Essex cricket coach Chris Silverwood targets unbeaten season for champions

Essex celebrate their County Championship win last week. Picture: MARTINE XERRI

Essex celebrate their County Championship win last week. Picture: MARTINE XERRI

Proud Essex coach Chris Silverwood is targeting an unbeaten season for his County Championship winners.

His side head to the Ageas Bowl tomorrow to take on Hampshire in the penultimate match of what has proved a wonderful season for the county, who won the Division One title for the first time in 25 years last week.

They have won eight of the twelve matches played thus far, including six of their last seven games and they are the only unbeaten side in either of the two divisions.

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Silverwood said: “It would be lovely to go through the season unbeaten and although we have already won the league, there will be no let-up in our approach to the remaining two games.

“We have played some outstanding red ball cricket this summer and have won a number of matches in three days which goes to illustrate the dominant and commanding force we have been.

“We have been ruthless but that’s the approach and attitude we want to keep building on. What we have seen this season is the result of all the hard work these guys have put in.”

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Following the retirement of David Masters and Graham Napier, who took over 100 wickets last year, there were a number of observers who felt that Essex would struggle to take sufficient wickets in the First Division this season.

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But emerging paceman Jamie Porter and South African Simon Harmer have taken 60 plus wickets apiece on the way to the title.

“I always felt that ‘Ports’ would step up, he’d 50 wickets hauls in each of the last two seasons in the Second Division and he’s proved himself in the First Division now, he’s been really flying for us,” Silverwood enthused.

“We knew we wanted a top-class off spinner and Simon Harmer has filled that role superbly and everyone can see he is a world class bowler.

“But all the players that have represented us this year have moved forward and all credit goes to each of them.

“It’s been an incredible season of red ball cricket and no one can doubt that the team deserve the title of champions.”

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