County Championship: Essex seal three-day win over Yorkshire
|Specsavers County Championship Division One, Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford (day three):|
|Yorkshire 208 & 211: Maharaj 85; Siddle 4-32, Porter 3-62, Harmer 3-72|
|Essex 328 & 94-2: Browne 33*, Lawrence 18*|
|Essex (22 pts) beat Yorkshire (3 pts) by eight wickets|
Essex boosted their Championship title hopes with a convincing eight-wicket win over Yorkshire at Chelmsford.
Their sixth victory in seven games briefly lifted them to the top of the Division One table, but Somerset later moved back above them by beating Notts.
Peter Siddle led the way with 4-32 as Yorkshire were all out for 211 despite Keshav Maharaj's 85 off 71 balls.
Set 92 to win, Essex lost Alastair Cook cheaply, but Nick Browne's unbeaten 33 led them home in 21.5 overs on 94-2.
Yorkshire lost four wickets during the morning after resuming on 38-3 and appeared in serious danger of losing by an innings.
Maharaj met the crisis with aggression and hit five sixes and seven fours as he added 64 for the ninth wicket with Ben Coad, although he was dropped in the deep by Siddle on 43.
The Australian paceman finally produced a beauty to knock out his off stump and Jamie Porter (3-62) had Coad caught at first slip for 18 to end the innings.
Cook was dropped on nought by Tom Kohler-Cadmore as Essex began their run chase, but only made six before the Yorkshire slip fielder atoned for his earlier error, with Steven Patterson making the breakthrough.
Tom Westley was later stumped off Maharaj for 31, but Dan Lawrence (18*) hit three fours in an over off Duanne Olivier to bring the game to an end.
Essex and Australia fast bowler Peter Siddle:
"This little run we've been on is nice. It's kept us in contention at the top, on a par with Somerset, which is what we wanted.
"It was good to be able to turn it around after dropping that catch. To break that partnership put us in a position to finish them off and then get back out there and knock the runs off.
"There was no sun to blame. It was an overcast day. It was one I just misjudged. It happens. If we'd taken more catches on day one the game would have been over on the second day. But it made the game a bit more exciting and gave us a chance to get a few more runs for the boys. Nick Browne will be happy with that, for his average."
Yorkshire captain Steve Patterson:
"We're very disappointed, coming down here on the back of a fantastic win at Scarborough, one of the best we've had in a number of years. So we had a bit of confidence.
"We knew it would be hard work against a good side on a pitch that would probably offer a result somehow. Unfortunately, the way we batted over the two innings, I don't think we gave ourselves a chance. As we have done for a number of games, we were always coming from behind and trying to claw it back.
Yorkshire head coach Andrew Gale:"We knew it was going to be tough, and it wasn't ideal being three down overnight. But I asked for some character and resilience, some Yorkshire fight, and we got that. Keshav's innings was the spark of the day, but we were never really in the game second time around."