Seven-up Porter puts Essex on top

PUBLISHED: 19:53 26 April 2016 | UPDATED: 19:53 26 April 2016

Essex's Jamie Porter celebrates taking a wicket (pic: Gareth Fuller/PA)

Essex's Jamie Porter celebrates taking a wicket (pic: Gareth Fuller/PA)

PA/Press Association Images

Bowlers deliver on dramatic day

Jamie Porter took seven wickets on day three as Essex bowled themselves into a winning position against Northants at Chelmsford.

A total of 19 wickets fell and Porter claimed his second five-wicket haul of the county championship season as the hosts skittled their Division Two rivals for just 119, in reply to Essex’s 441-8 declared.

Porter had further success in the second innings, after Ryan ten Doeschate enforced the follow-on, to raise hopes of an innings victory on Wednesday.

Having seen only nine overs bowled on day two, Essex were keen to push on at the start of play, but former Trinity High School pupil Dan Lawrence edged the third ball to second slip without any addition to his 51 or the team’s overnight 351-3.

Jesse Ryder followed moments later, edging to the wicketkeeper, as Essex reached the 110-over mark on 364-5, collecting four bonus points.

Ravi Bopara was next to fall, edging a rising delivery from Ben Sanderson to slip for an innings high 76 after more than four hours at the crease, and Ten Doeschate perished when trying to increase the scoring rate, stumped off the bowling of Sanderson.

James Foster showed plenty of improvisation to score an unbeaten 36 from just 28 balls, hitting a six and six fours, and the hosts declared on 441-8 when Graham Napier skied to mid-on.

The recalled David Masters then struck with only his second ball to dismiss Ben Duckett, who pulled to Porter at deep fine leg.

And Masters was at it again four balls later, as Alex Wakely edged to Tom Westley at second slip and he parried the ball to Alastair Cook, with the visitors still to score a run.

Porter got in on the act in his third over as Jake Libby edged to Westley to leave Northants 4-3 and the former Oaks Park pupil trapped Richard Levi leg before with a ball that nipped back to make it 6-4 at lunch.

The afternoon session was only seven balls old when Masters had Josh Cobb caught at leg gully to leave Northants 14-5, but Adam Rossington and David Murphy stopped the rot with a 61-run stand for the sixth wicket.

Napier ended their resistance to send Murphy back to the pavilion, but Rossington went on to reach his fifty off 49 balls, having hit two sixes and five fours.

Porter claimed his third scalp of the innings thanks to a slip catch from Westley, but the players were then sent from the field by an unseasonal sleet shower and tea was taken with Northants on 97-7.

The visitors added another 18 runs after the restart, before Porter struck twice in the same over to complete his second five-wicket haul of the county championship season.

Napier then dismissed Sanderson to wrap up the innings on 119, leaving Rossington stranded on 67, and ten Doeschate wasted little time in asking Northants to bat again, still 322 runs behind.

The visitors made a better fist of it second time around, reaching 72 without loss before Napier made the breakthrough to have Libby caught by Nick Browne at square leg.

Duckett had reached his half-century off 52 balls with 10 fours, but was then trapped leg before by Porter for 58 to leave Northants 87-2.

And Porter earned another decision from the umpire to send Wakely packing for an unlucky 13 with the total on 106.

Cobb drove Napier to Lawrence at cover to leave Northants 127-4 and although they added another 21 without further loss before the close they are still 174 runs adrift and facing a huge battle to deny Essex on the final day.

Essex 441-8: Browne 60; Cook 65; Westley 64; Bopara 76; Lawrence 51; Ryder 1; Ten Doeschate 26; Foster 36*; Napier 2; Sanderson 5-108.

Northants 119 (Rossington 67*; Porter 5-46; Masters 3-27 Napier 2-23) and 148-4 (Duckett 58; Porter 2-39; Napier 2-38).

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