Second XI Championship - 14 May 2019

Essex 2nd XI won by 190 runs

Venue: Billericay Cricket Ground

Gloucestershire v Essex

Gloucestershire’s second XI were put to the test over the course of three days against an experienced Essex second XI side that included Essex’s player of the month for April, Varun Chopra.

The second’s won the toss on Tuesday and captain Chris Liddle elected to field to open proceedings. Chopra, who had scored 156 runs against the first team in the Royal London One-Day Cup seven days previous opened the batting for Essex.

Second XI Head Coach Owen Dawkins acknowledged the team didn’t get off to the start they wanted on a damp wicket but was very pleased to see the younger bowlers go up against such an experienced batsman.

“It’s a great experience for our guys to play against someone of that caliber to really test the bowlers.”

Chris Liddle picked up three wickets in Essex’s first innings as did South African born Calvin Harrison. 19-year-old Tom Price chipped in with two wickets; Adrian Neill and Harry Hankins took the remaining two.  

The Gloucestershire batsmen were up against what Dawkins described as “the best bowling attack we’ve faced. Their bowlers performed very well and were difficult to score runs against.”

Tom Smith finished Gloucestershire’s first innings 43 not out, finding the boundary on six occasions. Ben Allison was Essex’s star bowler taking out three of Gloucestershire’s top order batsmen and ending the innings with two quick wickets.

Smith, who didn’t bowl in Essex’s first innings, was in the attack for 26 overs picking up two wickets and four maidens but Varun Chopra showed his quality once again scoring a century guiding Essex on their way to 241/4 declared.

Ben Allison, who had himself a day, took four more wickets during the second innings and Gloucestershire were all out for 147.

Essex second XI won by 190 runs with the finals scores:

ESSEX 2ND XI 248 & 241/4 dec vs GLOUCESTERSHIRE 2ND XI 152 & 147. Scorecard here

Despite the loss, Coach Dawkins was happy that the younger players were given the opportunity to face good, experienced players and “hopefully we learn that’s how we need to perform against swinging balls and talented bowlers”.

Gloucestershire 2nd XI will travel to Surrey on Monday in preparation for their Second XI Championship fixture beginning on Tuesday 21st.