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Cricket: Hard to explain Essex win says Wheater

PUBLISHED: 07:14 21 August 2019 | UPDATED: 07:14 21 August 2019

Adam Wheater (left) and Simon Harmer  of Essex between overs during Kent CCC vs Essex CCC, Specsavers County Championship Division 1 Cricket at the St Lawrence Ground on 20th August 2019

Adam Wheater (left) and Simon Harmer of Essex between overs during Kent CCC vs Essex CCC, Specsavers County Championship Division 1 Cricket at the St Lawrence Ground on 20th August 2019

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Essex wicketkeeper Adam Wheater admitted their three-wicket win at Kent in the County Championship was 'hard to explain'.

Mohammed Amir of Essex appeals for a wicket during Kent CCC vs Essex CCC, Specsavers County Championship Division 1 Cricket at the St Lawrence Ground on 20th August 2019Mohammed Amir of Essex appeals for a wicket during Kent CCC vs Essex CCC, Specsavers County Championship Division 1 Cricket at the St Lawrence Ground on 20th August 2019

A total of 26 wickets fell on the day at Canterbury, before Wheater's unbeaten 30 took the 2017 champions to their target to maintain hopes of another title win next month.

And Wheater, who had scored 20 in the Essex first innings during the morning session, said: "We had a few wicked games in 2017 but this was a mad, mad day of cricket that was hard to explain.

"When I got out first time around I felt like it wasn't a flat wicket, it was probably one of those pitches where it did enough without doing all-sorts.

"Doing enough sometimes enables collapses, escpecially when Sam Cook is putting the ball in perfect areas nearly every time."

Sam Cook of Essex leaves the field with the ball having taken seven wickets during Kent CCC vs Essex CCC, Specsavers County Championship Division 1 Cricket at the St Lawrence Ground on 20th August 2019Sam Cook of Essex leaves the field with the ball having taken seven wickets during Kent CCC vs Essex CCC, Specsavers County Championship Division 1 Cricket at the St Lawrence Ground on 20th August 2019

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Essex started the third day on 32-1, in reply to Kent's 226, but collapsed to 114 all out before lunch as Harry Podmore (4-34) and Darren Stevens (3-17) combined.

Mohammad Amir (28) top scored for the visitors, then saw new-ball partner Sam Cook strike with the eighth ball of Kent's innings.

Amir removed Daniel Bell-Drummond and Sam Billings in the space of three balls to leave the hosts 7-3, with Cook then claiming the next six wickets to fall as Kent crumbled to 36-9 to finish with career-best figures of 7-23.

Simon Harmer of Essex drives Darren Stevens straight down the ground during Kent CCC vs Essex CCC, Specsavers County Championship Division 1 Cricket at the St Lawrence Ground on 20th August 2019Simon Harmer of Essex drives Darren Stevens straight down the ground during Kent CCC vs Essex CCC, Specsavers County Championship Division 1 Cricket at the St Lawrence Ground on 20th August 2019

Jamie Porter wrapped up the innings on 40, but Essex lost Nick Browne cheaply as they set off in pursuit of 154.

Sir Alastair Cook (29) and Tom Westley (25) put on 46 for the second wicket, but Essex then wobbled to 84-6 before Wheater and Simon Harmer (30) joined forces in a matchwinning 57-run stand.

Wheater added: "Even when 'Brownie' and 'Cooky' started the chase for 153 we knew it wasn't going to be easy, we knew it would take a team effort and that's how it turned out.

"There are three games left now and Somerset keep on winning, which is making it harder for us, but we will just keep taking every game as it comes and see where we finish."

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