Essex thrash Kent to ignite title charge

Kent v Essex – Vitality County Championship Division One – The Spitfire Ground – Report

Essex 591 for seven (dec)

Kent 394 and 101

Essex won the toss and elected to bat

Essex won by an innings and 96 runs

Essex reignited their Vitality County Championship Division One title challenge with a thumping innings and 96-run victory over old adversaries Kent at Canterbury.

Enforcing the follow-on, the Essex attack swiftly got to work with Simon Harmer returning figures of four for 32 while Shane Snater had three for 15 as Kent were dismissed for 101.

Essex’s Simon Harmer(Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

The home side had made a fist of things, doggedly batting out the third day. Joe Denly scored 87 during 259 minutes in the middle, while Harry Finch hit 85 off 124 balls, helping the home side to 394, a deficit of 197 runs. Matt Critchley with figures of five for 88 for the visitors.

Earlier in the contest, Jordan Cox scored 207 off 255 balls against his former employers during a 325-minute stint at the crease. His masterful inning included twenty-one 4s and five 6s.

Essex’s Jordon Cox (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

Michael Pepper contributed 82, complimenting earlier knocks from Nick Browne (65) and Dean Elgar (77). Essex’s declaration came on 591 for seven, but not before Snater had got in on the act with a career-best 83* – Arafat Bhuiyan, Joey Evison and Matt Parkinson with two wickets apiece for the beleaguered Kent attack.

The result moved Essex, within a point of champions and league leaders Surrey, who were thrashed by Hampshire. Speaking to Fred Atkins from the ECB Reporters Network, Essex’s Head Coach, Anthony McGrath said: “When we saw the wicket on Thursday at practice we knew it was probably going to be a very good one and pretty slow and that’s how it turned out. We probably batted on for longer than we normally would but just thought if the wicket did break up it was going to be in the later stages of day four.

Essex Head Coach Anthony McGrath (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

“The wickets last night were crucial in the grand scheme of things and as we always do we find a way. To lose Sam Cook early in the match and still get nineteen wickets in the end was an incredible performance and just another example of how resilient the guys are.”

Essex now turn their attention to the Vitality Blast, where they face Gloucestershire at The Seat Unique Stadium, Bristol, on Thursday, May 30 (6:30pm).

Kent: BG Compton, Z Crawley, DJ Bell-Drummond (Capt), MK O’Riordan, JL Denly, HZ Finch (WK), JDM Evison, G Stewart, WA Agar, MW Parkinson, Arafat Bhuiyan

Essex: NLJ Browne, D Elgar, T Westley (Capt), JM Cox, MJJ Critchley, MS Pepper (WK), SR Harmer, S Snater, AP Beard, SJ Cook, JA Porter

Umpires: M Newell and T Lungley

Scorers: LAR Hart and P Parkinson

Match Referee: JJ Swift

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk