Jamie Porter and Simon Harmer star as title chasers Essex dominate at Warwickshire

Essex's Jamie Porter claimed four wickets on day one at Warwickshire. Picture: PA SPORT

Essex's Jamie Porter claimed four wickets on day one at Warwickshire. Picture: PA SPORT - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Essex’s leading wicket-takers Jamie Porter and Simon Harmer plundered four more apiece as the Division One leaders dominated bottom-of-the-table Warwickshire on the opening day of their Specsavers County Championship match at Edgbaston, writes Brian Halford.

Porter took four for 62 and Harmer four for 47, taking their season’s haul to 61 and 59 respectively, as the home side was bowled out for 201.

Only opener Dom Sibley, last out for 76, showed the necessary resolve and technique against aggressive, accurate bowling which was rewarded by seven lbw dismissals.

Essex reached 69 without loss behind openers Varun Chopra and Nick Browne at the close of the first day of a match which could conclude with them crowned champions and their opponents consigned to relegation.

The last time Essex visited Edgbaston in the championship, in August 2010, a seven-wicket defeat condemned them to the drop. This time a much happier outcome is in prospect for the visitors.

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Porter said of the day’s play: “All four bowlers used did really well. Sam Cook hit a good length early on and nagged away and Harmy did what he does pretty much week in and week out, challenging that forward defence with a bit of spin and he got the rewards he deserved. “Wags bowled really well as well and took a vital wicket. I felt good and it came out pretty well. My job with the new ball as a strike bowler is to knock over a couple early on if I can and I managed to do that.

“You only get one new ball a game, at least only one when you are fresh, so you have got to make the most of it so it was nice to do my job.

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“Then our openers did really well in the last season. It was typically Browney, he doesn’t really give much away and left well and when they came to him he took advantage of any loose balls on offer.

“Chopra looked top-drawer and was more aggressive so it was a nice partnership.”

Warwickshire’s Sibley, staying positive despite their challenging day, said: “If we can come out firing tomorrow and get a couple of early wickets then we can get right back in the game, 100 per cent.”

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