Essex frustrated as Championship opener ends in stalemate

Essex v Worcestershire – LV Insurance County Championship – Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford – Report

Essex: 490/9 dec and 28/1 (10.0 overs)

Worcestershire: 475 (177.3 overs) 

Essex won the toss and elected to bat

Match drawn

Jake Libby’s 496-ball innings went some way towards Worcestershire frustrating reigning champions, Essex in this LV Insurance County Championship opener at Chelmsford.

Libby held his neve, carrying his bat to an unbeaten 180* during his 681 minutes in the middle. Ably supported by Ed Barnard (128) the visitors’ steered themselves to calmer seas after Essex had threatened to wrap the contest up in double-quick time having posted 490/9 dec in their first innings.

Skipper, Tom Westley had led the way with a superbly crafted 213 off 408 balls, while Adam Wheater was also amongst the runs with 87 – Ed Barnard, Brett D’Oliveira and Charlie Morris each taking three wickets during a tough shift for the Worcestershire attack.

Tom Westley hit 213 for Essex in their LV Insurance County Championship match with Worcestershire at Chelmsford (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

But after Sam Cook had seemingly put Essex in an even stronger position taking four wickets with just 43 on the board, Libby and Barnard’s resistance, coupled with half-centuries from Riki Wessels and Dillon Pennington helped Worcestershire end Essex’s eleven match winning sequence at Chelmsford.

Cook finished with 4/100 from his 37 overs, while Simon Harmer’s three wickets came at a cost of 126-runs – the right-arm off-break bowler turning his arm for 61.3 overs.

Sam Cook took 4/100 during Essex’s draw with Worcestershire at Chelmsford (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

Essex’s second innings had reached 28/1 off ten overs when bad light concluded the contest – Alastair Cook the man out, bowled by Joe Leach for 7. They return to LV Insurance County Championship action on Thursday, April 15/18 when Durham visit the Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford (11am). 

Essex: NLJ Browne, AN Cook, T Westley*, DW Lawrence, Walter, RN ten Doeschate, AJA Wheater †, SR Harmer, BMJ Allison, SJ Cook, JA Porter

Worcestershire: DKH Mitchell, JD Libby, TC Fell, GH Roderick, BL D’Oliveira, MH Wessels, OB Cox †, EG Barnard, J Leach*, DY Pennington, CAJ Morris

Umpires: NA Mallender and DJ Millns

Scorers: AE Choat and P Parkinson

Match Referee: Alec Swann

Points: Essex 13 Worcestershire 12 

Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]