Essex look to force win over Glamorgan
PUBLISHED: 18:27 14 September 2016 | UPDATED: 18:27 14 September 2016
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Division Two champions set for final-day chase
Division Two champions Essex will hope to celebrate their title-winning triumph with victory over Glamorgan on the final day of their Specsavers County Championship match at Chelmsford on Thursday.
Having secured top spot and promotion with their fifth bonus point of the match on Tuesday, Essex saw the visitors build a 260-run lead in their second innings, but have only one wicket remaining.
Essex will look to claim that early on day four to set up a run chase and strengthen their position at the summit, ahead of their final match of the campaign at Kent next week.
Following the excitement of clinching promotion, Essex resumed day three on 275-6, but lost captain Ryan ten Doeschate in the early stages for a superb 117, as he was trapped leg before by Timm van der Gugten.
Graham Napier came out to bat at the County Ground for the final time, with Dan Lawrence as a runner, but was unable to get off the mark and caught at third man by David Lloyd off the bowling of Craig Meschede to leave the hosts 296-8.
David Masters hung around in support of James Foster, before offering a return catch to Michael Hogan with the score on 319, and Foster fell without addition to the total as he skied Meschede to Jacques Rudolph to fall for 64, having hit two sixes and five fours in a 126-ball innings.
That gave Essex a lead of 33 on first innings, which Glamorgan managed to wipe out before losing Nick Selman, leg before to Masters, just before lunch to leave them 36-1.
The visitors then advanced their score after the restart, as their second-wicket pairing of Rudolph and Will Bragg combined well, and opener Rudolph reached his half-century from 103 balls having hit 10 fours.
Batting hero ten Doeschate then brought himself into the attack – which was missing the influence of Napier – and struck with his first ball, bowling Rudolph for 56, before having Bragg caught behind by Foster five balls later to leave Glamorgan 130-3.
Jamie Porter got in on the act to bowl Aneurin Donald with the score on 149 just before tea, with Ravi Bopara having first innings centurion Kiran Carlson caught by Foster early in the final session to make it 158-5.
Porter picked up his second scalp as Meschede edged to Foster for a duck with the score on 163, with Bopara trapping Lloyd leg before without addition to the total in the next over.
Owen Morgan put on 54 for the eighth wicket with Mark Wallace, before Masters pinned him in front of his stumps with one that kept low.
But Wallace held firm and reached his half-century from just 49 deliveries, with seven fours, and had support from van der Gugten.
Lawrence came into the attack late on and made the breakthrough to end a 68-run stand as van der Gugten skied one to Bopara at mid-off.
But Glamorgan reached 293-9, with Wallace unbeaten on 75 at the close, and Essex will now hope to wrap things up quickly and then set about chasing victory to give their supporters more to cheer.
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