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Brian Jeeves
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Essex v Gloucestershire – LV=Insurance County Championship Division One – Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford – Day Two – Summary

Gloucestershire 136 and 140/6 (39.0 overs)

Essex 310

Gloucestershire won the toss and elected to bat

Gloucestershire trail Essex by 34 runs with four second-innings wickets remaining

Alastair Cook and Simon Harmer again took centre stage as Essex honed in on a quickfire LV=Insurance County Championship Division One victory over Gloucestershire at Chelmsford.

Cook rolled back the years, hitting a sublime 145, while Harmer took his match figures to ten for 95 as Gloucestershire crumbled in the Essex heat.

Resuming their overnight tally of 127/1, Cook, ably supported by skipper, Tom Westley, ensured the home side a sizable first-innings advantage. The former England skipper faced 311 balls during his 412 minutes at the crease. His knock included seventeen boundaries. Westley’s 90 came off 243 balls. Their second-wicket partnership, 196. 

Zafar Gohar tried to stem the flow of Essex runs, returning figures of 5/84, while Tom Price finished with 3/59.

Harmer then took charge, claiming his second five-wicket haul of the match and leaving the visitors – already starring down the barrel of relegation – looking at their sixth defeat of the season.

Oli Price displayed some resistance, finishing the day unbeaten on 42. But Essex will be looking at wrapping this one up early on day three when play resumes at 11am.

Essex: NLJ Browne, AN Cook, T Westley*, DW Lawrence, MJJ Critchley, PI Walter, AM Rossington†, SR Harmer, AP Beard, S Snater, JA Porter

Gloucestershire: CDJ Dent, MS Harris, RF Higgins, JR Bracey†, MAH Hammond, GL van Buuren*, OJ Price, TJ Price, Zafar Gohar, MD Taylor, J Shaw

Umpires: PK Baldwin & PR Pollard

Scorers: AE Choat & AJ Bull

Match Referee: DA Cosker

Brian Jeeves