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4th Match, Nottingham, April 05 - 08, 2024, County Championship Division One
253 & 374/9d
(T:335) 293 & 80

Essex won by 254 runs


Walter and Critchley rescue Essex to turn the tables on Notts

Century stand leaves home side facing likely 300-plus chase on final day

Paul Walter was 89 not out after day one, Essex vs Yorkshire, LV= Insurance Championship, Division One, Chelmsford, 1st day, May 5, 2022

Paul Walter led the fightback in a stand of 132 with Matt Critchley  •  Getty Images

Essex 253 and 329 for 7 (Walter 79, Critchley 68) lead Nottinghamshire 293 by 289 runs
Nottinghamshire look likely to be chasing a 300-plus target on the last day of their Vitality County Championship against Essex after the visitors hauled themselves out of a tricky situation on day three at Trent Bridge.
At 129 for 5 shortly before lunch - just 89 runs in front - Essex looked in danger of slipping to defeat, potentially in three days.
But after Paul Walter (79) and Matt Critchley (68) fought back in a 132-run partnership for the sixth wicket, Tom Westley's team were 289 in front at 329 for 8 when rain forced an early close, with Shane Snater 29 not out.
It leaves the match nicely poised for an intriguing final day, in which Nottinghamshire will fancy their chances if they can take the last two wickets quickly but Essex would be favourites if they can stretch their advantage towards 350.
A win for Essex might turn out to be particularly important in their ambitions for the season with a possible points deduction awaiting if the bat that opener Feroze Khushi was ordered to change after an on-field check on day two is confirmed to have exceeded the maximum permitted size.
Essex had resumed on 65 for 1, 25 runs in front, at the start of day three, with neither of the players who supplied the bedrock of their first-innings score able to make a similar contribution second time around.
Dean Elgar, who had looked poised for a debut hundred on Friday before a corker from Dane Paterson undid him, copped for another decent ball in the day's third over. This time it came from the all-rounder Lyndon James, the ball finding a gap between bat and pad and seeming to pinball off the South African's wrist and thigh pad before leaving the three stumps spectacularly leaning in different directions.
His fellow Essex debutant, Jordan Cox, out for 84 in the first innings, faced only one ball, tickling Brett Hutton's second delivery of the day down the leg side to be caught behind. Hutton's first ball had seen nightwatchman Sam Cook - dropped on 14 - nick one outside off stump to fall on 29.
Critchley survived Hutton's attempt to emulate Cook with a hat-trick but it wasn't long before Essex suffered a further setback as skipper Tom Westley changed his mind about playing a ball from Dillon Pennington outside off stump but not quickly enough, feathering a third catch of the innings to wicketkeeper Clarke to leave his side in potential peril at 129 for 5.
Just as the first two innings were defined by single big partnerships, the third followed the same pattern, Walter joining Critchley to plot a safe passage to lunch before taking the lead role in a 31-over afternoon session in which the home side were barely able to generate a scare for their opponents, let alone a wicket.
By tea their alliance was worth 132, Essex were 221 to the good and in a strong position, assuming the second new ball - available seven overs into the final session - did not prompt the evening collapse that had been the other characteristic of the first two days.
In the event, some inroads came in advance of that, leg-spinner Calvin Harrison striking twice in three overs as Walter, who had batted with growing confidence for his 79, edged the third ball after the break to be caught at slip with no addition to the score and Simon Harmer, feet rooted to the ground as he tried to cut, was snapped up by Clarke for his fourth catch of the innings.
Hutton removed Critchley leg before in the fifth over with the new ball as Essex lost their eighth wicket but a flurry of attacking shots at the other end saw Pennington concede five boundaries in two overs as the Essex lead edged towards 300 before rain arrived, with 22 overs lost from the day's scheduled 99.

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County Championship Division One