Yorkshire complete unbelievable victory over Essex
- Credit: PA Archive/PA Images
Yorkshire (50 & 329) beat Essex (142 & 146) by 91 runs
Yorkshire sealed one of the most unlikely comeback victories in Specsavers County Championship history as Steven Patterson and Ben Coad combined to end Essex’s challenge at Chelmsford.
The White Rose were bowled out for a humiliating 50 on the opening morning of this Division One clash but have fought back incredibly and wrapped up a 91-run victory almost 48 hours later.
Patterson finished with career-best first-class figures of six for 40, with Essex’s pursuit of a 238-run victory target heavily undermined when they lost four wickets in the space of 23 balls.
Coad took three of those wickets as the defending champions slipped from 114 for four to 114 for eight before eventually folding to 146 all out half an hour before lunch on the third morning.
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It was Essex’s first defeat in the championship for 20 months, spanning 19 games, since they lost at Chelmsford to Glamorgan in the match that confirmed their promotion to Division One. Yorkshire took 19 points for their win to Essex’s three.
Yorkshire had restricted Essex to a 92-run first-innings lead and their second win of the season was underpinned by Jonny Bairstow’s efforts.
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The England star elevated himself to open the second innings after tea on the first day and thrashed 50 in double-quick time before Harry Brook’s maiden first-class century tilted the balance further in the visitors’ favour.
Patterson had rattled through the first Essex four wickets on the second evening and the hosts began the day requiring a further 141 for victory with six wickets in hand.
It was the improbable figure of Joe Root who almost made the breakthrough on Sunday morning as he bowled the first over of the day, with Dan Lawrence lofting the England Test captain airily to extra cover where the ball eluded two converging figures.
Lawrence calmed down after that rush of blood and brought up Essex’s hundred two balls later but Coad came to the fore soon after.
The seamer ended a 59-run stand between Lawrence and Essex captain Ryan ten Doeschate, who was trapped plumb in front for 34 when one kept low.
James Foster lasted just three balls before Coad nicked his outside edge and Jonny Bairstow, standing up, took the catch, while Simon Harmer became Coad’s third victim when he played over a delivery and went 1bw.
Lawrence’s 101-ball stay for 32 ended when Patterson removed his middle stump as he played around a straight one and with it went Essex’s last hope of a win.
Patterson trapped Jamie Porter lbw for his sixth wicket - and his efforts bettered the six for 56 he took against Durham in June 2016, the last time he had a five-wicket haul.
Sam Cook passed his previous highest first-class score of three and was five not out when Siddle was lbw to Tim Bresnan for 24.
Essex head coach Anthony McGrath said: “It was a crazy game. To bowl a team out for 50 and get triple their total we’d be expecting to win the game.
“There were two key periods for me: if we’d have got 200-250 in that first innings it would have been a different game. Give credit to Yorkshire, they came back and started their second innings with Jonny Bairstow coming out and playing aggressively. But having said that, yesterday afternoon when they were 276 for three and we got seven wickets quickly and we’re back in the game. Again it showed our fighting spirit that we were in positions to kill the game and win it.
“It’s unlike us in the last two years where we’ve had chances to win and we have done. But that’s cricket. I’ve said to the boys up there that the test of a really good team is how they bounce back, and that’s what we’ll be looking to do at Worcester.
“It’s just been one of those seasons at the moment when there has been a lot of rain about, a lot of low scores and it’s almost as if something is happening every over. But, look, it’s one of those games where we’ve been on the wrong side of it, but it’s one game in isolation, and we’ll come back stronger next time.
“I’m not concerned at all with our players. I think the pitches here, the groundsmen have done his best. Before the Lancashire game it was under water and it’s been raining since we’ve been away, so the pitches are underprepared. That’s not helping the batters. I think last week at Hampshire would have been a good four-day game. And we’ve had a game washed out without a ball being bowled. So it’s been a stop-start season, very difficult for batsmen to get momentum. But we’re not concerned at all.”