Report: Warwickshire v Essex, LV= Insurance County Championship
Warwickshire moved clear at the top of the LV= Insurance County Championship Group 1 after completing a pulsating seven-wicket victory over champions Essex at Edgbaston.
After four days of superb red ball cricket, the home side reeled in a target of 256 in 82 overs with seven wickets and eight balls to spare.
Rob Yates (120 not out, 309 balls, 14 fours, one six), Hanuma Vihari (52, 115 balls, five fours) and Sam Hain (60, 116 balls, six fours, one six) underpinned a highly impressive batting display which handed Essex their first-class defeat since in 22 matches.
It was the second successive match, following on from Trent Bridge last week, from which Warwickshire had forged victory with a perfectly-paced final day pursuit. An Essex bowling attack accustomed to grinding teams into submission, was itself ground down.
Essex, leading by 11 runs on first innings, resumed on the final morning on 213 for nine, and Simon Harmer (82 not out, 217 balls, nine fours) and Jamie Porter (11, 46 balls, one four) took their last-wicket stand to 42 before the latter fell lbw to Danny Briggs. Their total of 244 represented a fine fightback from 36 for five.
In an hour’s batting before lunch, Warwickshire reached 48 for one, losing captain Will Rhodes who pulled Sam Cook for six but then edged him to wicketkeeper Adam Wheater.
For much of the afternoon session Yates and Vihari combined diligent defence with the occasional foraay into attack, notably when Yates danced down the pitch and lifted Harmer straight for six.
Vihari passed his first half-century for the Bears but fell in infuriating fashion when Essex turned to medium pacer Paul Walter. His first ball lured the batsman into a drive at a wide one and resulted in an edge to Wheater.
Warwickshire began the last session needing 116 from 34 overs while Essex required eight wickets. It was a shame there were no spectators inside Edgbaston for such a fine game, though it was enjoyed by many around the world via the home club’s excellent livestreaming service. Yates and Hain nurdled away to bring the equation to 78 needed from 20, 40 from ten and 16 from five. A sweet straight drive took the former to his second first class century (202 balls) and a pulled six took the latter to his half-century (104 balls) before Yates, fittingly, struck the winning boundary.
Essex, who led Warwickshire by 11 on first innings, are 213 for nine in their second innings at Edgbaston
Joint Group One leaders Warwickshire and Essex are set for a compelling final-day denouement at Edgbaston after the visitors closed the third day on 213 for nine – 224 ahead.
In a match which is a terrific advertisement for the LV=Insurance County Championship, both sides have been under pressure at times but fought back in turn with immense skill and spirit.
Replying to Essex’s 295, the home side was bowled out for 284, a strong recovery from 193 for eight, to ultimately trail by just 11. Essex then slid to 36 for five in their second innings, but Dan Lawrence (55, 110 balls, seven fours) and Simon Harmer (62 not out, 182 balls, seven fours) dug in to ensure that Warwickshire face a tricky victory target on a pitch offering turn.
After Warwickshire resumed on the third morning on 243 for eight, Danny Briggs (66 not out, 119 balls, six fours, two sixes) and Craig Miles (25, 95 balls) took their partnership to 66 in 32 overs before the latter fell lbw to Jamie Porter.
Briggs reached 50 from 108 balls and celebrated by lifting Porter over mid-wicket for six. Harmer then trapped Olly Hannon-Dalby lbw to end the innings and finish with a personal four for 89.
In 14 overs before lunch, Essex hit heavy turbulence to go into the interval on 25 for four. Sir Alastair Cook lifted Hannon-Dalby to Rob Yates at point, Miles removed Tom Westley, brilliantly caught at mid-wicket by Will Rhodes, and Nick Browne, lbw, and then Hannon-Dalby had Paul Walter caught behind.
Seven overs into the afternoon, Stone added the wicket of Ryan ten Doeschate, lbw, but Adam Wheater counter-attacked for 30 (46 balls, six fours) before lifting Miles to Hanuma Vihari at long leg.
Lawrence played a terrific innings for his team, applying himself diligently for almost three hours, but hit the self-destruct button when he attempted an unwise single to mid on and was beaten by Miles’s throw.
Essex’s bowlers then showed their mettle with the bat. Peter Siddle contributed a useful 20 (21 balls) before Miles continued his excellent day by inducing an edge to the wicketkeeper. Harmer and Sam Cook added a valuable 33 and, after Cook top-edged Stone to mid-wicket, Harmer completed a half-century on which he will aim to build another match-winning bowling display tomorrow.
Gritty late order resistance from Warwickshire held up Essex’s progress on the second day of their intriguing LV= Insurance County Championship match at Edgbaston.
In reply to the champions’ total of 295, the home side closed on Warwickshire 243 for eight, with ninth-wicket pair Danny Briggs and Craig Miles having added an unbroken 50.
Essex bowled with familiar effectiveness at a unit, with Simon Harmer and Peter Siddle taking three wickets apiece, to have the Bears 198 for eight. Having chipped away with customary nous, at that point they scented a decisive first innings lead but Briggs (32 not out, 89 balls, three fours, one six) and Miles (22 not out, 85 balls, no fours, no sixes) dug in to keep their side very much in the game.
After Warwickshire resumed in the morning on seven without loss, four of the top five put down roots and passed 25, but none went on to play a match-shaping innings. Matt Lamb top-scored with 47 (117 balls, nine fours).
Essex quickly struck when Rob Yates was bowled by Sam Cook for four (37 balls). Will Rhodes and Hanuma Vihari then took the score to 34 before the former (26, 58 balls, five fours) played on to Siddle.
Vihari , making his home debut for Warwickshire, looked in sublime form. He played the spin of Harmer in accomplished fashion but was undone by seam when, on 32 (71 balls, five fours), he edged a superb ball from Jamie Porter to wicketkeeper Adam Wheater.
Harmer was not to be denied though and struck twice in quick succession when Hain (36, 84 balls, two fours) went down the track and was bowled and Michael Burgess missed a swipe across the line and was stumped.
Tim Bresnan, who received his county cap from Warwickshire legend Ian Bell before play, batted positively for 21 from 29 balls before Harmer bowled him too.
Siddle then struck twice in five balls. Olly Stone batted with aplomb to reach 16 exclusively in fours but was pinned lbw. Lamb, having again batted with considerable skill and resolve, lost his off-stump knocked out by one that kept a little low.
At 193 for eight, with the prospect of batting last against Harmer, Warwickshire were under serious pressure but Briggs, who pulled Cook over long leg for six, and Miles batted watchfully and concentrated hard to post a half-century stand in 163 balls.
Half-centuries from Nick Browne, Paul Walter and Ryan ten Doeschate bolstered Essex against Warwickshire on a hard-fought opening day in the LV= Insurance County Championship at Edgbaston.
After choosing to bat, the champions were bowled out for 295 just before the close. They were precariously placed at 72 for three before Browne (68, 169 balls, 11 fours) and Walter (66, 151 balls, 11 fours) added 114 in 40 overs for the fourth wicket.
Both fell to England paceman Olly Stone, who bowled with well-focused aggression for four for 89. Olly Hannon-Dalby took four wickets with the second new ball to end with four for 73 but ten Doeschate’s aggressive 56 (62 balls, eight fours, one six) assured a solid total.
Warwickshire replied with seven without loss in four overs before the close.
On a good pitch in unbroken sunshine, Essex were given a brisk start by Sir Alastair Cook, who arrived in Birmingham averaging 58 in first class cricket at Edgbaston. He moved fluently to 46 (47 balls, eight fours, one six) out of 55 before falling to Craig Miles.
Recalled in place of the injured Dom Sibley, Miles struck with his seventh ball which Cook edged to wicketkeeper Michael Burgess. He then inflicted further damage with his 20th ball which jagged back to trap Tom Westley lbw. When Dan Lawrence chipped Stone to mid-wicket, Essex had lost three wickets for 17 runs.
Essex went into lunch on 81 for three and enjoyed a reprieve right at the start of the afternoon when Browne, on 20, edged Miles but Sam Hain grassed the chance at second slip. Browne took advantage to advance to a 136-ball half-century.
Browne and Walter batted through the afternoon session but both departed soon after tea in a hostile Stone spell. The former edged behind and the latter skied to fine leg where Hanuma Vihari took the catch.
Ten Doeschate and Adam Wheater (23, 45 balls, three fours, one six) added 47 before wickets fell in each of the first two overs with the new ball. Wheater edged Stone to Burgess, then Simon Harmer was lbw to Hannon-Dalby.
That was the first of four wickets in 25 balls for Hannon-Dalby who hit Peter Siddle’s off-stump and had Sam Cook and Ten Doeschate taken by Hain in the cordon.