(Photo: Getty Images)
By Paul Hiscock
Yorkshire were the latest victims to fall foul of the Essex steamroller as the White Rose county capitulated tamely to defeat by 376 runs, the heaviest by a runs margin in their history.
Yorkshire coach Andrew Gale pulled no punches. “Quite frankly, that’s embarrassing for a Yorkshire team,” he said. “That’s one of the worst performances I’ve ever been involved in. It was Yorkshire at their worst.”
For the victors, it was an eighth win from their last nine Championship matches as they completed the season unbeaten in the format. The invincibles of red-ball cricket also made an addition to their history, the win was their third highest by runs in first-class cricket.
When the teams met at Scarborough seven weeks ago, Essex emerged winners by eight wickets inside two days.
Their victory here took a day longer but if anything was more emphatic against opponents who put on two dismal and humiliating batting displays.
In contrast, Essex scored five half-centuries in the game including two by lower-order batsman Simon Harmer although Tom Westley missed out. Struck on the right thumb by Steve Patterson in the first innings, an X-ray revealed severe bruising which prevented him from taking any further part in the game. His pain increased when he learned his name was not in the Ashes tour party.
The woeful White Rose county had no answer to the runaway champions’ attack of Jamie Porter, Harmer, Neil Wagner and Sam Cook.
The first two took seven wickets apiece taking their respective tallies for the season to 75 and 72 while 20-year-old Cook, in only his third Championship match, underlined his great promise and potential by taking his second five wicket haul in as many matches.
New Zealand Test bowler Wagner who played a key role in establishing the county in the top-flight, playing the first seven matches before Mohammad Amir took up duties, returned for the last three games to see success completed, when Amir became unavailable.
He paid tribute to the outstanding achievements of Porter and Harmer. “They have been exceptional and let’s not forget Sam Cook who has been fantastic since he came into the side,” said Wagner.
“They all deserve their rewards this season, they’ve asked the right questions at the right times and come up with the answers.”
Commenting on the season overall, he continued: “Make no mistake, this is a real quality group who repeatedly bring their skills to the table time after time. If you do the right things consistently and do what you need to do against the quality teams, you’ll put them under pressure and put yourselves into a position to win matches.
“That’s what we’ve done repeatedly.”
Result: Essex 227 &334-7d beat Yorkshire 111 & 74 by 376 runs