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


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

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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