Essex v Somerset: Browne expecting tough battle

PUBLISHED: 19:07 29 August 2017

Nick Browne in batting action for Essex (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Nick Browne in batting action for Essex (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Essex’s Nick Browne knows there is still a long way to go in their County Championship match with Somerset.

Left-hander Browne batted the Division One leaders back into the running at Chelmsford, hitting an unbeaten 66 on day two and putting on an unbroken 78 with Adam Wheater to leave them 112 runs ahead with seven second-innnigs wickets intact.

But he warned: “If they get a few quick wickets in the morning they are in the box seat. There is plenty more for us. The run-rate in this game has been very low so we’ve got to battle it out for a lot more overs yet to stay in this game.

“It ebbed and flowed for me. They bowled nicely and then I got a few away. You suddenly look up and you are 12-15 runs ahead. I wasn’t really looking to play good drives, I was just looking to stay in my bubble and have a partnership.

“I managed to have a good stand with ‘Wheats’ that sets us up a bit more. It was a hard-fought knock by him. He definitely needed it and hopefully it will help his confidence a little bit and his determination to get through it.”

Browne was looking to sleep soundly overnight before returning to the crease in on Wednesday morning, with the leaders aiming to preserve their unbeaten record in the four-day game this year.

“I’m pretty chilled,” he added. “I try to forget about cricket for a bit. I write a few things down before I bat, that’s it really. Then get here early in the morning, hit loads of balls with [coach Anthony] McGrath and then go from there. Hopefully I can switch on when I get out there and push on for a long time.”

South Woodford’s Browne needs only 36 to pass 1,000 first-class runs for the season and added: “It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. Every year that’s my target to score 1,000 runs – mainly in the Championship. Hopefully I’m not too far away from that now.”

Somerset director of cricket Matt Maynard believes Essex have put themselves in the driving seat, after seeing his side dismissed for 164 in reply to Essex’s first innings 159.

He said: “The game has moved forward so all results are still possible, but it’s probably slightly in Essex’s favour now.

“At the start of the play you’d suggest it was just in our favour, but two wickets in the first over changes things. There’s a lot of cricket left to be played.

“I think Nick Browne and Adam Wheater have played a really good partnership. Nick looks a fine player, very much in the mould of Alastair Cook in terms of his determination.

“He isn’t fazed if he faces two or three overs on the bounce without scoring; the next opportunity he gets he’ll take. It’s a good thing for our guys to watch, the young players especially.

“It’s an attributional wicket, you might get a good ball with your name on it like Eddie Byrom did in the first innings. It’s a wicket where there is something in it for the seamers and to be fair Craig Overton exploited it really well.

“It’s the kind of wicket where you’re not going to blast people out continuously, there are going to be partnerships. If you do get past your first 10-15 balls you can hang around there. As Nick Browne has shown, the way to go about it is to dig in and not give the opposition anything.”

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