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Recent Match Report – Essex vs WORCS Group 1 2021

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Worcestershire 43 for 3 (Cook 3-14) trail Essex 490 for 9 dec (Westley 213, Wheater 87) by 447 runs

Graham Gooch, the eternal overlord of all he surveys at Chelmsford, was holding court on the balcony at fine leg throughout the second day of Essex’s season opener. “You have to earn your right to score runs in April,” he observed with his connoisseur’s eye, as Tom Westley clicked through his gears with the sort of poise and acceleration that can only have pleased the county’s most famous taskmaster.

If Gooch also had something to say about “daddy hundreds” as he chewed the fat with his host of fellow Essex grandees, Keith Fletcher and David Acfield among them, then he muttered those particular words while the wind was picking up and blowing in the wrong direction off the Can.

But Westley, for whom that phrase is set to take on a more literal meaning come September, needed no cajoling from the otherwise empty stands, to put a very paternal mark on his team’s first innings of the season.

By the time he’d holed out to deep midwicket in the evening session, in Essex’s half-hour surge before their inevitable declaration, Westley had racked up the small matter of 213 runs from 408 balls, in a shade under nine hours of determined accumulation. By the time Worcestershire had limped to 43 for 3 at the close, victims of a savage late surge of three wickets in five balls from Sam Cook, his efforts seemed positively Brobdingnagian.

It was Westley’s second double-century, and his second highest score – behind the 254 he made, also against Worcestershire, in 2016 – and in his second season as county captain (after taking over from Ryan ten Doeschate after Essex’s 2019 Championship victory) he had overhauled in a single visit to the crease the 173 runs he made during his lean run in last year’s Bob Willis Trophy triumph. He’s earned his right to more than just runs in April with this performance.

Resuming on 207 for 3, with Worcestershire’s bowlers already leggy from some fairly fruitless first-day exertions, Westley was not kept waiting for his first century since September 2019. Joe Leach found a tight line to keep things honest from the Hayes Close End, but Charlie Morris – an intermittent menace on the opening day – strayed all too often on to those run-hungry legs, gifting two early flicked fours to get the juices flowing before a soft-handed deflection through the gully carried Westley to 98.



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Recent Match Report – Glamorgan vs Yorkshire Group 3 2021

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Only 13 overs possible on final day but Glamorgan batter impresses

Glamorgan 149 (Brook 3-13, Patterson 3-27) and 164 for 4 (Carlson 88*, Lloyd 40) drew with Yorkshire 230 (Root 99, Patterson 47*, Neser 5-39)

Persistent rain prevented a positive result in the LV=Insurance County Championship match between Glamorgan and Yorkshire in Cardiff with only 13 overs possible on the final day, but there was enough time for Kiran Carlson to continue his impressive season with his sixth fifty-plus score of this campaign.

The match was set up for an exciting finish at the close of day three with Glamorgan 27 runs in front with seven first innings wickets in hand. The weather meant that the players only made it into the middle at 4:15pm and Glamorgan successfully saw out a tricky session to secure the draw.

It was a frustrating experience in the hours before they started with the sun shining just long enough for some hope to emerge only for the rain to reappear to send the groundsmen back to their hut.

A brilliant 99 from England captain Joe Root on day three had given Yorkshire hope of pushing for a win but first rain and then Carlson prevented that from happening. Carlson finished the day on 88 not out with Glamorgan 164 for 4.

When play did get started Yorkshire were convinced they had David Lloyd caught in the slips in the first over but it was off his thigh pad rather than his bat. As it was, they had Lloyd without adding to his overnight score when he was trapped lbw by Ben Coad. That was the only wicket to fall before the players shook hands.

Carlson has been Glamorgan’s most consistent batsman in this Championship campaign, and his runs meant that any chances of a Yorkshire win evaporated. Such was Carlson’s brilliance, had Glamorgan had more time, they might even have set up a victory chance of their own. Carlson now has four fifties and two hundreds this season as his potential has begun to be realised.

The draw gives Yorkshire 12 points, sending them to the top of Group 3 of the Championship, five points ahead of Lancashire who did not play in this round of matches.



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Recent Match Report – Essex vs Derbyshire Group 1 2021

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Champions recover from first-day washout to complete second win of campaign

Essex 412 for 3 dec beat Derbyshire 146 (Guest 49, Harmer 9-80) and 251 (Guest 65, Godleman 45, Porter 3-41, Cook 3-45, Harmer 3-122) by an innings and 15 runs

Simon Harmer claimed his seventh LV= Insurance County Championship 10-wicket haul as Essex returned to winning ways by cruising to an innings-and-15-run victory over Derbyshire.

Harmer, who bowled unchanged from the River End on day four, took 3 for 122 in the second innings after a career-best 9 for 80 in the first, for a match analysis of 12 for 202. Jamie Porter and Sam Cook also took three scalps in the second innings.

Ryan ten Doeschate claimed six catches in the match, all at short-leg – the 14th occasion an Essex player has managed the feat and first since Alastair Cook versus Durham in 2004.

The win handed Essex the maximum 24 points to recharge their Division One ambition after three games without a success, while Derbyshire only secured a solitary point.

Brooke Guest, who completed his maiden first-class half-century the previous evening, and Billy Godleman continued to frustrate Essex as their partnership hit 212 balls, and 97 runs.

But a change of ball, after Guest had swept into the brick wall in front of the pavilion, brought about an immediate change. Porter angled in to Godleman to rap the former Essex man on the pads.

Four overs later Guest made a rare misstep on 65, as he offered no shot to Sam Cook and was also given lbw.

Leus du Plooy and Wayne Madsen were both dropped either side of lunch – the former dropped by Alastair Cook at first slip and the latter survived sweeping at leg slip Dan Lawrence.

Essex’s close-in fielders continued to chunter noisily about “going bang-bang”, and finally got their wish as Madsen and du Plooy’s stand ended in quick succession, having been together for 19 overs.

Madsen tickled onto his thigh pad before ten Doeschate swooped at short-leg to give Harmer his first of the innings, having been wicketless for 29.5 overs.



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David Saker on Newlands ball-tampering controversy

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The then Australia bowling coach has likened the team’s ‘monumental mistake’ to the underarm incident of 1981

David Saker, Australia’s bowling coach at the time of the Newlands ball-tampering scandal, has said the controversy will continue to taint Australian cricket much like the underarm incident of 1981 has done.



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