With only a day at the cricket for me, this is going to be more about the photos than the writing, I have no idea where my time has gone since I ‘retired’.
Having drawn in their 2nd County Game away to Sussex, Essex welcomed Northamptonshire to the County Ground. With England going through what seemed to be all 4 seasons on one day it looked as if it might be difficult to get a result.
However Essex set out their stall with the bat after Northants elected to bowl – I was ‘watching’ from afar via social media and was impressed to see the top 5 batsmen post over 50 a man.
Nick Browne and Alastair Cook seem to be building a good relationship as openers, they built a partnership of 105 before Browne was caught on 60, by Richard Levi from the bowling of Ben Sanderson.
Tom Westley joined Cook and the pair added 80 runs before Cook was caught behind by Adam Rossington from the bowling of Richard Gleeson, Cook had scored 65 runs.
Ravi Bopara was next up and he had a prolonged innings, Westley made 64 before being bowled by Sanderson. The score had moved on to 247 for 3 and things were going well for the home team.
Dan Lawrence joined Bopara, he also joined the list of those making runs, amassing 51 before Alex Wakely caught him from the bowling of Azharullah. 351 for 4. Jesse Ryder made a brief visit to the crease, being caught behind by Rossington from the bowling of Rory Kleinveldt.
The batting carried into Day 2 which was volatile to say the least weather wise, Ravi Bopara was top scorer on 76 before he was caught by Kleinveldt with bowler Sanderson taking his 3rd wicket. Captain Ryan ten Doeschate contributed 26 before being stumped by Rossington – the bowler was again Sanderson.
Sanderson took his 5th wicket when Azharullah caught Graham Napier on 2. James Foster had scored 36 and Essex 441 for 8; a score Ryan ten Doeschate and his team felt they could defend.
And so it was to be the case! Essex had 2 days with volatile weather to take 20 wickets and they did so in some style! Northants were bowled out for 119 in their first innings, with Adam Rossington making 67 of those runs.
Jamie Porter, not 23 until next month took 5 wickets for 46 runs, another stunning performance by the young bowler. David Masters took 3 for 27 and Graham Napier 2 for 23. Could the bowlers repeat the performance and get Northants again in the time remaining?
Northants certainly put up more of a fight in their second innings, yet they only amassed 230 runs meaning Essex won the game by 92 runs and an innings! Amazingly Ryan ten Doeschate who hadn’t bowled in the first innings took 4 wickets for 31 runs.
Jamie Porter wasn’t to be left out, he took 3 for 55 and Graham Napier 3 for 68. Interestingly of the 28 wickets that fell during this match only 4 saw the stumps and bails fly, only 4 batsmen were bowled out. I think I’ll keep a track of that fact, it seems to me that to bowl a player out is becoming more and more unusual!
Next up for Essex Worcestershire away before they face Sri Lanka in a warm up match.