Essex v Somerset: Leaders battle back to end day two on top

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Nick Browne also top scored in Essex’s first innings with 44
Specsavers County Championship Division One, The Cloudfm County Ground (day two):
Essex 159 & 117-3: Browne 66*; C Overton 2-28
Somerset 164: Hildreth 51; Porter 5-40
Essex lead by 112 runs
Somerset 3 pts, Essex 3 pts
Scorecard

Division One leaders Essex enjoyed a fine second day with both bat and ball to put themselves in a strong position against Somerset at Chelmsford.

Mohammad Amir took two wickets in the first over and Jamie Porter finished with 5-40 as Somerset could only make 164 all out from their overnight 118-5.

Essex were 39-3 in their second innings as Dan Lawrence picked up a pair.

But Nick Browne (66 not out) and Adam Wheater (36 not out) took Essex to 117-3, a lead of 112, at an early stumps.

The players were taken off at 16:40 BST, moments before a heavy rain shower and then bad light ended chances of a resumption.

With Wednesday’s weather forecast also looking poor, both sides may run out of time to force a positive result, with Essex going for their first county title in 25 years and Somerset battling relegation.

In the play that was possible, Pakistan paceman Amir (2-22) continued his excellent form for the county, producing a fine outswinger with just the second ball of the morning to dismiss nightwatchman Jack Leach.

Four balls later the left-armer knocked out Craig Overton’s middle stump for his 14th wicket in his third Championship game.

Seamer Porter and spinner Simon Harmer (2-42) then cleaned up the Somerset first innings before lunch.

Opener Browne made sure Essex did not suffer another batting collapse after their early troubles, reaching his fourth half-century of the season in an unbroken stand of 78 with Wheater.



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