Nick Browne ready to get back into action for Essex at Surrey

Essex's Nick Browne in action. Picture: ARCHANT

Essex's Nick Browne in action. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Su Anderson

The left-handed opener was able to raise his bat for the first time this season after digging in for a gritty 50 in his last innings, against Surrey last week. It was only the second time in eight Specsavers County Championship innings he had scored more than his first-class career average, which hovers in the mid-forties.

Essex resume tomorrow (11am) after an 11-day break in the fixtures with the second of back-to-back games against Surrey, with 26-year-old Browne admitting: “It was nice to get away from cricket for a bit.

“I suppose you want to keep playing when you’ve got some runs, but for me at the moment it was quite nice to just get away from it and start again. I’ll take the confidence of that last innings into this one. I’ve hit plenty of balls in the last couple of days, so I feel ready to go.”

Browne has put 198 runs on the board in the four-day game, only once failing to make it to double-figures, but rarely moving beyond the teens. His painstaking 52 in the draw against Surrey took 152 balls and spanned nearly three hours.

He admitted: “I haven’t scored the runs this year that I wanted to. I actually thought I felt OK, but I’m disappointed I haven’t got the results to show for it.

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“Every time I’ve made a mistake I’ve got out. I keep picking out fielders; when you’re in-form it bypasses them. Hopefully a big score is just around the corner.”

For quarter-of-an-hour under ten hours in the first Surrey clash, Browne chased balls from Kumar Sangakkara’s bat around Chelmsford as the Sri Lankan finished with a combined 284 runs from two innings, but 16 short of a record sixth consecutive Championship century.

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At Guildford this weekend he will be looking for his one hundredth hundred in all cricket, as well as the 124 runs to take him past one thousand runs in the competition this season.

Browne said: “It would be nice to get him out early this time! Hopefully we can take our chances if one goes to hand. Without Sangakkara I think we would have steamrolled them.”

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