Browne praised ahead of Essex’s final fixture
PUBLISHED: 16:00 21 September 2015
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Eagles host Lancashire in final match of the County Championship
England captain Alastair Cook returns for Essex tomorrow (Tuesday) when they take on Lancashire in their final LV= County Championship match of the season, but acting head coach Chris Silverwood has praised the ability of Nick Browne prior to the fixture.
The South Woodford batsman scored 151 not out in the second innings against Leicestershire to inspire a thrilling final-day victory.
It was also enough to take the 24-year-old past a thousand County Championship runs for the season – a remarkable feat in just his second full season for Essex.
Silverwood praised Browne and admitted he faces a tough selection decision for the clash at the County Ground, starting at 10:30am.
“The final choice of team will be made once we’ve had a look at the pitch and the weather conditions,” said the Essex head coach.
“It’s great to have ‘Cooky’ back with us and there is now lots of competition for places but it’s nice to have that problem.
“We had a terrific win at Leicester where Nick produced a career-best innings. He’s turned into a cracking player for us and is a great team member.
“For him to score 1,000 County Championship runs in a season is a superb effort and to play that match-winnings innings for us against Leicestershire was excellent.
“The win was part of a brilliant team performance when everyone chipped in with vital contributions.”
Since Silverwood stepped in to taking the coaching duties after the departure of Paul Grayson, Essex have won two of the three matches he has taken charge of.
The other finished a draw, but unfortunately the Eagles can’t still challenge for promotion with Lancashire and Surrey already assured first and second position.
But he is looking forward to going up against one of the two best teams in the division and hoping Essex can secure a third-place finish themselves.
Silverwood added: “Naturally, I’m delighted with the way the guys have responded since I took over responsibility for the first team. I’ve really enjoyed taking charge of these guys.
“We all agreed when I took over that we wanted to set the bar high and that’s what we’ve done. The boys have all pulled together and we’ve played some excellent cricket. For me, it’s a shame that the season is coming to an end.
“It will be interesting to see how we get on against Lancashire, who are obviously one of the best two teams in Division Two this year.
“The game can give us a guide as to where our skills are currently at and offers us a reality check as to what we need to do to go further in terms of laying down a challenge for next year.
“We would love to finish with another win which would give us three on the bounce and guarantee us third place in the table.”
In addition to South Woodford’s Browne, Ilford’s Aron Nijjar and Ravi Bopara, of Hainault & Clayhall, will hope to start Essex’s final match of the campaign.
Essex squad: Nick Browne, Alastair Cook, Dan Lawrence, Tom Westley, Ravi Bopara, Jesse Ryder, Ryan ten Doeschate, Mark Pettini, James Foster (c/wk), Graham Napier, Aron Nijjar, Jamie Porter, Jaik Mickleburgh, Jack Winslade.