Walter’s ton provides hope for Essex

Essex v Durham – Vitality County Championship Division One – Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford – Day Three – Report

Durham 587 and 184 for eight (dec)

Essex 339 and 28 for one (11.0 overs)

Durham won the toss and elected to bat

Essex requires 405 runs to win with nine second-innings wickets standing

Paul Walter took the plaudits with a brilliant century. However, Essex are facing a tough final day as they look to salvage something from their Vitality County Championship Division One encounter with Durham at the Cloud County Ground.

Essex’s Paul Walter celebrates his century (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

Essex trail by 404 runs with nine second-innings wickets standing. However, the situation could well have been already beyond them had it not been for Walter’s heroics with the bat.

Walter scored 134 off 181 balls during a 217-minute stint at the crease in the stifling heat. His fifth-wicket partnership with Matt Critchley gleaned 147 runs, the latter scoring a dogged 53 from 131, helping the hosts to 339 after they had lumped to 120 for four. Matthew Potts claimed four for 71, and Peter Siddle three for 45 for the visitors.

Earlier, Alex Lees reached three figures off 184 balls as Durham posted 587. He was eventually trapped lbw by Matt Critchley on 113. David Bedingham contributed 65. However, Ollie Robinson stole the show. The Sidcip-born wicketkeeper/batter fell agonisingly short of a double-century. His 198 came off 209 balls and included twenty-one 4s and seven 6s. Essex struggled to contain the potent Durham batters. Critchley finished with 26-0-158-4 and Simon Harmer 45-6-188-4. There were also two wickets on debut for South African Right-Arm, Quick, Eathan Bosch.

With the game moving at a rate of knots, Durham declared their second innings on 184 for eight, a lead of 432, with Scott Borthwick scoring 71, while Harmer took four for 71, and Jamie Porter three for 18.

Essex had reached 28 for one by the close. Nick Browne the man out, caught by Robinson off a ball from Potts for six.

Speaking to Alex Smith from the ECB Reporters Network, Essex Centurian, Walter said: “We managed to fight our way back into it today so it’ll be an interesting day tomorrow.

“The game against Warwickshire here a few weeks ago proved to the lads they could win from this sort of position but there is a lot of cricket to be played before we get to that kind of position.

“I think my century was an important one. I felt good out there. The main thing is to win game though so it will be for nothing if we lose.

“It is always difficult to set in the third innings because it is easy to get ahead of yourself but I think the bowlers bowled exceptionally. It took them a lot more overs than they would have liked so kudus to the bowlers.

“I think it is still a good wicket and we will have to wait and see what it has in store for us tomorrow. Four-day wickets here do spin on day four.

“The messaging tomorrow will be to play it as you see it and trust yourself in however you want to go about it to score the runs.

“Pepper has been brilliant. You don’t notice a good keeper but he was great today. Some of the catches, especially the one-off Critchley, were excellent, so I’m sure he’ll take a lot of confidence from today.”

Play resumes on Wednesday at 11 am.

Essex: D Elgar, NLJ Browne, T Westley (Capt), JM Cox, MJJ Critchley, PI Walter, MS Pepper (WK), SR Harmer, S Snater, E Bosch, JA Porter

Durham: AZ Lees, MA Jones, CN Ackermann, DG Bedingham, SG Borthwick (Capt), OG Robinson (WK), BFW de Leede, BA Raine, MJ Potts, CF Parkinson, PM Siddle

Umpires: MJ Saggers and PR Pollard

Scorers: P Parkinson and WR Dobson

Match Referee: S Hinks

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk