County Championship: Siddle and Harmer bowl Essex to win over Worcestershire
|Specsavers County Championship Division One, Blackfinch New Road (day three):|
|Essex 177 & 275: Lawrence 71, Cook 66; Tongue 5-53|
|Worcestershire 238 & 182: Head 62; Siddle 5-37; Harmer 5-43|
|Essex (19 pts) beat Worcestershire (4 pts) by 32 runs|
Simon Harmer and the departing Peter Siddle took five wickets each as Essex held their nerve to beat Worcestershire for their second victory of the season.
Australia paceman Siddle, whose five-game deal has come to an end, finished with 5-37 to help the county champions over the line by 32 runs.
Travis Head (62) offered resistance for Worcestershire but was the last to fall as Harmer claimed figures of 5-43.
The hosts were chasing a target of 215 after Essex were all out for 275.
Having started day three on 143-4 with an 82-run, Dan Lawrence went on to make 71 for the visitors with handy contributions from James Foster (24) and Harmer (23), but Josh Tongue's 5-53 gave winless Worcestershire a fighting chance.
At 160-5, they looked slight favourites, but Essex took the last four wickets for just 22 runs to decide the match without the need for a final day.
Siddle will be replaced at Chelmsford by New Zealand fast bowler Neil Wagner, who will return to Essex, having signed until the end of July.
Worcestershire head coach Kevin Sharp:
"It is a difficult one to take. I'm not sure we've really done a lot wrong throughout the game.
"Since the poor performance here against Notts, we have gone to Surrey and played particularly well and we played some fabulous cricket in this game on a pitch that has done a bit.
"It could have gone either way. We fought hard and we just weren't able to do it. But there are lots of good things to take from it. We've gone toe to toe with the champions and finished just short.
"It's not the same feeling as when losing against Notts. We were under par and outplayed in that game but this has been a different kettle of fish."
Essex captain Ryan Ten Doeschate:
"It was an amazing win from an amazing group of players. We were behind in the game for most of the time, but we felt 200 would be tough to chase.
"Then the two bowlers who put in a shift to win the game (Siddle and Harmer) is the sort of thing that has been happening with this team for years. Siddle has had an outstanding stint here. He has showed that passion and commitment for the team.
"We got the toss wrong. I don't think anyone saw that wicket nibbling throughout like it did. It was drier than what we thought and our thinking was for Harmy to win us the game in the last innings.
"We scrapped our way to a score and once we got over 200 it looked a good score. The longer we stayed out there were enough good balls to get the job done."