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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


Cox hundred, Critchley 99* complete Essex pursuit of victory

Hosts complete four-wicket win after coming back from 235-run first-innings deficit

Jordan Cox scored a hundred during a match-winning stand with Matt Critchley, Essex vs Warwickshire, 4th day, Chelmsford, May 20, 2024

Jordan Cox scored a hundred during a match-winning stand with Matt Critchley  •  Andrew Miller/ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Essex 162 (Simmons 3-12, Yates 3-27) and 331 for 6 (Cox 112, Critchley 99*) beat Warwickshire 397 (Barnard 165, Burgess 108, Snater 3-58) and 94 (Critchley 4-24, Harmer 3-28) by four wickets
Jordan Cox led Essex to one of the more unlikely successful run-chases with a swashbuckling century as Warwickshire were beaten by four wickets at Chelmsford.
Cox, who hit 112 from 192 balls, was joined in a record fifth-wicket partnership against Warwickshire of 176 in 54 overs with Matt Critchley that took EsseX within sight of their 330-run target. Critchley, however, was left stranded on 99 not out from 184 balls when Simon Harmer pulled the winning boundary off Che Simmons 15 minutes before the scheduled lunch interval on day four.
Essex's third win of the season kept them close on the heels of Surrey at the top of the Vitality County Championship. Warwickshire were left to rue what might have been.
The match had swung every which way during the first three days with both sides in the ascendancy at various times. Warwickshire had recovered from 104 for 6 to gain a first-innings lead of 235, but declined to enforce the follow-on. When they were dismissed for 94 second time around, that decision came under the microscope. It left Essex needing 330 to win in more than five sessions.
Critchley reached his third half-century of the season with a smart drive that eluded a diving extra cover and raced away for his sixth boundary. Cox also kept the scoreboard ticking along in the pre-new-ball overs and pulled Rob Yates for four.
Essex scored 21 from the six overs before the new-ball was taken, still requiring 85 runs to win. Critchley was not fazed and smote a full-toss straight back past Michael Rae for another boundary, and then hooked the same bowler to take the partnership to 150 from 50 overs.
Cox reached his second century for Essex with his 14th four, clipped though midwicket, and then celebrated by lofting Yates over long-on for six. But he did not last much longer, flicking Che Simmons's first ball off his legs to Jacob Bethell on the deep square-leg boundary to depart after 192 balls. It reignited the intensity that had been lacking in Warwickshire's play for the first 75 minutes.
Suddenly Rae was digging the ball in short and Michael Pepper was ducking under a couple of deliveries. Pepper then decided to advance down the wicket, stepped towards leg, was out-thought by the bowler and ended up playing on.
Simon Harmer brought up the 300 by hooking the New Zealander for four, and Critchley top-edged Rae for six over fine leg and then drive through the covers for four to take Essex within a dozen of the target.

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County Championship Division One