Essex slump to defeat against Nottinghamshire
PUBLISHED: 13:01 23 June 2018 | UPDATED: 13:01 23 June 2018
©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468
Nottinghamshire required just an hour and three-quarters on the fourth morning of the Specsavers County Championship game at Chelmsford to remove the last six Essex wickets and claim victory.
And the 23 points gained from their fourth success at the halfway point of the season lifted Notts above Essex and Somerset into second place in Division One, 13 points behind leaders Surrey.
It was Notts’ first Championship win at Chelmsford since 1984 having lost four of their previous eight visits.
Matt Milnes, in only his third first-class match, claimed best figures of 4-44, two of the wickets in the morning’s play as Essex added just 51 runs to their overnight score to fall 302 short of their target of 441.
Essex went undefeated through their title-winning 2017 season, but have now lost successive Championship games at The Cloudfm County Ground after being beaten by Yorkshire at the start of last month.
They paid for another top-order batting collapse that had left them 26-3 inside 11 overs and facing an uphill struggle the lower-order were never going to be able to meet.
Ravi Bopara was the first to go for 39 from 62 balls, caught behind pushing forward to Matt Milnes and giving the substitute wicketkeeper Tom Keast his first victim in first-class cricket, just in time for his 20th birthday on Monday.
Keast continued behind the stumps in the absence of Tom Moores, who twisted his ankle before the start of play on the third day.
The injury had not stopped Moores batting with a runner and smashing 87 off 80 balls that took the game even further away from Essex during the previous afternoon.
Keast, who plays for Notts 2nd XI but is not on staff, took his second catch in the next over when Jamie Porter’s 27-ball nightwatchman’s stint was ended by one that got up from Luke Fletcher.
Porter, who did not register a run after going in at number six, had earlier seen out a maiden against Fletcher without undue concern.
Adam Wheater and Simon Harmer put up a measure of resistance with a stand of 20 runs in six overs before Harry Gurney left Harmer’s stumps in disarray with his first ball of the morning.
Wheater showed a degree of aggression when he hooked Milnes for four, but was Gurney’s second scalp when he played on and was bowled for 16 from 37 balls.
Matt Coles then followed an outswinger from Milnes to give Keast his third catch and the end came at 12.45pm when Neil Wagner turned Samit Patel into Ross Taylor’s hands at second slip.