Essex v Yorkshire: Champions look to finish unbeaten
PUBLISHED: 10:00 25 September 2017
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Essex entertain Yorkshire at The Cloudfm County Ground for the final Specsavers County Championship match of the season, looking to end the year unbeaten.
The visitors still have relegation worries but for Essex, it will be the first opportunity to parade in front of their supporters since securing the Championship crown with the victory over Warwickshire at Edgbaston 11 days ago.
Since then, the new four-day kings have beaten Hampshire following an amazing turnaround in the match at Southampton.
Left 178 in arrears after the first innings and forced to follow-on, Essex bowled Hampshire out for 76 which was the identical total to the Essex first innings.
Young bowler Sam Cook was the star of the match taking 5-18 and career-best figures in only his third Championship match as Essex recorded their eighth win from the last nine matches in the competition and increased the tally to nine.
The ruthlessness of the 108-run victory against Hampshire surprised head coach Chris Silverwood, who said: “I’m speechless, to be honest.
“The stand between James Foster and Neil Wagner of 82 runs on the final day gave us a chance, but Dan Lawrence with his hundred and Ravi Bopara with a half-century had also played an important part when they put on nearly 150 runs together earlier in the game.
“The way we polished Hampshire off was amazing. This team never knows when it’s beaten and time and again, individuals step forward.
“Sam Cook with his five-for was brilliant. He is a really exciting talent and, as we’ve said before, he is one of a number of younger players who can become the cornerstone of the club in future years.
“Now we have one more match to play. We are unbeaten so far in the Championship but I would love us to record our tenth win by beating Yorkshire to round off our season.
“We beat them at Scarborough last month inside two days and know they will be smarting from that experience but I’m looking for us to complete the double and give our supporters a final memory of what has been an incredible season in red-ball cricket.
“Yorkshire will be tough opposition but make no mistake, the records show that we are worthy champions and we would love to round off 2017 on a high.”
Essex: Ryan ten Doeschate (27); James Foster (7); Ravi Bopara (25); Nick Browne (10); Varun Chopra (6); Sam Cook (16); Simon Harmer (11); Dan Lawrence (28); Jamie Porter (44); Neil Wagner (13); Paul Walter (22); Tom Westley (21); Adam Wheater (31).