Warwickshire v Essex
LV= Insurance County Championship
Edgbaston, Thursday 22 – Sunday 25 April
Warwickshire: Will Rhodes (c), Rob Yates, Sam Hain, Hanuma Vihari, Michael Lamb, Michael Burgess (wk), Tim Bresnan, Craig Miles, Olly Stone, Danny Briggs, Oliver Hannon-Dalby.
Essex: Alastair Cook, Nick Browne, Tom Westley (c), Dan Lawrence, Paul Walter, Ryan ten Doeschate, Adam Wheater (wk), Simon Harmer, Peter Siddle, Sam Cook, Jamie Porter.
Umpires: Mike Burns & Alex Wharf
Toss: Essex won and elected to bat first
Result: Warwickshire won by 7 wickets
Day Four Highlights:
Day Four Reaction: Anthony McGrath
Day Four Match Report:
Essex suffered their first defeat in 22 Championship and Bob Willis Trophy matches when they were beaten by Warwickshire at Edgbaston where the home side chased down a target of 256 for victory with 7 wickets and 8 balls to spare.
21-year-old opener Rob Yates scored an unbeaten 120 and featured in defining century partnerships for the second and third wickets with Hanuma Vihari and Sam Hain, both of whom contributed half-centuries.
To underline the lack of assistance for bowlers throughout the final day, neither Simon Harmer nor Peter Siddle was able to take a wicket despite sending down 32 and 14 overs respectively.
Harmer started the day with the bat as Essex resumed on 213-9 and occupied the crease for a further 12 overs adding another 18 to his overnight score to reach 82 before Jamie Porter was leg before to Danny Briggs for 11 with the visitors dismissed for 244.
That left Warwickshire a minimum of 82 overs t and there was early encouragement for their opponents when Will Rhodes edged to Adam Wheater for 11 in Sam Cook’s second over.
But Indian Test batsman Vihari joined forces with Yates to excellent effect and by mid-afternoon, the Bears were already eyeing a second successive victory in this year’s Championship when well placed at 96-1.
Yates and Vihari, in total command by now, brought up their century partnership in 209 balls and soon after, both batsmen reached well-fashioned fifties, Yates from 111 balls whilst his partner needed two more deliveries to reach the milestone.
Meanwhile, skipper Tom Westley rang the changes particularly at the Birmingham End as he attempted to find the key to break the partnership and he finally found the answer in Paul Walter.
With Vihari having posted 52 out of the 126 total, the all-rounder found the bottom edge of Vihari’s bat with a left arm over the wicket delivery to give Wheater a catch and Essex a glimmer of hope.
By Tea, Warwickshire had advanced to 140-2 needing a further 116 from a minimum of 34 overs.
Essex had squeezed the run-rate for a period in the afternoon session but with wickets in hand and Yates well set, it was always going to be an uphill struggle for the County Champions to maintain their impressive unbeaten run going back to April 2019.
Harmer, who sent down 25 successive overs from the Pavilion End, was eventually given a break to be replaced by Dan Lawrence but when the last hour commenced, the home side required just 68 more runs with 16 overs remaining and Yates and now Hain dominant.
Harmer eventually returned to the attack but Yates and Hain continued to bear down on the target at the required rate.
Hain struck Porter over the ropes on the shorter side of the playing area, a stroke that also completed his own half-century made from 114 balls and including six other boundaries.
With four overs remaining, just 14 were needed and once again, Walter answered Westley’s call for a breakthrough when he had Hain caught at deep fine leg for 60 to leave the hosts 244-3.
The second new ball was taken by Sam Cook with just 2 overs of the match remaining but Yates addressed any potential threat from the new cherry by smacking the first ball to the boundary and three balls later, he edged the ball past slip to complete victory.
Yates had batted for 5 hours and ten minutes collecting 1 six and 14 fours and played with a maturity belying his youthful years to guide his side through a well-placed run chase as Warwickshire collected 21 points from the match with Essex left with five.
Day Three Match Highlights:
Day Three Reaction: Tom Huggins
Day Three Match Report:
Simon Harmer has given Essex a fighting chance of pulling off their second win of the season in what has been a compelling match at Edgbaston.
The South African showed his all-round attributes by following up his four-wicket haul in the Warwickshire first innings with an unbeaten 62 as Essex reached the close on 213-9 and an overall lead of 224 runs.
The visitors were 93-6 when the 32-year-old joined Dan Lawrence in the middle but having taken the score onto 137, Lawrence was run out for 55 going for a quick single to the non-striker’s end.
Harmer though remained, defiant and formidable as the total steadily advanced with a 32 runs partnership with Peter Siddle, who made 20, and then 33 with Sam Cook, who scored 7 before he skied the ball to mid-wicket.
Now 202-9, further runs were added with the determined support of Jamie Porter who was 1 not out at the close but who had battled for 36 minutes in support of his colleague.
Harmer, who was struck on the helmet early in his innings by a ball from Craig Miles, pushed the singles and collected six boundaries in his 127-ball half-century, looked accomplished offering the home attack little encouragement.
Lawrence started the revival when steadying the ship with a 100-ball half-century. Never spectacular it was an important sedate rearguard response with wristy stroke play to ease the earlier worrying situation and, like Harmer’s contribution, could yet prove to be invaluable.
When Wheater made his way to the middle, Essex had lost half their side to lead by just 47 runs but the gutsy wicket-keeper batsman and Lawrence swelled the total by 57 runs until Wheater, who had looked in good nick, top-edged a pull shot and was caught at deep mid-wicket for 30 to give Miles a third wicket.
That brought Harmer back onto centre-stage to earn the plaudits taking Essex to a competitive total and set up the challenge of a fascinating final day’s play.
It had taken the visitors 11 overs to capture the remaining two Warwickshire wickets after the home side had resumed on 243-8 but in that time, they added a further 41 runs.
Overnight not out batsmen Danny Briggs and Miles continued to frustrate the opposition attack carrying their partnership to 66 in two hours before Porter earned his side their third bowling point when he pinned Miles in front of his stumps for 25, an innings that contained not a single boundary in the 95 deliveries he faced.
Briggs, whose effort revived the innings, who had only passed 50 twice in his 110 first-class visits to the crease, was left unbeaten on 66 when Harmer trapped Oliver Hannon-Dalby leg before to finish with 4 for 89 and leaving Essex with an overall advantage of 11 runs on first innings.
But in the remaining 14 overs before Lunch, the County Champions lurched from one setback to another as the Bears seamers made substantial inroads. Alastair Cook departed for 10, Tom Westley for 5, Nick Browne for 8 and then, to the last ball before the interval, Paul Walter for a single as Essex reached the interval on 25-4.
Miles was again to the fore, this time in his more recognised role with the ball as he and Hannon-Dalby shared the wickets. The latter had Cook picked up at cover point as the batsman went in search of his third boundary and found the edge to have Walter caught behind.
In between those two wickets, Miles, who had replaced Olly Stone, struck with his fourth ball when he had Westley caught at short mid-wicket and five balls later gained the verdict when Browne was struck on the pads.
Four wickets had fallen in 41 balls – the last three in 21 balls – to round off a forgettable session for the visitors.
Stone then added his name to the list of wicket-takers having Ryan ten Doeschate leg before for 7 as the visitors were left rocking at 36-5.
But one can never underestimate the character and determination of Anthony McGrath’s charges as Lawrence and Wheater started the fightback before Harmer continued the good work with a spirited performance.
Day Two Match Highlights:
Day Two Reaction: Anthony McGrath
Day Two Match Report:
Peter Siddle and Simon Harmer teamed up to bowl Essex into a good position in their LV= Insurance County Championship clash with Warwickshire at Edgbaston. At the close of an intriguing second day, the hosts were 243-8 with Danny Briggs unbeaten on 32 and Craig Miles 22 not out with Essex holding a lead of 52 runs.
Paceman Siddle, playing his first match of the season for the County Champions grabbed 3 for 52 whilst spin ace Harmer returned figures of 3 for 83.
Although several Warwickshire players batted resiliently, none were able to pass Matt Lamb’s top score of 47 as the four-pronged Essex attack ensured an uphill struggle for the home side.
Harmer beavered away at the Pavilion End asking a series of questions of the batsmen to gain his rewards for an enduring effort on a pitch that offered a modicum of assistance for the spinner. Siddle, typically, maintained an excellent line and length from the Birmingham End and took his first wicket of the term with the 11th delivery of the day.
Warwickshire, who resumed on 7 without loss, lost their first wicket when Sam Cook knocked back the off stump of Rob Yates. The left-hander had offered a sharp chance to Harmer at second slip off the bowling of Jamie Porter when the batsman had scored 3 but he added just one more run before Cook rearranged his stumps.
The introduction of Australian Siddle into the attack brought about the downfall of Bears Captain and opener Will Rhodes who dragged the ball onto his leg stump off an inside edge having scored 26 to leave his side 34-2.
Sam Hain and Indian international Hanuma Vihari teamed up but with just one run needed for a half-century partnership, Porter found the edge nine balls after lunch when Vihari flirted outside off to be caught for 32 by Adam Wheater.
Then Harmer made his presence felt bowling cannily by varying the length and flight to pick up the next three wickets.
Sam Hain, having played cautiously before showing fluidity to move to 36 opted to step down the wicket and was bowled through bat and pad and 10 runs later, the Bears lost their 5th wicket when an attempted sweep by Michael Burgess proved futile when he just stepped out of his ground to be stumped for 2 by the lightning-quick glovework from Wheater.
Former England and Yorkshire all-rounder Tim Bresnan joined Lamb but having contributed 21 out of 26, had his defences breached by a well-flighted Harmer delivery.
With Harmer and Siddle in harmony, the home side lost another wicket when Siddle trapped Olly Stone leg before for 16 to leave Warwickshire 186-7 and Essex eyeing a substantial first innings lead having been dismissed for 295 in their first innings.
Those hopes were enhanced with the departure of Lamb.
When the teams met at Edgbaston in 2019, Lamb turned his maiden first-class century into a seven-hour marathon that eventually saw him out for 173. This time around, he attempted to hold the innings together having batted for 2 hours and 26 minutes when he was bowled by a beauty from Siddle that swung into the batsman and collected leg stump with Lamb 3 runs short of a half-century.
Now 193-8, the visitors were held up by a determined effort between Danny Briggs and Craig Miles that kept the innings afloat.
Despite taking the second new ball immediately when it became available at 204-8, the pair frustrated the visitors to reach an unbroken half-century liaison just before the close and panning 163 balls and 99 minutes.
Day One Match Highlights:
Day One Reaction: Nick Browne
Day One Match Report:
Nick Browne, Paul Walter and Ryan ten Doeschate all made half-centuries in the LV= Insurance County Championship contest with Warwickshire at Edgbaston where Essex were bowled out for 295 before their opponents reached 7 without loss in reply by the close.
Browne and Walter were models of patience and were rewarded for the vigilance whilst ten Doeschate added quick runs in the last session as Warwickshire clawed their way back by taking 7 wickets for 109 runs after tea.
Browne dropped anchor and used a simple approach leaving alone balls outside the off-stump whilst treating the more worthy deliveries with selective stroke play.
Walter too played with calm authority showing a faultless attitude with high levels of concentration. Browne, who had batted throughout the first session for 20, was spilled without addition by second slip Sam Hain off Craig Miles but refused to be phased as the pair steadily wore down the Warwickshire attack.
Browne scored 68 and batted for four and a quarter hours whilst Walter reached 66 in 2 and three-quarter hours as the duo put on 114 for the fourth wicket to revive the fortunes of the County Champions who were 72 for 3 when the pair came together.
Although diligence was the key word to the combined effort, both did produce some fine examples of immaculately-timed drives to nurture the innings.
On a cloudless day at sun-bathed Edgbaston, Alastair Cook was the aggressor in an opening partnership worth 55 in just over an hour and his spirited innings included a pull for 6 when paceman Olly Stone dug a ball in short.
Cook scored 13 of the opening 14 runs that included 3 boundaries. In contrast, Browne was happy to play a watchful role spending 22 balls before he got his score moving.
His opening partner though continued his robust attack exemplified when he collected three boundaries in one over from Craig Miles, the second of which brought up the half-century stand in 57 minutes.
But the former Gloucestershire medium-pacer was to exact revenge in his next over when he had Cook caught behind for 46 with a ball the held its line before finding the edge of the bat.
Right-armer Miles soon added another scalp, this time Tom Westley who had just got off the mark with a boundary through mid-wicket when he was struck on the pads with a ball that angled into him. That left Miles reflecting on figures of 2 for 16 from 3.2 overs.
And 63 for 2 became 72 for 3 with the departure of Dan Lawrence for 5 when he steered a delivery from Stone, that pitched leg side, to mid-wicket where matt Lamb completed a diving catch. Lawrence briefly stood in disbelief at the soft manner of his dismissal.
But Browne and Walter dug in.
They batted throughout the afternoon session adding 105 runs between the two intervals during which both posted half-centuries. Browne’s first half-century of the summer – and first in 12 innings – arrived when the opener struck the third of four boundaries in one Tim Bresnan over. He had faced 136 balls that included 10 fours.
Then Walter reached the milestone when he gathered a couple of runs against the spin of Danny Briggs steering the ball past slip. His innings had spanned 108 balls with 8 fours at that stage and in the next over, the pair of left-handers completed their century partnership, one that spanned 202 balls and completed with a boundary by Walter off Will Rhodes.
A hostile spell by Olly Stone accounted for both in 14 deliveries immediately after tea. With the second ball of the final session, he produced a ball that left Browne who edged behind with the score on 186. The 11 runs later, he produced a ball that rose sharply on Walter who could only help it on its way to third man where Hanum Vihari dived forward to take the catch.
Ten Doeschate was joined by Adam Wheater who opened his account by hooking Stone over the boundary. Typically, they played with some tempo, but the second new ball brought the home side right back into the match.
Wheater was the first to go, having scored 23, when he became another Stone victim when the bowler found the outside edge to give wicket-keeper Burgess his third catch to leave Essex 243 for six and the bowler with figures of 4 for 59.
That was with the fourth delivery of the new ball and Hannon-Dalby was to bring about a swift conclusion to the innings with his personal contribution of 4 wickets in 26 balls at a cost of 17 runs.
Simon Harmer stepped across his stumps and was lbw without score, Peter Siddle lost his off stump for 14, Sam Cook edged to second slip for 6 before ten Doeschate, who had lost partners rapidly, had taken his score to 56 when he was last out attempting to cut and was caught at gully.
It had been an enterprising knock from ten Doeschate who struck the ball cleanly and scored freely as he exploited the short boundary on one side of the ground to good effect. He reached his fifty from 57 balls with a 6 and a 4 from successive Stone deliveries before his 62-ball innings that embraced 8 fours and a six was concluded by Hannon-Dalby.
Left with 4 overs to face, the home side safely avoided any incursions against new ball pair Porter and Cook. Will Rhodes will resume on the morning with 7 to his name whilst Rob Yates has yet to get off the mark.
Essex made one change from the side that prevailed against Durham with Australian fast-medium paceman Peter Siddle replacing Ben Allison.