets crashed with the total stuck on 18. In his third over, Porter had Liam Dawson caught behind and then four balls later, uprooted James Vince’s middle stump.

In the next over, Matt Quinn picked up  wickets with successive deliveries as opener Michael Carberry went lbw without offering a stroke and Rilee Rossouw was superbly caught by Neil Wagner diving forward from mid-on.

Porter then picked up his third success by bowling George Bailey to leave Hampshire shell-shocked. Quinn gave way to Bopara with figures of 2 for 13 from six overs but there was no respite for Hampshire.

Their misery was compounded as Bopara struck twice in his first over starting with his first delivery when Wheater caught Sean Ervine and four balls later, claimed Gareth Berg.

That left Hampshire 34 for 7 and in danger of being dismissed for their lowest-ever total of 54 against Essex which was recorded at Southampton back in 1931. But thanks to Lewis McManus and Kyle Abbott, they steered clear of that fate with some ease with a fighting half-century stand.

They have so far put on 58 runs in carrying the total to 92 for 7 still trailing Essex by 268 runs and needing a further 119  to avoid the follow-on.

McManus will resume on 30 and Abbott on 27 but with two days remaining,  the home side hold a favourites chance of achieving their second Championship win of the season.

Porter has so far taken 3 for 17 in 10 overs and Quinn and Bopara  2 wickets each at a cost of 17and 27 respectively.

Bowlers had been the dominant  when Essex resumed their first innings on 243 for 2, losing their remaining eight wickets for the addition of 117 runs.

South African paceman Abbott was chiefly responsible for their demise  as he finished with 5-58 from 30 overs, which represented his third five-wicket haul    this season.

Among his victims was Alastair Cook who added just 10 runs to his  overnight 114 before he was caught  behind. The opener had been dropped by Liam Dawson at third slip a few minutes earlier when facing Abbott but the bowler was to get his due reward.

Abbott’s new ball partner Fidel Edwards had been ruled out of the attack after suffering a shoulder injury on the opening day but Abbott carried the attack  impressively.

Cook’s innings spanned 281 balls and brought him 14 boundaries before he was fourth out at 260, Dan Lawrence having been trapped lbw by Abbott 11 runs earlier.

Bopara laboured for 130 minutes for 23, during which time he faced 92 deliveries, as Abbott struck again after the batsman offered no shot to a ball that swung back in.

In contrast, skipper Ryan ten Doeschate adopted a more aggressive approach in making 37 from 66 deliveries before 29 year-old Abbott continued on  his destructive  cause by bowling him.

There were two stoppages for rain costing a total of 16 overs in the day. Shortly before the first interruption, Simon Harmer was pinned in the crease by Berg for 3 to leave the home side 343 for 8 and after the next interruption, Neil Wagner  (13) and Quinn (15) quickly followed  him back to the pavilion – but that was to pave the way  for the Essex bowlers to impose themselves in stunning style.

Day Two – Tea Report | A rain-interrupted session saw Essex add a further 27 runs to their lunch score whilst losing three more wickets to reach tea on 348 for 8. Neil Wagner is unbeaten on 12 and Matt Quinn is 4 not out at the end of an afternoon when only 15.3 overs were possible.

Ravi Bopara lasted just four balls into the post-lunch resumption before he shouldered arms to a delivery from Kyle Abbott that swung back in to send the batsman on his way for a vigilant 23. He had faced 92 deliveries and struck three boundaries as the home side were reduced to 323 for 6.

It was to prove a ferocious and productive spell from Abbott  who then bagged the wicket of Ryan ten Doeschate to enjoy figures of 2  for 5 in a 4 over spell that also included two maidens. That wicket gave the bowler his third five-wicket haul this season.

The Essex captain was bowled for 37 when he went to drive but, beaten by pace, lost his off stump.

Simon Harmer was the next to depart as rain was starting to fall. He had made 3 when he was trapped in front of his stumps by Gareth Berg to leave the hosts 343 for 8 and reflecting on the loss of seven wickets for 100 runs.

After one stoppage  which shaved nine overs from the day’s allocation,  the players re-appeared but only nine deliveries were sent down before the weather again interrupted proceedings and an early tea was taken at 3.40 p.m.

Day Two – Lunch Report | Essex reached the lunch interval on day two of the Specsavers County Championship match with Hampshire on 321 for 5 with Ravi Bopara unbeaten on 21 and Ryan ten Doeschate 32 not out.

The home side found the going tough when they resumed their first innings on 243 for 2 at The Cloudfm County Ground and only six runs had been added when Dan Lawrence was leg before wicket for 5 with the third delivery of the second new ball. Kyle Abbott was the successful bowler when Lawrence was undone to the 13 ball of the morning as he moved across his stumps.

Abbott then struck again to claim his third wicket of the innings when he accounted for Alastair Cook with the score on 260. The left-hander had progressed from 114 to 124 without looking entirely confident and he was dropped by Liam Dawson at third slip off Abbott with his score on 124.

Then, without addition, he was caught behind by Lewis McManus to end an effort that had brought the opener 14 boundaries from the 281 balls he faced in his 5 hours and 49 minutes he spent at the crease.

Abbott was eventually rested having enjoyed a spell of 2 for 10 in 7.4 overs of which three were maidens.

Attempting to rebuild the damage from the loss of those two early victims, Bopara and Adam Wheater consumed 10 overs in adding 12 runs before the latter, playing against his former county, fell leg before to Gareth Berg for 7.

Welcome aggression was provided with the arrival of ten Doeschate who despatched leg-spinner Mason Crane for a leg side 6 before sending the next ball to the cover boundary.

Bopara eventually moved into double figures from the 58th ball he received when he found the vacant third man boundary against Berg.

When the final available over for bonus points was concluded (the 110th), the scoreboard showed 314 for 5 leaving Essex to settle for three batting points, their highest of the season in a single innings thus far.

Ten Doeschate gathered further runs with some forceful strokeplay and by lunch, he and the watchful Bopara had composed an unbeaten sixth wicket partnership of 49 runs.

Match Reaction | Tom Westley talks after hitting a century, alongside opener Alastair Cook

Day One – Close of Play Report | Alastair Cook and Tom Westley both scored centuries as Essex dominated the opening day of the Specsavers County Championship Division One match with Hampshire at The Cloudfm County Ground ending the day on 243 for 2.

Starting their partnership after Nick Browne had departed without a run on the board, they put together the county’s first double-century stand of the season.

Cook and Westley put together a masterclass demonstration of application and fluent strokes after weathering a hostile attack in conditions where the ball moved quite considerably during the first hour of play.

But as the bowlers lost their venom and the pitch gradually eased, neither of the Essex duo looked in any trouble and it came as something of a surprise when Westley was bowled by Kyle Abbott for 111 with the last ball of the day.

Rain had restricted the morning session to just three overs but that was enough time for West Indian paceman Fidel Edwards to remove Browne with the fifth ball of the match.

The left-hander could only turn a sharp delivery into the hands of Mason Crane at mid-wicket to give Hampshire the perfect start after they had put Essex in after an uncontested toss.

But that was to prove the visitors only success as Westley joined Cook and the pair combined to assert their authority.

Essex had resumed Championship action following their successful run of 7 wins in eight Royal London One-Day Cup matches which had seen them clinch a home semi-final tie in the competition.

As they now returned to red-ball cricket, they made progress with a variety of punishing strokes on either side of the wicket which must have met with great approval from Essex legend Graham Gooch watching the play.

It eventually became a question of which batsman would be the first to arrive at his century. Westley was to win that particular race when he drove Sean Ervine square on the off side for the 15th boundary of an innings that had spanned 178 deliveries by then.

Cook followed him into three-figures just 7 balls later when he executed a similar shot when facing leg-spinner Crane that reached the ropes to take his tally of boundaries to a dozen by that stage. He had faced 222 balls in an innings that had seen the former England captain record his fourth century of the season in all competitions this summer and by which time, he had taken his aggregate to over 800 runs.

It was Cook’s 19th first-class ton for the county and by the close he had moved to 114.

Westley’s century signalled his 15th in First Class games for Essex and his stand with Cook represented the county’s best partnership for any wicket against Hampshire breaking the previous figure of 221 established in 1936.

Day One – Tea Report | Alastair Cook and Tom Westley both played and missed as they battled to play themselves in when play resumed after lunch with the home side 5 for 1 having been put into bat.

Only three overs had been possible before the lunch interval but there was a full session of afternoon play as the weather improved although the floodlights remained on throughout.

It was not until the 19th over that the total reached 50 after which both batsmen started to dominate and accelerate. The second 50, which also brought the 100 partnership,  arrived in a further 11 overs by which time, Westley completed his half-century with his ninth boundary, that at the expense of Gareth Berg when the right-hander steered the ball to the vacant third man boundary. It arrived from 75 balls and Cook followed him to that  landmark with a flashing square drive, also against Berg. He had faced 113 deliveries and collected five fours.

The pair were still together at tea, taken with the total on 141 for 1, having thus far denied the efforts of seven bowlers used to remove them.

Westley arrived at the break on 77 having collected 12 fours from the 114 balls faced. Meanwhile Cook, having received 127 deliveries and gathered 6 boundaries stood on 59, just 25 runs short of scoring 800 runs in all competitions this season.

Day One – Lunch Report | Only three overs were possible before rain arrived to send the players into an early lunch when Essex returned to Specsavers County Championship  action against Hampshire at The Cloudfm County Ground.

But in that time, the home side lost Nick Browne without a run on the board when the left-hander clipped a delivery from Fidel Edwards into the hands of Mason Crane at mid-wicket.

Browne’s departure led to the arrival of Tom Westley and he and Alastair Cook had gathered a couple of runs each before rain put paid to the morning’s action with the total on five.

Both batsmen had experienced anxious moments as Edwards and Kyle Abbott generated pace and lift after Hampshire had exercised their right to forego the toss and put Essex into bat.

There had been three inspections before play actually got underway, at 10.00 a.m., 10.45 a.m., and 11.15 a.m. before umpires Steve Garratt and Tim Robinson gave the go-ahead for the game to get underway at 11.45 p.m.