Essex collapse to defeat at Gloucestershire

PUBLISHED: 14:27 16 July 2016 | UPDATED: 14:27 16 July 2016

Ashar Zaidi in batting action (pic: Graham Hodges)

Ashar Zaidi in batting action (pic: Graham Hodges)


Leaders left stunned as wickets tumble

Essex collapsed to a 61-run defeat against Gloucester in their country championship clash at Cheltenham College on Saturday afternoon.

Needing 197 runs for victory and resuming on 16-1, the Division Two leaders went into the final day as favourites, but were left stunned as Liam Norwell and Craig Miles shared seven of the nine wickets to fall.

Nightwatchman Jamie Porter fell to Norwell’s first ball of the day, but Nick Browne found the boundary four times early on and Tom Westley hit a four behind square and another through the covers to leave the visitors 49-2.

Westley clipped a ball from Norwell to Kieran Noema-Barnett at slip, though, with only three more runs added and Browne (27) was trapped leg before by David Payne without addition to see Essex slip to 52-4.

Ravi Bopara avoided a pair, following his first innings duck, but fell for just three when bowled by Craig Miles.

And although captain Ryan ten Doeschate soon found the boundary after his arrival at the crease, with a flowing cover drive, first innings centurion Dan Lawrence hit Miles to Michael Klinger at extra cover to leave the visitors in trouble at 82-6.

Ten Doeschate hit successive fours off Miles, but then edged him through to wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick to fall for 25 and see his side tottering on 97-7.

A pair of leg byes took Essex to three figures and Ashar Zaidi hit drove Norwell to the boundary three times in the final over of the morning session, before James Foster pulled the same bowler for six.

But Foster edged to Roderick next ball to see Essex go in at 124-8 and Graham Napier edged David Payne behind after the restart to fall without scoring.

Last man Matt Quinn then joined Zaidi in the middle, having taken 11 wickets in the match, and scored four at a vacant third man.

Zaidi struck Norwell for two more boundaries, but was then bowled for an innings-high 37 to make it eight wickets down for just 99 runs as the home side secured an unexpected victory and condemned Essex to only their second four-day defeat of the season.

Essex will look to bounce back when they change format and meet Gloucestershire again in the Natwest T20 Blast on Sunday.

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