Centuries for Elgar and Critchley as Essex seize control against Kent

Brian Jeeves

Essex v Kent – LV= Insurance County Championship Division One – Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford – Day One – Report

Essex 421 for six (96.0 overs)

Kent (Yet to bat)

Essex won the toss and elected to bat

Dean Elgar and Matt Critchley scored centuries as Essex piled on the runs on day one of their LV= Insurance County Championship Division One encounter with old adversaries Kent at the Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford.

Elgar hit 120 off 176 balls during a productive 238-minute stint at the crease which included eighteen boundaries. Meanwhile, Critchley finished the day unbeaten on 103 as Essex amassed 421 for six.

Essex’s Matt Critchley finished the first day unbeaten on 103* (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

Jordan Cox continued his impressive start to life with Essex by contributing 67 against his former employers, while Michael Pepper fell one short of fifty as the home side seized control of the contest.

Nevertheless, Essex hadn’t made the smoothest of starts, having found themselves 10 for two in the middle of the fourth over. Feroze Khushi and skipper Tom Westley, the men back in the pavilion. George Garrett and Matt Parkinson claimed two wickets apiece on what was otherwise a difficult day for the overwhelmed Kent attack.

Speaking to Martin Smith from the ECB Reporters Network, Essex centurion Elgar said: “Things are going nicely so far, it’s been a good first day for us. Batting with Coxy again was nice, it was good to have a partnership with him again. We were in a bit of trouble up front against the new ball but that happens in four-day cricket.

  “I think we’ve had the ideal first day. But again the first hour is always going to be important, the new ball is always going to be doing something on a fresh wicket when it’s new but that’s cricket for you. You get thrown different situations and scenarios.

  “I had that good partnership with Coxy and he’s playing as good as I’ve seen him play. I think everyone just sees him as a white-ball basher but he showed he can actually go out and bat and really apply himself properly.

  “It’s really good to see himself turning out the runs for us early doors and I’m sure the big one is just around the corner for Coxy.

  “Then Critch put his hand up and batted amazingly well at the end and scored a great hundred so we are very fortunate to be in the position we are at the moment. Hopefully, we can have another good day tomorrow.”

Play resumes on Saturday at 11am.

Essex: D Elgar, FIN Khushi, T Westley (Capt), JM Cox, MJJ Critchley, PI Walter, MS Pepper (WK), SR Harmer, S Snater, AP Beard, JA Porter

Kent: BG Compton, TS Muyeye, DJ Bell-Drummond (Capt), JA Leaning, JL Denly, HZ Finch (WK), JK Denly, WA Agar, NN Gilchrist, MW Parkinson, GA Garrett

Umpires: ID Blackwell and GD Lloyd

Scorers: P Parkinson and LAR Hart

Match Referee: P Whitticase

Elsewhere in the County Championship, Cameron Steel returned bowling figures of four for 50, while Gus Atkinson had 3/57 as Surrey bowled Somerset out for 285 on day one of their Division One match at the Kia Oval.

Responding, Surrey had reached 42 without loss. Rory Burns (13*) and Dom Sibley (29*)

In Division Two, Northamptonshire closed on 311 for three against Middlesex at Wantage Road. 

Emilio Gay proved to be the host’s star turn, finishing the day unbeaten on 165, while skipper Luke Procter scored 73. Ryan Higgins, Toby Roland-Jones and Josh de Caires with the Middlesex wickets.

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk