Essex squeeze home thanks to remarkable Harmer

Essex v Hampshire – LV=Insurance County Championship Division One – Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford- Sunday, June 26-29 – Report

Essex 238 and 223

Hampshire 163 and 286

Essex won the toss and elected to bat

Essex won by twelve runs

Simon Harmer returned career-best first-class match figures as Essex completed an exciting twelve-run LV=Insurance County Championship Division One victory over Hampshire inside three days at the Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford.

Harmer claimed fifteen for 207, helping Essex to their third win of the season. The South African spinner followed eight for 46 during Hampshire’s first innings, with 7/161 in the second as the hosts squeezed home by the narrowest of margins.

Initially, Shane Snater had helped the hosts off the canvas, hitting 71 from 73 balls as they recovered from 105 for seven to reach 238. Tom Westley chipped in with 46. Kyle Abbott (3/41) and Liam Dawson (3/71) the pick of the Hampshire attack.

Ben Brown and Nick Gubbins showed some resistance, scoring 38 and 34 respectively before both fell to Harmer as the visitors’ were bowled out for 163. Nevertheless, Dawson did his utmost to replicate Harmer. The Hampshire spinner claimed seven for 68 during Essex’s second stint in the middle, taking his match figures to 10/139. Harmer and Adam Rossington rescued the hosts with the bat, scoring 61 and 60 respectively as Hants were set 299.

On what proved to be a dramatic third and final day, Hampshire threatened to upset the odds as Felix Organ and Ian Holland put together 97 for the first wicket. The former hit 65, while Keith Barker reached 42 before Harmer finished what he had started, much to the relief of the home crowd.

Essex now turn their attention to the Vitality Blast where they face two huge South Group matches. On Friday, July 1 the Eagles take on Sussex Sharks at The 1st Central County Ground, Hove (7pm). Then on Saturday 2, Glamorgan visits the Cloud County Ground (6:30pm).

Essex: Tom Westley (Capt), Ben Allison, Nick Browne, Aaron Beard, Alastair Cook, Sam Cook, Simon Harmer, Feroze Khushi, Dan Lawrence, Michael Pepper, Adam Rossington, Shane Snater

Hampshire: James Vince (Capt), Kyle Abbott, Keith Barker, Ben Brown, Scott Currie, Liam Dawson, Aneurin Donald, James Fuller, Nick Gubbins, Ian Holland, Felix Organ, Joe Weatherley, Brad Wheal 

Umpires: CM Watts and MJ Saggers

Scorers: AE Choat and AC Mills

Match Referee: PM Such

Brian Jeeves