Ninth-wicket stand leaves Essex on the brink

Essex v Durham – LV Insurance County Championship – Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford – Day Two – Summary

Essex: 96 and 208/6 (69.0 overs)

Durham: 259 (82.3 overs)

Essex won the toss and have elected to bat

Essex lead Durham by 45 runs with four second-innings wickets remaining

A tremendous ninth-wicket partnership of 94 between Stuart Poynter and Matthew Salisbury eased Durham clear and left champions, Essex, on the brink of their first home County Championship defeat since June 2018.

Durham resumed on 148/8, but with Salisbury hitting 41 – his highest first-class score – and Poynter finishing unbeaten on 52, the visitors extended their advantage to 163.

Dan Lawrence carried the fight for the home side, hitting 76, while Paul Walter finished the day on the cusp of fifty. However, with Scott Borthwick taking 2/31 and Brydon Carse carrying on where he left off, taking his match figures to 5/84, Essex always appeared to be sailing into a storm – their lead at the close, 45 with four wickets standing.

Earlier, the home side had been skittled for 96 – Rushworth and Carse with three apiece, while Salisbury and Raine each claimed two. 

Skipper Borthwick then carried Durham clear, scoring 100 off 129 balls before falling to Dan Lawrence. Simon Harmer offered Essex a glimmer of hope, taking 5/79. Play resumes on Saturday at 11am.

Essex: Alastair Cook, Nick Browne, Tom Westley (Capt), Dan Lawrence, Paul Walter, Ryan ten Doeschate, Adam Wheater (WK), Simon Harmer, Ben Allison, Sam Cook, Jamie Porter

Durham: Alex Lees, Scott Borthwick (Capt), David Bedingham, Jack Burnham, Will Young, Ned Eckersley, Stuart Poynter (wk), Brydon Carse, Chris Rushworth, Ben Raine, Matthew Salisbury

Umpires: PJ Hartley and BV Taylor

Scorers: AE Choat and P Parkinson

Match Referee: WM Noon

Brian Jeeves

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