Essex v Yorkshire
LV= Insurance County Championship
The Cloud County Ground, Thursday 05 – Sunday 08 May
Essex: Nick Browne, Alastair Cook, Tom Westley (c), Paul Walter, Matt Critchley, Adam Rossington (wk), Feroze Khushi, Simon Harmer, Shane Snater, Mark Steketee, Sam Cook.
Yorkshire: Adam Lyth, Dimuth Karunarante, George Hill, Joe Root, Dawid Malan, Harry Brook, Harry Duke (wk), Dom Bess, Jordan Thompson, Matthew Revis, Steven Patterson (c).
Umpires: Rob Bailey & Tim Robinson
Match Referee: Stuart Cummings
Toss: Yorkshire, who elected to bowl
Result: Match Drawn
Scorecard: View Here
Day Four Match Highlights:
Day Four Reaction: Anthony McGrath
Day Four Match Report:
Alastair Cook recorded a century in both innings for the first time in his illustrious career as Essex and Yorkshire fought out a draw in Division One of the LV= Insurance County Championship.
Somewhat surprisingly, England’s leading Test run-scorer and the veteran of 19 years at first-class level had never previously reached three figures twice in a match – but he rectified that with an unbeaten 102 in the second-innings to accompany his 107 in the first.
With this latest century, Cook racked up his third in the space of five innings at Chelmsford this year. Including a half-century on a tough pitch at Somerset, the former England Captain has looked in vintage form.
After a long spell in the field on the previous day for the Essex bowlers where despite their best efforts they could only muster two wickets, they were rewarded early on the final day.
Yorkshire lost their last five wickets for just 39 runs, leaving them all out for 465 and Essex batting again earlier than many would have expected.
That left Cook and opening partner Nick Browne under little pressure in their second innings and the pair eased comfortably past the deficit with an unbroken partnership of 167 before the captains agreed a draw at 4.50pm.
Resuming on 425 for five, fast scoring appeared to be a necessity for Yorkshire– but the Essex bowlers pegged them back by picking up regular wickets.
Shane Snater picked up the wicket of Dawid Malan with just the second ball of the day as he clipped one into the welcoming hands of Feroze Khushi at square leg.
Brook eventually fell for 123, caught behind slashing at a short delivery from Sam Cook, who was also unlucky not to claim the wicket of Harry Duke when he struck off stump – yet the bail refused to budge.
Cook’s persistent bowling was reflected in figures of three for 78, while Snater (three for 62) finished off the innings by having Dom Bess caught behind, leaving Essex with a deficit of 62 and half an hour to negotiate before lunch.
The Essex opening pair looked completely in command as they progressed nearly chanceless to 167-0 at the close.
While Cook took centre stage with a 72nd first-class hundred from 178 deliveries, Browne looked equally assured and completed his half-century in the second to last over of the game.
Essex take 11 points from the fixture and sit on 54 in total after the five matches. The team will now wait a fortnight until their next game when they play Lancashire at Old Trafford on Thursday 19 May.
Day Three Match Highlights:
Day Three Reaction: Tom Westley
Day Three Match Report:
The Essex bowlers were kept in the field for the entirety of the third day of their LV= Insurance County Championship clash with Yorkshire as first Joe Root and then Harry Brook and Dawid Malan enjoyed the friendly Chelmsford conditions.
Root, in what was remarkably only his 50th County Championship appearance for the White Roses despite making his debut back in April 2011, stroked his way to a half century in 88 balls, the exact same number as his successor as England skipper Ben Stokes had taken to smash 161 against Worcestershire at New Road 24 hours earlier.
However, youngster Brook stole the spotlight, giving another stunning audition ahead of the first Test of the summer against New Zealand next month, by smiting a thrilling century, so keeping up his record of scoring 50 or more in every innings so far this season. The 23-year-old who closed on 110 not out currently averages over 200 for the campaign.
He shared a record unbroken stand of 210 with Dawid Malan (87 not out), his fifth half-century in a row, as Yorkshire finished the day on 425-5 with a lead of 24.
Root was immediately in the action and got underway with a streaky four wide of second slip. Sam Cook beat him all ends up with a peach of a delivery during a probing opening spell, but after those early moments Root looked in total control.
It was a trademark knock by the now former England Captain and he compiled a century stand with Matthew Revis either side of a morning truncated by rain.
Critchley has picked up a number of wickets with his googly this season and Root became the latest batter to be fooled by it as he chopped on for 75.
His wicket brought Malan and Brook together and the latter, top of the Division 1 averages got off the mark by slog sweeping Simon Harmer over the square-leg fence. That kickstarted an innings which cemented the young batter as one of the most promising talents in the country. He became the leading run scorer in division one this season when he reached 49 and the single which followed meant his latest half century had come in 48 balls.
Harmer plugged away for 41 overs and bowled with his usual accuracy and guile. However, he couldn’t find enough assistance from the pitch in order to add to his wicket tally.
The pair forged on in a lengthy last session, and with great symmetry, having got off the mark with a six Brook reached an all-but run a ball century by hoisting Critchley over the ropes at mid-wicket.
Day Two Match Highlights:
Day Two Reaction: Paul Walter
Day Two Match Report:
Paul Walter’s maiden first-class century lit up a day in which Essex just about maintained the upper hand against Yorkshire in the LV = Insurance County Championship Division One clash.
The 27-year-old left-hander, who’d narrowly missed the landmark when out for 93 in last week’s draw with Northamptonshire, finally ticked the accolade of his bucket list after reaching a masterful 141. With Simon Harmer raising the tempo in the latter stages of the innings, reaching a half-century in the process, Essex eventually posted 403.
Dominic Bess the pick of the White Rose attack with three for 82. The spinner bowled tightly and kept the scoring rate in check over a mammoth 44 over spell.
Yorkshire lost Adam Lyth early in reply, while Shane Snater produced the ball of the day to end George Hill’s stylish cameo and Dimuth Karunaratne fell to the last ball of the day from Sam Cook to leave the visitors 81 for three at the close.
The morning revolved around Walter’s hunt for his long-deserved century and thanks to some disciplined Yorkshire bowling, he was made to wait for his moment.
In the end, the 13th over of the morning proved lucky for Walter as he worked a ball on his pads off the inside edge down to fine leg for the 12th four of his then close to five and a half hour vigil.
Freed of the burden of getting a hundred he played with freedom thereafter, clubbing Bess over the mid-wicket fence and raising Essex’s 300 with a deft cut for four. He was given a life on 127 when he drilled Bess straight to Thompson at cover only for the quick to shell the catch. And Bess was out of luck again when night-watchman Sam Cook edged to Lyth at slip via the thigh of wicketkeeper Harry Duke, the deflection enough for the opener to grass the chance.
Cook eventually lost his off-stump to a good ball from Hill to end a stand of 73, the only success of a frustrating morning for Yorkshire.
Whatever the visitors had for lunch they came out transformed, Bess removing Walter to the fourth ball of the afternoon when the centurion slashed to point. The England spinner made it two in two when he bowled Adam Rossington and though Feroze Khushi survived the hat-trick ball, when he nicked Patterson behind soon afterwards the hosts had been pegged back at 322-7.
Simon Harmer, left with only last man Mark Steketee for company, survived the next hour before Harmer opened his shoulders to rouse the home supporters. The South African international hoisted three big sixes as he raced to 54 in a last-wicket stand of 58 which saw Essex past 400.
Lyth didn’t last long before Sam Cook pinned the former England opener lbw. Hill, in contrast, looked fluent from the off, driving Steketee for successive fours, before striking Harmer back over his head for another boundary.
The Sri Lankan international Karunaratne enjoyed a charmed life, somehow edging one which turned into him from Harmer just over the top of the stumps and out of reach of wicketkeeper Rossington, before the spinner dropped a difficult chance at second slip from the bowling of Shane Snater.
Snater gained recompense, ending George Hill’s stylish cameo with a lifting ball which he edged behind and Cook gave Rossington more catching practice when Karunaratne’s luck ran out in the last over.
Day One Match Highlights:
Day One Reaction: Tom Huggins
Day One Match Report:
Alastair Cook batted for most of the day as he ground out a tenacious century to provide Essex with a strong platform in their LV= Insurance County Championship match against Yorkshire.
The former England captain occupied the crease doggedly for his 107 from 268 balls, sharing a third-wicket partnership of 174 with fellow left-hander Paul Walter to guide Essex to 234 for three after being put in at Chelmsford.
Yorkshire included Cook’s successor Joe Root, featuring for the first time since he resigned the England role and deployed him as one of seven bowlers as they toiled to try and build on early successes.
But those efforts were largely fruitless, with Walter reaching stumps just 11 short of a maiden first-class hundred – having narrowly missed out four days earlier when his knock of 93 had enabled Essex to secure a draw against Northamptonshire.
After winning the toss, Yorkshire got the breakthrough of Nick Browne to the third ball of the morning, caught low at third slip off Jordan Thompson.
Thompson and Steven Patterson, who opened alongside him, sent down 34 consecutive dot balls in a tight opening spell before Cook got the scoreboard moving with a single on the leg side.
He and Tom Westley put together a partnership of 56 before the Essex captain fell caught behind for 24, attempting to cut Dom Bess.
Walter survived chances early in his innings, with Patterson unable to hold onto a sharp return chance and inducing an edge in his next over that appeared to fall narrowly short of the diving George Hill in the slips.
At the other end, Cook relentlessly progressed towards his half-century, dispatching Thompson to the cover boundary to reach that landmark after more than three hours.
Having progressed at around two an over, Essex raised the tempo in the final session, with Walter adopting a more attacking approach and Cook carving Thompson to the boundary to complete his ton.
Despite Brook shelling Cook, Yorkshire took the wicket of the opener as he played on off the bowling of Yorkshire skipper Patterson.
Night-watchman Sam Cook accompanied Walter to the close and left Essex in a position to bat big in the first-innings in what will be an important second day.