Worcestershire v Essex – LV Insurance County Championship – New Road – Summary
Essex: 561/8d (174.0 overs)
Worcestershire: 364 and 129/2 (57.0 overs)
Essex won the toss and elected to bat
Champions Essex were left frustrated as Worcestershire comfortably held out after being asked to follow on with little over two sessions remaining.
Initially, Essex had declared on 561/8 with Alastair Cook scoring the 68th first-class century of his career – hitting 115 off 263 balls, while skipper, Tom Westley also made three figures and Dan Lawrence chipped in with 90 – Brett D’Oliveira with 3/147 and Alzarri Joseph – 2/92 – standing out during a difficult couple of days for the Worcestershire attack.
However, Worcestershire put up resolute resistance with the bat. Daryl Mitchell, Brett D’Oliveira and Tom Fell all scored half-centuries. Mitchell and skipper, Jake Libby put together an opening stand of 111, while Fell and D’Oliveira provided similar stubbornness before the hosts were dismissed for 364. Simon Harmer and Sam Cook had done their utmost to restore Essex’s earlier supremacy – Harmer claiming 4/85 and Cook, impressively, 4/60.
Despite enforcing the follow-on, Essex was unable to wrench a victory. Cook took a further two Worcestershire wickets, taking his match figures to 6/67, but Libby and Gareth Roderick held firm, leaving the champions with just a solitary success from their opening four matches.
Essex returns to LV Insurance County Championship action on Thursday, May 6/9 when they take on Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge (11am).
Worcestershire: Daryl Mitchell, Jake Libby (Capt), Tom Fell, Gareth Roderick, Brett D’Oliveira, Riki Wessels, Ben Cox (WK), Ed Barnard, Alzarri Joseph, Dillon Pennington, Charlie Morris
Essex: Alastair Cook, Nick Browne, Tom Westley (Capt), Dan Lawrence, Paul Walter, Ryan ten Doeschate, Adam Wheater (WK), Simon Harmer, Shane Snater, Sam Cook, Peter Siddle
Umpires: GD Lloyd and RA White
Scorers: SM Drinkwater and MW Turner
Match Referee: S Cummings