County Championship
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The Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford

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Report: Essex v Warwickshire, LV= Insurance County Championship

Day Four

Danny Briggs and Will Rhodes took the sting out the final day at the Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford as the conditions won out in Essex’s LV= Insurance County Championship clash with Warwickshire.

Nightwatchman Briggs and captain Rhodes cancelled out Warwickshire’s first-innings deficit inside 14 overs to all but kill off the home side’s hopes of stealing a win.

Warwickshire reached 66 for one before rain either side of lunch saw fists bumped at 4:30pm on a draw.

The result keeps Group One incredibly tight, which could mean Essex’s 12 points to Warwickshire’s 11 could be valuable in deciding who progresses from the group.

Warwickshire began the day with a deficit of 51, having blocked out one over on the third day.

Briggs and Rhodes appeared in no danger with the nip and zip of the opening two days failing to materialise for Jamie Porter, Sam Cook and Peter Siddle, while also failing to assist spinner Simon Harmer.

It took 81 balls to bring up the 50 partnership, with Briggs the more fluent of the two, contributing 31 runs.

Despite traditionally batting in the lower order, Briggs is a solid batsman with a century and two fifties in his first-class career.

He didn’t look out of place at the top of the order with a tasty straight drive off Porter, a cut off Siddle and a flowing straight drive off Harmer.

The former Hampshire and Sussex spinner eventually departed after lunch when a leading edge off Cook looped to Dan Lawrence at extra cover.

For Harmer, who bowled 18 overs across both innings, it was his first wicketless Championship appearance having taken at least a scalp in each of his previous 47 matches.

Play halted at 12:17pm and despite attempts to get back on the game was finally put out of its misery by Ian Gould and Ben Debenham in the evening gloom.

Day Three

Sir Alastair Cook and Ryan ten Doeschate used their vast experience with half-centuries as Essex claimed a first-innings lead in their LV= Insurance County Championship fixture against Warwickshire.

Cook and ten Doeschate have a combined age of 76, have scored 35,820 runs in 516 first-class matches and used all that knowhow on a tricky pitch which nipped around.

Former England captain Cook scored 57, the 185th of glittering career, and on his 200th first-class appearance ten Doeschate totted up 56.

Liam Norwell and Will Rhodes both snared three wickets apiece as Essex were bowled out for 217, a lead of 51, before Danny Briggs blocked out one over for no runs.

The morning session was a frustrating muddle of bad light and a spot of drizzle – with a delayed start and a hokey-cokey when everyone took their places to resume before the sun dipped behind a cloud.

There was enough time before lunch for Tom Westley to bring up his 500th run of the season, get dropped at square leg and then edge Olly Hannon-Dalby behind.

The start of the afternoon was also delayed, but once it commenced the game started to move along at a decent pace.

Dan Lawrence, on the back of a Test call-up for the upcoming New Zealand series, was put down by international team-mate Dom Sibley at square leg before he had his off stump uprooted by a Liam Norwell yorker.

Cook was the main attraction and anchor to the innings as he mixed his typically gritty blocking with a five aesthetically pleasing cover drives.

He passed 50 for the third time this season in 87 balls but was undone by the introduction of Will Rhodes.

The medium pacer, who took a five-for on his previous appearance at the Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford, dangled a half-volley outside Cook’s off stump with his second delivery to produce an edge.

Rhodes then had Paul Walter leg before and Adam Wheater caught and bowled when skying to have three wickets in his first four overs.

ten Doeschate then rebuilt with a 44-run stand with Simon Harmer, the Dutch international contributing 38 in a busy fashion while moving to his half-century with a flash through the slips.

He gloved Norwell behind and Peter Siddle pushed to second slip and while Essex picked up a batting point by passing 200, Sam Cook was yorked by Briggs and Jamie Porter nicked off to end the innings.

Day Two

Peter Siddle returned his best bowling figures for Essex but rain prevented their LV= Insurance County Championship fixture with Warwickshire from progressing at the Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford.

Former Australia international Siddle returned figures of six for 38 – his best figures since 2015.

He claimed two wickets on the third day as Warwickshire, despite Tim Bresnan reaching 50, lost their final three wickets in 16 morning balls to be bowled out for 166.

In reply, Liam Norwell had Nick Browne caught behind to leave Essex 16 for one before the heavy winds brought rain and an end to the day at 12:15pm.

The day began, 15 minutes late, with Bresnan ticking his overnight 47 to his 43rd first-class half-century.

But Siddle ripped through the tail with ruthless efficiency at the other end with two wickets in successive deliveries.

Danny Briggs carved to Browne at point to give Siddle his sixth five-for for Essex, with his last also coming against Warwickshire.

He then dislodged Norwell’s off-stump with the next ball, with Oliver Hannon-Dalby blocking out the hat-trick ball.

Sam Cook produced a snorter to have Bresnan caught at first slip as Warwickshire were bowled out.

Only 7.3 overs were bowled at Essex but there was enough time for a gorgeous Alastair Cook cover drive, the heavy bails to be called for in the face of gale-force wind, and for Browne to nick behind a Norwell beauty.

Rain, in various levels of strength, was a constant with the only entertainment of note the groundsmen attempting to sort out the tarpaulin covers in the face of strong gusts.

Day One

Peter Siddle marked his and 200 spectators’ return to the Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford with four LV= Insurance County Championship wickets.

Australian fast bowler Siddle took four for 36 in a masterful display on his first appearance at the ground since July 2019, having only featured in away games since his return to Essex this season.

Dom Sibley, who was called up to the England Test squad ahead of the New Zealand series, was also making his comeback after a month out for a fractured finger and scored a dogged 43.

A wet evening disappointed the crowd on their first outing since restrictions were lifted, although a twilight 2.4 overs ticked the score to 159 for seven – with Tim Bresnan well set on 47 not out.

Will Rhodes had won the toss and elected to bat first, on a pitch which was tinged green and would go on to prove offered plenty of movement for the seam and swing bowlers.

Sibley looked to be making up for time lost in recovery by flicking his first delivery to the boundary but returned to his blocking best by following it up with 10 dot balls – something that would be a regular occurrence during his vigil.

Siddle, who had been rested for the innings victory over Derbyshire, entered the attack in the 11th over and struck with just his third delivery.

The veteran squared up Rhodes and found a thick edge to Nick Browne at fourth slip, before Rob Yates’ middle stump went splat in the following over.

Jamie Porter, on the back of season-best figures of three for 41, took the edge of an off-balance Pieter Malan – as Tom Westley pilfered a simple catch at third slip.

Siddle was awarded his county cap and his winner’s medal from the 2019 Championship success at lunch and immediately said thank you to the club with the lbw scalp of Sam Hain.

Meanwhile, Sibley had been tested thoroughly by Siddle, Porter and Sam Cook with a ball jagging about – with at least 14 play and misses sitting alongside his solid defence.

He departed, having struck a rare seven thanks to an Adam Wheater overthrow, when he nicked Cook to second slip to leave Warwickshire 76 for five.

But a 56-run stand between Bresnan and Michael Burgess lifted the visitors, the latter scoring 35 including a straight slog sweep six off Harmer.

But Siddle returned to castle Burgess, who was shouldering his arms, and Cook had Olly Stone superbly caught by Harmer. 

The players returned to the middle after tea but after standing around for a few moments were turned around by the umpires, with bad light and subsequently rain pausing the game, before a short burst added another nine runs before bad light returned.

2024 Membership: Together, we are Bears

Make Edgbaston your home this summer. Membership is the best value way to access all home Warwickshire domestic cricket in 2024, plus exclusive benefits including free guest passes.

White-ball only and Junior Bears Memberships for under 16s are also available. Find out more and join the Club today.

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Preview: Essex v Warwickshire, LV= Insurance County Championship

England opener Dom Sibley returns to Warwickshire’s squad as they start their LV= Insurance County Championship run-in with a visit to champions Essex at Chelmsford.

Sibley has recovered from a broken finger and, with all-rounder Henry Brookes, makes up a 13-man squad with the 11 who lined up at home to Worcestershire two weeks ago. Craig Miles is not quite ready to return to the seam attack following a hip strain but will hopefully play club cricket at the weekend and be back in contention at home to Nottinghamshire next week.   

The Bears will be seeking to complete a quickfire double over Essex. Last month they beat them by seven wickets at Edgbaston thanks to 18 wickets from Miles, Olly Hannon-Dalby and Olly Stone and a superb last-day run chase by Rob Yates, Hanuma Vihari and Sam Hain.

They will need to be strong again this week against an Essex side which has moved top of Group A after thrashing Derbyshire at Chelmsford.

“Essex are champions and showed again last week what a good side they are when they lost the first day against Derbyshire but then scored 400 in a day and bowled them out twice,” said Bears first team coach Mark Robinson.

“It will be a tough game but we can take confidence from beating them at our place with what was a very strong performance. I think they thought we would fold at one point but they left the door ajar and we piled through it and ended up winning quite comfortably.

Mark Robinson

“We showed a lot of resilience in that game and that has been a theme of our season so far. We have not played with great fluency as a team but, apart from at Durham, have stayed in games and, on two occasions, gone on to record very good wins.”

The Bears probably need another three wins from their last five matches to secure a top two finish in Group A. It is much the tightest of the three groups with nobody having won more than two games and nine points separating the top five teams.

The Bears are fifth, but just nine points off top with a game in hand.

“It is very tight,” Robinson said. “We have not scored enough first innings runs so far this season and that has cost us some of the advantage of winning two games because we are short of batting points.

“That is something we are keen to rectify but, at the halfway stage of the group, we are right in the mix for a top-two finish and that’s where we want to be.”

England all-rounder Chris Woakes is back in Birmingham and out of quarantine following the cancellation of the IPL with England Men’s Head Coach Chris Silverwood confirming yesterday that “the players who have just come out of quarantine after the cancelled IPL, we felt it necessary for them to have an extended break. We need them to recharge mentally. We will then take a view when they return to cricket.”

Hannon-Dalby, Stone, Brookes and Liam Norwell will compete for the new ball at Chelmsford, though skipper Will Rhodes might be tempted to take it himself bearing his mind his exploits in the Championship match there in 2019 – match figures of 32.4-12-55-9.

Tomorrow’s play will be the Bears’ first this season in front of spectators, with 200 Essex members in the ground. Next week’s match against Nottinghamshire will see the hugely welcome return of Warwickshire members to Edgbaston.


Rhodes (c), Bresnan, Briggs, H Brookes, Burgess (wk), Hannon-Dalby, Hain, Lamb, Malan, Norwell, Sibley, Stone, Yates.

How to follow

Warwickshire Members and supporters will be able to follow all the action from the Cloud FM County Ground via the Match Centre on and through the Edgbaston app (available on iOS and Android).

Supporters can also keep up to date with the scores and in-play clips through the Match Centre on

2024 Membership: Together, we are Bears

Make Edgbaston your home this summer. Membership is the best value way to access all home Warwickshire domestic cricket in 2024, plus exclusive benefits including free guest passes.

White-ball only and Junior Bears Memberships for under 16s are also available. Find out more and join the Club today.

Buy Membership More Info

Championship Rewind: Essex v Warwickshire, 2008

When Warwickshire face champions Essex at Chelmsford this week, it will be very welcome if one of their batsmen bats for two minutes short of ten hours.

That takes some doing but there is a precedent. That’s what Tony Frost did at the Essex HQ in September 2008 to underpin a memorable six-wicket victory which sealed the Bears’ promotion to Division One.

That promotion, at the end of Ashley Giles’s first season as director of cricket, crowned an impressive bounce back from the wretched relegation of 2007. Giles had rebooted and rebuilt the side and one of his first moves had been to persuade wicketkeeper/batsman Frost to return to the playing unit from which he had retired in 2006 to train as a groundsman.

The switch was a spectacular success as Frost finished top of the national batting averages with 1,003 championship runs at 83.58. Of those runs, 380 arrived in the game at Chelmsford.

In the first innings, when the Bears replied to 341, Frost went in at number three and scored an unbeaten 242 in 550 minutes from 466 balls with 30 fours and a six. He added another 38 in the second innings to see his side to victory – and promotion – with 35 balls to spare.

It is a match, and a year, on which Frost, now batting coach at Edgbaston, reflects with great pride.

“It was a proud game for me on a personal basis and for the team as we clinched promotion,” he said. “You always look back on your career-best with pride so Chelmsford will always have that memory for me.

“That was a special season. I scored a few runs that year and a hard of work had gone into it after I went back into the team from the groundstaff.

“I remember Pop Welch was Essex’s bowling coach at the time and Chris Wright was in their attack. I batted at three and remember the game very fondly though, in a way, you never remember too much about individual innings, even the bigger ones you played, because you are always in a moment. It is a cliche, but you are just taking every ball as it comes.

Tony Frost

“That was the longest innings I played but I found it quite easy to concentrate for long periods. I think that came from being a wicketkeeper. You can’t just switch on and off behind the stumps, you are in the game all the time, so I think I took that concentration level into my batting.”

Since retiring from playing for the final time at the end of the 2009 season, Frost has built a strong reputation as a batting coach at Edgbaston. He has been influential in the emergence of the likes of Rob Yates and Dan Mousley into Warwickshire’s first team and in Dom Sibley establishment as an England player.

After suffering a broken finger, Sibley is hoping to return to the team at Chelmsford this week where Frost knows the Bears will have to be at their best as the champions look for revenge for their seven-wicket defeat at Edgbaston last month.

“We haven’t been there too often in recent years but the last time we went, in 2019, we were well beaten,” he said. “They are a very strong side and we know it will be a tough game but we have just got to go down there and try to play as well as we did when we beat them at Edgbaston.”

2024 Membership: Together, we are Bears

Make Edgbaston your home this summer. Membership is the best value way to access all home Warwickshire domestic cricket in 2024, plus exclusive benefits including free guest passes.

White-ball only and Junior Bears Memberships for under 16s are also available. Find out more and join the Club today.

Buy Membership More Info
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