Harmer ‘felt really good’ as Essex build lead

Simon Harmer in bowling action for Essex during Essex CCC vs Surrey CCC, Specsavers County Champions

Simon Harmer in bowling action for Essex during Essex CCC vs Surrey CCC, Specsavers County Championship Division 1 Cricket at The Cloudfm County Ground on 16th September 2019 - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Essex spinner Simon Harmer admitted he felt ‘really good’ after a 6-67 haul put his side on top against Surrey in the Bob Willis Trophy.

After the 2019 county champions made 262 in their first innings at Chelmsford, Harmer and Jamie Porter (4-53) shared all 10 Surrey wickets as they were dismissed for 187 for a lead of 75, which was extended to 88 by the close on Sunday.

And Harmer was pleased to put a less than favourable effort in last week’s win against Kent firmly behind him in doing so.

He said: “I was quite disappointed with how I bowled in the first innings last week (2-110) where I bowled nowhere close to my best but I found what was wrong in the second innings and felt really good today.

“It was a bit cat and mouse when Laurie Evans was in but otherwise it was a pretty good day for us.

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“At Chelmsford it is usually the case [where I get the last laugh] as there is usually plenty of turn and bounce.

“I enjoyed getting into battles with the batters but I backed myself to come up trumps in the end.”

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Harmer revealed how an injury concern had been playing on his mind and was pleased to have handled it.

He added: “I think I was a little bit hesitant to try and give everything I had because I didn’t want to make my injury [abductor strain] any worse.

“I was advised to miss the first two games and was looking at possibly four to six weeks out – which would have been the season.

“I had a long chat with the physios and did loads of tests but there was no pain so I decided to go against the medical team’s wishes and play.

“I can still feel it every now and again but unless it is going to affect my performance it won’t keep me off the park.

“The biggest worry is that playing with the tear and it gets worse then it could be the entire season. But it is risk vs reward.

“I understand the risk but I feel like we’re in a better place with me playing than me being cautious and not playing.

“If it was a definite injury which was hampering my performance and meant I couldn’t run or bowl properly then I could understand taking time off, but when it comes down to how much pain I’m willing to deal with then I feel like I’m happy to play.”

Essex will look to build a big lead on day three to give Harmer the chance to work his magic once again in the final innings of the match.

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