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Essex go top as Porter spearheads innings win

Essex 360 (Cook 124, Westley 111, Abbott 5-58) beat Hampshire 115 (McManus 39, Abbott 36, Porter 5-24) and 148 (McManus 37, Harmer 3-23) by an innings and 97 runs
Scorecard

Jamie Porter led the Essex attack in bowling out Hampshire twice inside three sessions for a three-day win to move to the top of the Specsavers County Championship first division, at least for 24 hours.

Porter took seven wickets in the match for 45 runs, including career-best first-class figures of 5 for 24 in the first innings, as Hampshire, following on 245 runs behind, disintegrated for a second time.

Hampshire had started the day 268 runs short of making Essex bat again. They were all out for 115 - having been 34 for 7 during the second evening - and fared little better when sent straight back in, losing by an innings with more than four sessions to spare. Essex collected 22 points for their efforts, Hampshire just one.

Only Lewis McManus showed an aptitude for the fight in both innings, following his first-innings 39 with 37. George Bailey weighed in with 32, but the rest dropped like flies. South African Rilee Rossouw bagged a pair. Offspinner Simon Harmer only bowled five overs in the match, yet claimed figures of 3 for 23.

Hampshire's second innings got off to the worst possible start when Liam Dawson shuffled across his stumps in Porter's second over and was trapped lbw to one that angled in. James Vince tried to move things along and had reached 17 when he drove Neil Wagner forcefully into the covers where Nick Browne took the catch low down.

Michael Carberry had survived a let-off on two when Tom Westley floored an in-and-out chance into his midriff at second slip. It did not prove too costly as Carberry went to Harmer's first ball in the match, the last one before lunch, when he was pinned lbw. He had occupied the crease for 20 overs while scoring six runs.

Harmer's second ball after lunch accounted for Rossouw, plumb leg before, for a second duck of a match in which he faced the grand total of three balls. His last Championship innings had been 99 against Middlesex.

Porter made it 50 for five when Sean Ervine played around a straight one and turned to see his off-stump land 10 yards beyond its starting place, the bails eight yards further on.

George Bailey hit four boundaries in his battling 32 from 82 balls before he nicked Matt Quinn behind. Lewis McManus showed the same stickability as his first-innings 39 and had reached 37 second time around when he hooked a short ball from Wagner to Quinn at long leg.

Kyle Abbott was unable to repeat his first-innings heroics, failing to beat Ryan ten Doeschate's direct hit from mid-on to the non-striker's end. Gareth Berg, on 24, played all round one from Harmer. Mason Crane launched Tom Westley for six and next ball skied one to ten Doeschate at mid-on and it was all over 15 minutes before tea.

Essex had wrapped up the Hampshire first innings inside nine overs in the morning with Porter taking two of the three wickets to fall.

McManus and Abbott had staged a rearguard action with an eighth-wicket partnership of 75 in 20 overs to lift Hampshire from the doldrums of 34 for 7 and into three figures. However, both fell inside seven balls from Porter.

Abbott had just pulled Quinn over midwicket for six when Porter got one to swing in and catch the edge of Abbott's forward prod for Alastair Cook to take the catch at first slip. McManus, having faced 74 balls for 39, followed when caught in two minds by a ball that slanted past his indeterminate movement to take off-stump out of the ground.

Fidel Edwards did not hang about for long, Westley completing the catch at second slip at the second attempt to give Wagner his first wicket of the game.