Westley’s knock helps Essex establish an advantage

Brian Jeeves
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Essex v Lancashire – LV= Insurance County Championship Division One – Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford – Day Two – Report

Lancashire 146 and 10 for one (10.0 overs)

Essex 377 (103.2 overs)

Essex won the toss and elected to bowl

Lancashire trail Essex by 221 runs with nine second-innings wickets standing

Essex heads into day three of their LV= Insurance County Championship Division One match with Lancashire in a strong position following a solid batting display headed up by skipper, Tom Westley and South African left-hander Dean Elgar.

Essex’s Tom Westley hit 81 off 131 balls (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

Resuming their overnight tally of 68 for one (Ferose Khushi 53), Elgar and nightwatchman, Sam Cook, confidently moved Essex into the ascendancy. 

In-form Elgar reached his half-century off 89 balls and went on to score 79. Cook scored a career-best 49 before falling to the first ball after lunch, caught by Keaton Jennings to give George Balderson his second wicket.

Essex’s Sam Cook hit a career-best 49 against Lancashire at Chelmsford (Courtesy of Essex Cricket)

Westley scored 81 off 131 balls before he was trapped lbw by Nathan Lyon. The Australian right-arm offspinner finished with two for 65, while Balderston had 3/75.

Earlier, Lancashire were bowled in forty-two overs for 146. Shane Snater led the way for the Essex attack, returning figures of four for 42, while Sam Cook had 3/18. An eighth-wicket partnership of 53 between Jack Blatherwick (18) and Will Williams (32*) briefly held up the hosts’ progress.

At the close, Lancashire were 10 for one, trailing by 221 runs and seemingly starring down the barrel with some to spare.

Speaking to Martin Smith of the ECB Reporters Network, Essex’s Sam Cook said: “Wasn’t pretty, put it that way. I just tried to stick in as long as I could with Dean and make it easier for the guys coming later. 

“There were a few good balls kicking around out there so I tried to take the shine off that new ball as best as we could. That was what we were talking about out there: scrapping as hard as we could, fighting for every run as best we could.

“Out for 49? “You couldn’t write it, could you? To be fair, if I thought about it afterwards, I had enough lives out there anyway. Yes, it was disappointing, but hopefully, I’ll get another chance at some point to get on the board with a fifty.”

Cook added: “It was a perfect day for us. I don’t think we could have asked for much more really on a tricky wicket with good balls flying around. We’ve got a 221-run lead with them one down, we couldn’t have asked for more from everyone. Everyone scrapped really hard throughout the day and it has put us in a very strong position.”

Play resumes on Sunday at 11am.

Essex: D Elgar, FIN Khushi, T Westley (Capt), JM Cox, MJJ Critchley, MS Pepper (WK), SR Harmer, S Snater, JA Porter, NRM Thain, SJ Cook

Lancashire: KK Jennings (Capt), LWP Wells, JJ Bohannon, GP Balderson, TC Bruce, GJ Bell, MF Hurst (WK), TE Bailey, JM Blatherwick, WSA Williams, NM Lyon

Umpires: JD Middlebrook and AG Wharf

Scorers: P Parkinson and C Rimmer

Match Referee: J Whitaker

Elsewhere in LV= Insurance County Championship Division One, Surrey closed on 185 for one in response to Kent’s 244. Skipper, Rory Burns, the man out – caught by Zak Crawley off a ball from George Garrett – while Dom Sibley is unbeaten on 87*.

In Division Two, Ryan Higgins took his match figures to seven for 72, and Toby Rowland-Jones 6/103 for Middlesex against Yorkshire at Lord’s

However, at the close, Yorks had reached 216 for seven. George Hill is unbeaten on 52* and Ben Coad 38* as the visitors held up the Seaxes progress.

Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk