Lancashire v Essex: Leaders ready for summit meeting

PUBLISHED: 14:15 04 September 2017

Varun Chopra will captain Essex against Lancashire (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Varun Chopra will captain Essex against Lancashire (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Table-topping Essex meet nearest rivals Lancashire at Old Trafford in the race for the Specsavers County Championship Division One title on Tuesday.

Victory over Somerset at the Cloudfm County Ground made it five in a row for unbeaten pacesetters Essex and seven in total, with just four matches remaining.

Lancashire, meanwhile, beat Warwickshire in their most recent outing and find themselves 36 points adrift of the leaders going into their vital showdown.

Essex head coach Chris Silverwood was a naturally proud man after watching his team brush aside Somerset, after the home side had trailed by five runs on first innings.

And their latest success was achieved despite losing the services of Mohammad Amir, who was sidelined with a back spasm sustained during the early stages of Somerset’s first innings.

Amir’s fellow paceman Jamie Porter stepped forward to spearhead the attack, taking seven Somerset wickets in the second innings and 12-95 in the match to reach 50 Championship wickets for the summer.

Silverwood said: “We showed great character. Going into the last day, we knew we had a lot of hard work ahead but Nick Browne, Adam Wheater and Tendo [Ryan ten Doeschate] got runs on the board for us.

“Then, being a bowler down, for ‘Ports’ to step up and do what he did was absolutely fantastic. There were some good individual performances but Jamie’s was the stand-out one.

“To force the victory from where we were at one stage and with the loss of virtually a day’s play was incredible and the boys keep showing us they can find ways of winning.

“That’s what good teams do and these guys are turning into a good team.”

Silverwood has named a 14-man squad for the trip to Old Trafford, with Varun Chopra leading the side in the absence of Ryan ten Doeschate.

Silverwood added: “We’ve got a nice healthy gap points-wise between us and them, and it does give us a bit of a breathing space but there is a massive game in prospect.

“We are really looking forward to the contest and as I say, it should be a cracking match. We can’t wait to get started.”

Essex: Varun Chopra (27); James Foster (7); Mohammad Amir (5); Nick Browne (10); Simon Harmer (11); Sam Cook (16); Paul Walter (22); Ravi Bopara (25); Dan Lawrence (28); Matt Dixon (30); Adam Wheater (31); Jamie Porter (44); Callum Taylor (67); Ashar Zaidi (99).

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