Essex on the verge of County Championship victory against Gloucestershire

Essex v Gloucestershire.
Essex County Cricket Ground.

Essex v Gloucestershire. Essex County Cricket Ground.

Essex go into the final day just 59 runs short of victory in their Specsavers Division Two clash with Gloucestershire at Chelmsford.

After bowling the visitors out for 215 in their second innings, Essex reached 34 without loss by the close in pursuit of a target of 93 runs.

Only a resolute 58 by Gareth Roderick, his second half-century of the match, and a swashbuckling 74 from 76 balls by Jack Taylor prevented the home side wrapping things up with a day to spare.

Taylor struck five sixes, three off Graham Napier and two against Ravi Bopara to go with seven fours.

He was last out when Jamie Porter held a fine catch at deep mid-off, his belligerent hitting coming after he had been content to play a subdued role when Roderick was his partner.

Roderick was caught at first slip by Alastair Cook attempting to cut a ball from Napier, an effort that spanned 140 balls of resistance and brought him six boundaries.

Following his departure after a stand worth 65 for the seventh wicket, Taylor cut loose to score 34 of the final 42 runs.

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Earlier in the day, after Essex had resumed their first innings on 287 for six, Foster and Napier were both out in the 30s after sharing in a stand of 57.

Young medium-pace man Josh Shaw, making his Championship debt, was the most successful visiting bowler with four for 118 from 34.5 overs while Liam Norwell picked up 3 for 81 from 34 overs.

Nick Browne and Cook batted with considerable ease while closing in on victory by making 34 without loss, Browne gathering five fours as he finished with 26.

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