LV= Insurance County Championship - 05 September 2021
Essex won by an innings and 3 runs
Venue: Cloudfm County Ground
Essex v Gloucestershire
Simon Harmer took his LV= Insurance County Championship wicket tally for the season to 49 as Essex maintained their top spot in Division Two with an innings and three-run victory over Gloucestershire.
Off-spinner Harmer returned four for 78 as Essex claimed the five wickets needed on day four before lunch – with Gloucestershire bowled out for 197.
Essex have won both their Divisional stage matches by an innings, having previously thrashed Glamorgan.
Essex’s initial pursuit of the final five wickets didn’t take long as three wickets fell for no runs.
Sam Cook dragged Tom Lace outside off stump and caught an edge to bucket hands Simon Harmer at second slip with the 11th ball of the morning.
Ten balls later and Cook struck again with a fullish delivery to strike Graeme van Buuren on the pads.
In the following over, Chris Dent bravely attempted to leave Harmer – who had been getting significant turn and bounce – only for that delivery to cannon into middle and off.
Ryan Higgins and Zafar Khan wobbled Gloucestershire off 134 – with the former finding fluency with four fours and a six.
Pakistani overseas Zafar also found the boundary four times on his way to 24 during a 78-minute partnership with Higgins, worth 54.
But Harmer eventually ended the stand when he snared an outside edge to Alastair Cook at first slip.
And the victory was wrapped up at 12:18pm when Higgins was run out attempting a second run by Shane Snater at square leg.
James Bracey collected his seventh LV= Insurance County Championship fifty of the season as Gloucestershire battled to save their clash with Essex.
Bracey, who earned an England Test debut earlier in the summer, took his first-class run tally for the summer to 685 with a rear-guard performance.
Fifteen wickets fell on the opening day at the Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford, but only nine fell on the second as the pitch flattened out.
Five of those were Essex’s tail, as Paul Walter fell for a career-best 96 and the home side clocked up a 200-run first-innings lead – which thanks to Bracey’s 50 and Ben Charlesworth’s 49 had been knocked down to 69 by the close.
Resuming on 150 for five, having earlier bowled Gloucestershire out for 76, Adam Wheater was dismissed by the Price brothers – bowled Tom caught second slip Ollie – off the ninth ball of the day to end a 79-run stand with Walter.
Walter and Simon Harmer then attacked the old ball – their fifty-partnership coming in just 56 balls – but were warier against the new one.
That caution saw Walter stutter in the 90s and eventually fell four short of what would have been a maiden first-class ton when he edged to third slip, a mode of dismissal Harmer replicated in the following over – their stand worth 71.
Shane Snater swung hard to clear the long-on boundary but too hard soon after to loop to first slip, before a 32-run 10th wicket stand between Sam Cook and Jamie Porter took the hosts to a 200 run lead – before the latter skied to mid-off having already clubbed the first six of his career.
Miles Hammond was dropped in the first over of Gloucestershire’s second innings when the ball bobbled out of Tom Westley’s hand at third slip.
Snater made the breakthrough in the 13th over when a full delivery moved back slightly to pin Hammond leg before.
But Charlesworth steadied the ship again with Bracey and passed the first-innings total inside 32 overs only one wicket down.
The duo put on 58 with few genuine worries in 92 sun-kissed minutes, although Harmer was finding good turn and bounce. And that spin pinned Charlesworth lbw for 49.
Bracey scored predominantly behind the bat as he reached his half-century in 118 balls, with seven fours.
He fell four balls later though when Cook angled across him and found an edge to Harmer at second slip, with Tom Price turning Harmer to short leg.
And with what turned out to be the final ball of the day Josh Rymell produced a superb throw to run Ollie Price out with a direct hit from deep square leg.
Paul Walter hit his fourth LV= Insurance Championship half-century of the season as Essex eked out a painstaking 74-run lead on a sun-baked Chelmsford day when 15 wickets fell.
The tall left-hander was the only batsmen to get to grips with a worn pitch on which Gloucestershire were bowled out for 76 in 28 overs before lunch.
Gloucestershire were undone in double-quick time as seamer Jamie Porter marked his 100th first-class appearance with 4-32, supported in a blistering opening spell by Sam Cook (3-27).
Division Two leaders Essex started in similar downbeat mode until Walter stepped in. By the close of the first day he had reached 71 not out from 189 balls.
Gloucestershire, put in, were soon in trouble. Porter had Miles Hammond and Ben Charlesworth pinned lbw in successive overs.
Cook then removed James Beacey and Tom Lace with consecutive balls, Bracey edging an outswinger and Lace misjudging one and losing his off-stump.
A third wicket in nine balls fell without addition when Chris Dent edged to second slip. He was soon followed by Graeme van Buuren, who left one from Cook that jagged back and removed his off-stump.
Ryan Higgins adopted an aggressive approach, but lost seventh-wicket partner Ollie Price, who slashed wildly to fourth slip for Porter’s fourth scalp.
Simon Harmer took just three overs to wrap up the Gloucestershire innings taking the final three wickets for just two runs. Zafar Khan swept to square leg, Higgins was snaffled at short leg to end a 60-ball 25, and David Payne was bowled pushing forward.
The procession of wickets continued at the start of Essex’s reply: it took 30 overs to post their first 50, by which time they were four wickets down.
Nick Browne wafted at Payne in the third over while Sir Alastair Cook went seven overs later when trapped in front by Higgins for 15. Tom Westley departed lbw for a 38-ball two and Michael Pepper tickled a lifter from Payne.
Walter and Josh Rymell steadied the ship for 16 overs before tea, but four balls after the break Zafar turned one sharply and found the edge of Rymell’s bat.
Walter had taken 20 balls to get off the mark, but quietly eased Essex into the lead He was joined by Adam Wheater (30 not out) in an unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 75 that threatened to take the game away from the visitors.
Essex won the toss and elected to bowl.
Nicholas Browne | Alastair Cook | Thomas Westley | Michael-Kyle Pepper | Paul Walter | Joshua Rymell | Adam Wheater | Simon Harmer | Shane Snater | Samuel Cook | James Porter |
Christopher Dent | James Bracey | Ben Charlesworth | Tom Lace | Graeme van Buuren | Miles Hammond | Ryan Higgins | Zafar Khan | Oliver Price | Thomas Price | David Payne |
|Essex win by an innings and 3 runs||Gloucestershire second innings|
197 all out
|Gloucestershire First Innings||How out||Runs||Minutes||Balls||4s||6s|
|Extras||0b 2lb 0nb 0p 1w||3|
Fall of wickets
|Essex First Innings||How out||Runs||Minutes||Balls||4s||6s|
|Extras||0b 4lb 2nb 0p 0w||6|
Fall of wickets
|Gloucestershire Second Innings||How out||Runs||Minutes||Balls||4s||6s|
|Extras||0b 6lb 0nb 0p 0w||6|
Fall of wickets