Essex secure win on final day
Somerset’s hopes of batting all day to secure an unlikely result didn’t come to fruition at the Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford today as Essex ran out winners by 196 runs on the final day of this LV= Insurance County Championship match.
Somerset had batted stoically in the hope of batting out 151 overs, or reach 466 to win, but the visitors were eventually bowled out for 269 with two sessions to spare.
Fast bowler, Sam Cook grabbed two in two with the new ball before Simon Harmer took two more wickets to claim match figures of eight for 178 and Jamie Porter rounded off the tail.
The day’s play was preceded by a minute’s silence for the victims of the Nottingham attacks, while players from both teams and the umpires wore black armbands and the flags were at half-mast.
The two students who died both had links to Essex and Somerset cricket. Barnaby Webber, 19, played for Bishops Hull Cricket Club in Taunton. Grace O’Malley Kumar, 19, played and captained Essex Women from under 11 to under 15.
The visiting batters had shown great fight and grit on the third evening to give Somerset hope of saving a draw, having been bowled out for 167 in the first innings, a deficit of 295. However, Tom Kohler-Cadmore’s dismissal to the final ball of the day swung the tie strongly in Essex’s favour.
Tom Abell and James Rew did bat out the first 137 balls of the morning, putting on 56 with great skill.
The second new ball was coming though and that would prove to be the fatal twist for the visitors.
Sam Cook needed just two deliveries to extract a thin edge behind to see off Abell for 83 before a wobble-seamed delivery nipped off the seam and into Kasey Aldridge’s off stump next ball.
Craig Overton navigated a hat-trick ball that teased the outside edge but Rew soon fell to Simon Harmer.
Left-handed Rew (28) drove at the off-spinner with the edge brilliantly taken at first slip by a full-stretched Alastair Cook. Matt Critchley took an equally great catch at leg slip when Craig Overton turned Harmer around the corner.
Matt Henry was given out caught behind, much to his surprise, and when Josh Davey fell to a catch by Will Buttleman off the bowling of Porter the Essex victory was confirmed.
Essex take 22 points, to Somerset’s two.
At the end of the match, Somerset Club Captain, Tom Abell said: “If we are honest, 460 is always going to be a pretty tough chase. They have a really potent attack and a world class spinner, so you are always under pressure.
“We hadn’t ruled anything out because when the ball got older it was a decent wicket to bat on. We needed a big partnership or two guys to get in and get big scores. A few of us got in but didn’t take it on to the point that we needed to.
“It was always going to be a big ask but the belief was there that if we got off to the start we needed to we could have given ourselves a chance.
“The damage was done in that first innings. They were 360 for four on day one and then we were 10 for three. When they post a score in the first innings like they did, you have to get off to a good start and set that foundation which we obviously didn’t do. Losing those quick wickets really hurt us in the game.
“We have been consistent in white-ball cricket but probably not as consistent in red-ball cricket. Even through this game there has been signs of progression but we aren’t just here to develop and progress; we want to be winning. I am certainly seeing the signs that we are starting to play the cricket we are capable of.”