Vitality County Championship
Vitality County Championship Logo Fri 17 - Mon 20 May, 11:00

The Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford

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Report: Essex v Warwickshire, County Championship

Day One

An unbroken double-century seventh-wicket stand between Ed Barnard and Michael Burgess rescued Warwickshire and lifted them into a commanding position against Essex at Chelmsford.

The pair came together with the score on 104-6 soon after lunch and by the close, 56 overs later, they had established a Warwickshire record for the seventh-wicket against Essex of 204 and counting that had stood for 92 years.

During an innings in which he initially had to knuckle down before breaking loose, Barnard took his tally in his last four Vitality County Championship innings to 336 runs with an unbeaten 115. Meanwhile, 105 represented Burgess’s highest score for the season. Neither man’s innings was chanceless, but both looked imperious.

Essex had appeared well in control when they claimed five wickets before lunch – four of those wickets falling to catches by Simon Harmer – but they toiled for the last two sessions as their usually consistent strike-force was reduced to ordinariness. Warwickshire finished on 308-6.

Sam Cook took just 13 balls to strike with his 26th wicket of the season after Warwickshire decided to bat on a grass-less wicket that encouraged the bowlers early on before easing significantly as the day progressed. It was unlucky 13 for Rob Yates, who edged low down to Harmer at second slip. Cook bowled another 44 balls before claiming his only other wicket.

In between Warwickshire slipped to 64-5 with Shane Snater grabbing two wickets in the space of six balls, inducing Will Rhodes to thick edge to Harmer again before the off-stump of Sam Hain was removed as he shouldered arms without scoring.

Harmer’s third catch of the innings came off his own bowling as Dan Mousley patted the ball back down the wicket.

Alex Davies had remained resolute at the other end, taking his three boundaries in a 60-ball 19 off Jamie Porter, one driven straight past the bowler. However, Porter had the last laugh as Harmer pulled off a brilliant one-handed catch to his right to dismiss the Bears captain.

Barnard swept Harmer for two fours in three balls, but otherwise settled into an obdurate sixth-wicket stand with Jacob Bethell, who got off the mark with a single from his 26th ball.

Bethell was re-energised after lunch and multiplied this total by five when he tucked Porter off his legs to the square-leg boundary before rocking on to his back-foot to cut the same bowler for another.

The partnership steadied the ship for 20 overs while adding 40 runs before Bethell played down the wrong line and was Cook’s second victim. It was the last of the day to fall.

Burgess and Barnard accelerated the score with their first fifty coming from just 59 balls, though both players survived dropped catches.

A reprieved Burgess reverse-swept Harmer for a smart boundary and reached his half-century from 49 balls with a six over midwicket off Matt Critchley. When Burgess hit Harmer for another four, this time with a more orthodox sweep, he carried the stand past 150 in 40 overs.

Barnard was first to his century, scored off 198 balls; Burgess slowed as he neared three-figures but still reached it from 149 balls.

Warwickshire centurion Michael Burgess said: “It was really pleasing to put 200-plus on the board together there. I think it’s back-to-back hundreds from Ed [Barnard]. He has been outstanding for us all season. I followed his lead and managed to get us up to a bit of a foothold in the game. It’s a long way to go but 300-plus for six is better than 100 for six.

“The lads have been batting brilliantly so I can’t complain [about not having too many chances to bat], but it’s important that we bat deep especially at a time when a team needs runs, and we’ve proved that we do bat deep.

“They have a really good bowling attack. I think we knew with the new ball it was going to be difficult. After the morning it seemed to get a little bit easier, a little bit slower, and I don’t think anyone quite knew what it was going to do on the hybrid pitch.

“We’d adapted pretty well to it, and it is getting a bit slower and starting to spin. So if we can keep them out as long as possible and try and get as many as we can hopefully it will start spinning – and we’ve bowling last on it. It was starting to turn a little bit out there just after tea, and I think it will definitely start to turn tomorrow and day three and day four. We’ll be bowling last on it and that will be our best chance of taking 20 wickets.”

Four Teams. Two Matches. Blast Off is back!

Vitality Blast Off is back and the Bears will launch their home T20 campaign with a huge men’s double-header featuring two big Midlands rivalry games.

Taking place on Saturday 1 June, Derbyshire Falcons host Leicestershire Foxes (2.30pm) before the Bears take on Notts Outlaws (6.30pm). Buy tickets in advance and save.

Buy Tickets

Preview: Essex v Warwickshire, County Championship

Pakistan pace bowler Aamir Jamal is the latest Warwickshire seamer to be sidelined through injury.

Jamal experienced discomfort in his back during his first two County Championship games for the Bears and a scan this week revealed minor injury that rules him out of the trip to Chelmsford.

With six senior bowlers unavailable – Chris Rushworth, Craig Miles, Liam Norwell and Michael Booth also injured, and Hassan Ali touring with Pakistan – First Team Coach Mark Robinson has brought in Kiwi quick Michael Rae to add extra firepower.

The 6ft 6ins – a familiar face in New Zealand First Class cricket who’s also played for New Zealand A – has signed as an overseas on a short term deal and is in line to make his debut against Essex on Friday.

Robinson said: “Our seam bowling injury list is unprecedented, I’ve not been involved with a side that’s had so many injuries. And these are all bowlers that could come into the first team and make a difference.

“Aamir is the latest one. He’d been suffering with a sore back. The scan has revealed an injury, nothing significant but one that’ll rule him out for a while. We suspected he wasn’t at his best, he’s not been getting anywhere near the pace that both he and we know he can bowl.

“He was frightening the Aussie batters in the winter with his pace but he’s not been at that level since joining us, which is frustrating for him.

“It leaves us light. But we’ve got to keep showing the character and spirit we’ve shown so far in riding these punches.

“We’ll take a strong squad to Essex, and we’ve managed to bring in Michael Rae who we hope can make a bit of difference. He’s a very tall bowler, with lot of First Class experience and we’ve been lucky to tap into him quickly.

“Che Simmons also comes in the squad. He’s had a couple of good Second XI games recently and he’s desperate for an opportunity. But we need to look at the wicket and see what it might offer our bowlers.”

Craig Miles bowled one of the finest spells in his Bears career at Surrey – picking up a five-fer in the first innings – before turning his ankle during his fifth wicket celebration.

However, he’s responded well to treatment and could be in line to come back into the side at Old Trafford next weekend.

Essex lie second in the table after five games but lost their last outing at Somerset by three wickets.

However, they boast Division One’s top two wicket takers in seamers Jamie Porter and Sam Cook who have 25 wickets apiece already this term, while South African spinner Simon Harmer took 10 wickets in the corresponding fixture last summer.

Robinson added: “Essex is another tough examination, but one we’ll relish. They have two outstanding bowlers, different to the height and pace we encountered at Surrey, but effective in a different way.

“Harmer caught us on a used, turning wicket last season but we came out on top at Edgbaston. We’ve had good games against them in the past and I’m sure we’ll have another against them this weekend.”


Ed Barnard
Jacob Bethell
Danny Briggs
Michael Burgess (WK)
Alex Davies (C)
Sam Hain
Olly Hannon-Dalby
Jake Lintott
Dan Mousley
Michael Rae
Will Rhodes
Che Simmons
Rob Yates


This will be the 125th meeting between these two team in the County Championship.  Warwickshire have won 35 and Essex have won 40. 

How to Follow

Members and supporters can follow the match live in our Match Centre at, which will include a free to watch Live Stream, with BBC commentary, and a live text commentary. You can also see a ball-by-ball feed and watch highlights of all the action.

Supporters can get involved by sending their match day comments and thoughts on X (Twitter) via @WarwickshireCCC and we’ll publish the best ones on our live text commentary in the Match Centre.

Supporters can also watch the Live Stream and get instant push notifications of all wickets, innings and match results via the Edgbaston app, which is free to download on iOS and Android.

Match updates will also be available across the Club’s social media accounts, simply search for @WarwickshireCCC.

Four Teams. Two Matches. Blast Off is back!

Vitality Blast Off is back and the Bears will launch their home T20 campaign with a huge men’s double-header featuring two big Midlands rivalry games.

Taking place on Saturday 1 June, Derbyshire Falcons host Leicestershire Foxes (2.30pm) before the Bears take on Notts Outlaws (6.30pm). Buy tickets in advance and save.

Buy Tickets
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