Borthwick the difference as wickets tumble at Chelmsford

Essex v Durham – LV Insurance County Championship – Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford – Day One – Summary

Essex: 96 (41.3 overs)

Durham: 148/8 (49.0 overs)

Essex won the toss and have elected to bat

Durham lead Essex by 52 runs with two first-innings wickets remaining

A stunning display from the Durham attack complemented by an impressive century from visiting skipper, Scott Borthwick handed the visitors a first-day advantage as eighteen wickets tumbled on the opening day’s play at Chelmsford.

Essex, defending an unbeaten County Championship sequence stretching back to June 2018, was left shellshocked as a procession of wickets fell during the first morning – Chris Rushworth and Brydon Carse each claiming two apiece as the hosts were reduced to 74/5 before rain sent the players scurrying for an early lunch.

Essex had lost Nick Browne with only the third ball of the day, while both Tom Westley and Alastair Cook swiftly followed as the champions soon found themselves struggling on 36/5. 

Dan Lawrence’s 32 offered Essex salvation, but the Durham attack had picked up where they left off on the resumption. Rushworth was the star of the show, taking 3/13 off eleven overs – Case with 3/37 and two each for Salisbury and Raine as Essex were skittled for 96 inside two sessions.

In response, Durham made a steady start. Despite losing Alex Lees in the four over the visitors passed the home sides meagre tally by the time Will Young clipped Simon Harmer to Dan Lawrence at leg-gully.

A flurry of three wickets for two runs – including that of Borthwick – offered Essex hope before the fading light concluded matters. However, the Sunderland-born left-hander had reached three figures off 129 balls helping Durham to a lead of 48.

Confusion reigned when the players returned – the light deemed acceptable enough for another 2.4 overs. The drama continued as Harmer had Ben Raine caught by Cook. Meanwhile, Durham extended their overnight advantage to 52 – The game now a little more back in the balance.

Harmer finished the day with 4/41, while Sam Cook and Lawrence claimed two each as the fightback gathered momentum. Play resumes on Friday at 11am.

Essex: Alastair Cook, Nick Browne, Tom Westley (Capt), Dan Lawrence, Paul Walter, Ryan ten Doeschate, Adam Wheater (WK), Simon Harmer, Ben Allison, Sam Cook, Jamie Porter

Durham: Alex Lees, Scott Borthwick (Capt), David Bedingham, Jack Burnham, Will Young, Ned Eckersley, Stuart Poynter(wk), Brydon Carse, Chris Rushworth, Ben Raine, Matthew Salisbury

Umpires: PJ Hartley and BV Taylor

Scorers: AE Choat and P Parkinson

Match Referee: WM Noon

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Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]