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26th Match, Chelmsford, May 17 - 20, 2024, County Championship Division One
397 & 94
(T:330) 162 & 331/6

Essex won by 4 wickets


Barnard, Burgess hundreds lift Warwickshire from early disarray

Unbroken stand worth 204 repels Essex after six wickets had fallen in first half of day

Ed Barnard is applauded on reaching his hundred, Essex vs Warwickshire, County Championship, Chelmsford, May 17, 2024

Ed Barnard is applauded on reaching his hundred  •  Getty Images

Warwickshire 308 for 6 (Barnard 115*, Burgess 105*) vs Essex
An unbroken double-century seventh-wicket stand between Ed Barnard and Michael Burgess rescued Warwickshire from the depths of despair and lifted them into a commanding position against Essex at Chelmsford.
The pair came together with the score on 104 for 6 soon after lunch and by the close, 56 overs later, they had established a Warwickshire record for the seventh wicket against Essex of 204 and counting, passing a mark that had stood for 92 years.
During an innings in which he initially had to knuckle down before breaking loose, Barnard took his tally in his last four Vitality County Championship innings to 336 runs with an unbeaten 115. Meanwhile, 105 represented Burgess's highest score for the season by 62. Neither man's innings was chanceless, but both looked imperious.
Essex had appeared well in control when they claimed five wickets before lunch - four of those wickets falling to catches by Simon Harmer - but they toiled for the last two sessions as their usually consistent strike-force was reduced to ordinariness. Warwickshire finished on 308 for 6.
With James Anderson's impending international retirement announced this week, Essex paceman Sam Cook had an early opportunity to elevate himself on the list of candidates to replace him.
It took Cook just 13 balls to strike with his 26th wicket of the season after Warwickshire decided to bat on a grass-less wicket that encouraged the bowlers early on before easing significantly as the day progressed. It was unlucky 13 for Rob Yates, who edged low down to Harmer at second slip. Cook bowled another 44 balls before claiming his only other wicket.
In between Warwickshire slipped to 64 for 5 with Shane Snater grabbing two wickets in the space of six balls, inducing Will Rhodes to thick edge to Harmer again before the off stump of Sam Hain was removed as he shouldered arms without scoring.
Harmer's third catch of the innings came off his own bowling as Dan Mousley patted the ball tamely back down the wicket.
Alex Davies had remained resolute at the other end, taking his three boundaries in a 60-ball 19 off Jamie Porter, one driven straight past the bowler. However, Porter had the last laugh as Harmer pulled off a brilliant one-handed catch to his right to dismiss the Warwickshire captain.
Barnard swept Harmer for two fours in three balls, but otherwise settled into an obdurate sixth-wicket stand with Jacob Bethell, who got off the mark with a single from his 26th ball, and that thanks to a misfield at square leg.
Bethell was re-energised after lunch and multiplied this total by five when he tucked Porter off his legs to the square-leg boundary before rocking on to his back-foot to cut the same bowler for another.
The partnership steadied the ship for 20 overs while adding 40 runs before Bethell played down the wrong line and was Cook's second victim. It was the last wicket of the day to fall.
Burgess and Barnard accelerated the score with their first fifty coming from just 59 balls, though both players survived dropped catches. Barnard was on 17 when missed by Michael Pepper off Cook while Burgess was grassed at bat-pad and then off a top-edge on 19 and 39.
A reprieved Burgess reverse-swept Harmer for a smart boundary and reached his half-century from 49 balls with a six over midwicket off Matt Critchley. When Burgess hit Harmer for another four, this time with a more orthodox sweep, he carried the stand past 150 in 40 overs.
Barnard was first to his century, scored off 198 balls; Burgess slowed as he neared three-figures but still reached it from 149 balls.

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