Season-best showing from Harmer puts Essex in charge

Essex's Simon Harmer had his best outing of the season against Notts. Picture: PA SPORT

Essex's Simon Harmer had his best outing of the season against Notts. Picture: PA SPORT - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Notts 177 & 337 Essex 233 & 147-1 Simon Harmer’s best figures of the season and Murali Vijay’s second half century of the match have given Essex a chance of toppling Nottinghamshire in their Specsavers County Championship meeting at Trent Bridge.

Harmer took six for 87 as Notts were bowled out for 337 in their second innings, leaving the defending champions requiring 282 for victory.

Kraigg Brathwaite made 68 for the hosts and Steven Mullaney scored 53 before becoming Harmer’s fifth victim.

Vijay, who hasn’t played since making a pair for India in the second Test of the recent series against England, followed up his first innings 56 with an undefeated 73 as Essex closed on 147 for one.

Harmer said: “I think it’s a wicket that looked like it suited the seamers but there was a lot of bounce and the turn was quite quick. It was nice to contribute because second innings wickets are always important.

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“I think it was a superb little session for us (at the end of the day) from Murali Vijay and Tom (Westley). It was important that we minimised the damage and they did that and did extremely well.

“But there’s still a lot of cricket to be played and we’ve got to work really hard to get those 135 runs, so we hope to get stuck in tomorrow morning and see it home.

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“It’s an important game, every game is an important game and we don’t want to leave anything for the last couple of weeks of the season.”

Notts head coach Peter Moores said: ““We got ourselves into a good position at about 160 for one – and all credit to the way Kraigg Brathwaite and Luke Fletcher played – and then you look back and wonder if we missed out or was it credit to the way Harmer bowled?

“He got turn out of the pitch and when they took the second new ball and brought him back it was a good decision because he got bounce and the turn was sharper.

“We’ve got to come back tomorrow and look for a couple of early wickets.”

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