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RESULT
Chelmsford, July 19 - 22, 2023, County Championship Division One
207 & 280
(T:30) 458/8d & 30/3

Essex won by 7 wickets

Report

Essex complete madcap dash to victory after Sam Cook and Harmer clean up

Wickets tumble as hosts reach small target to keep pressure on Surrey at top of Division One

ECB Reporters Network
22-Jul-2023
Sam Cook made inroads in the fourth innings, Northamptonshire vs Essex, County Championship, Division One, Wantage Road, September 29, 2022

Sam Cook claimed seven wickets in the match  •  Getty Images

Essex 458 for 8 dec (Critchley 117, A Cook 87, Harmer 83*, Arshdeep 3-58) and 30 for 3 beat Kent 207 (Compton 47, S Cook 3-19) and 280 (Finch 114, Evison 58, S Cook 4-46, Harmer 4-72) by seven wickets
Essex made heavy weather of scoring the 30 runs required to beat Kent by seven wickets and secure their fourth successive LV= Insurance County Championship victory. It needed Paul Walter to keep his head when others around him were losing theirs and stroke the winning runs 23 balls into what turned into a more difficult run chase than necessary.
Essex attempted to make light work of reaching the target and were halfway there from the first over bowled by Hamid Qadri. But that was the prelude to the drama. Dan Lawrence was first to go when he tried to hit Grant Stewart's first ball out of the ground but only skied to mid-on.
Adam Rossington followed in the next over, lbw attempting to reverse sweep Qadri, and first-innings centurion Matt Critchley departed first ball to a caught-and-bowled by the offspinner, taken running back and over his head at mid-on. That was 23 for 3 in the third over, but Essex managed to get over the line in the next over to take 21 points and keep up the pressure on Championship leaders Surrey.
With the threat of rain around later in the day, Essex needed eight overs before breaking the stubborn overnight partnership. But once Qadri departed to a smart catch at short square leg by Simon Harmer the innings collapsed in just six balls.
Sam Cook added a second of the morning three balls later when Matt Quinn played on and Joey Evison fell lbw to the first ball of Harmer's 44th over of the innings. Harmer finished with 4 for 72 to take his season's tally to 41 wickets and Cook had figures of 4 for 46.