May 26 2013 Latest news:
by Tom Moore, at the Ford County Ground, Chelmsford
Saturday, July 21, 2012
LV= County Championship Division 2, day three: Essex (18-0d & 102-2) need 258 more runs to beat Hampshire (327 & 54-0d)
Essex will need 258 runs in the final day with eight wickets in hand to beat Hampshire after two declarations set up a positive result for one side at the Ford County Ground.
The visitors only added 20 runs from their overnight score for the loss off their last four wickets, with 10.3 overs used, finishing on 323.
Essex batted the remaining 18 overs until lunch, scoring 18 and then surprisingly declared, 305 runs behind.
Hampshire declared their second innings on 54-0 with a ball short of 15 overs bowled to leave the home side needing 360 off 147 overs as all four innings took place on the same day.
The visitors claimed two wickets before the lead dropped below 300 with Jaik Mickleburgh and Tom Westley the men to fall.
But Billy Godleman, who had batted three hours for his 37 and captain Mark Pettini (16*) were there at the end with Essex 102-2 at the close to leave the match on a knife-edge going into the final day.
Hampshire resumed their first innings on 303-6 with Neil McKenzie on 134* with Dimitri Mascarenhas on seven.
Essex needed quick wickets and Harbhajan Singh opened the bowling with Graham Napier.
The former South Africa international added four straight away to his overnight score.
After an over of Singh, Essex turned to David Masters and he claimed the wicket of McKenzie, caught behind by Adam Wheater for 139.
David Balcombe was the next man in and he watched Mascarenhas have his stumps ripped out of the ground by Napier.
Danny Briggs was off the mark first ball with a defensive push that raced to the boundary for four.
Balcombe did not last much longer though as Napier knocked out his leg stump to leave Hampshire 313-9.
James Tomlinson was the last man in to face a pumped up Napier, who was chasing his fifth wicket.
Singh returned and claimed his first wicket in Essex colours when Briggs skied the ball to Greg Smith to depart for seven and Hampshire were all out for 323.
Billy Godleman and Mickleburgh walked out to bat and Tomlinson opened up from the River End with the left handed Godleman picking up his first runs with a three off his third ball.
Balcombe took the new ball from the Hayes Close end and bowled five successive maidens as the home side reached 11 off their first 10 overs.
But his 35th ball was hit for two by Godleman, who had also gone 30 balls without scoring.
Incredibly, with Essex 18-0 at lunch, the home side declared with Hampshire having a lead of 305.
McKenzie came out to bat with Greg Smith opening the bowling along with Napier.
The first innings centurion was in a hurry, hitting two boundaries off the first two balls from Napier.
Neither David Masters or Harbhajan Singh bowled in the opening eight overs with Ryan ten Doeschate, Tom Craddock and Westley being thrown the ball along with the openers.
McKenzie took a liking to Westley’s bowling, hitting him over long on for six.
The declaration wasn’t long after with the score at 54 meaning Essex need 360 runs to win off 147 overs.
Godleman came out again and made a better start, hitting his second ball for four.
Mickleburgh was off the mark himself with a boundary as the home side made a quicker start to theirs second innings than they did in the first.
The first wicket fell on 25 when Mickleburgh was bowled by Tomlinson for 18, with the ball dribbling onto the stumps off his pads.
Westley was the new man in at number three and has it all to do if Essex are to claim the victory.
Mascarenhas came on to bowl with Essex only 10 runs better after the loss of their first wicket.
The home side did not lose another wicket before tea, going into the break at 44-1.
The pair resumed after tea and brought up the 50 in the 18th over but Westley departed eight overs later for 26, LBW to Balcombe with his side needing 300 runs to win.
Captain Mark Pettini was the new man in the middle with the job of batting until the close on his head and he and Godleman steadied the ship to reach 84 in the 38th over.
The opener was going along at a serene pace, scoring 23 runs off his first 100 balls, with his second four of the innings coming 96 balls after the first.
The left hander hit his third boundary of the innings to take the score to 99 and a quick single brought up the 100.
But the pair were content to see out the final overs to leave it nicely poised at the close.