Silverwood wants Essex to maintain solid start to County Championship season

Chris Silverwood

Chris Silverwood

Division Two leaders Essex begin their latest County Championship match tomorrow. at home to Northants, looking to maintain their place at the top of the fledgling table.

Boosted by the inclusion of Alastair Cook and the wickets of in-form duo Graham Napier and Jamie Porter, Essex have made a fine start to their new camapign, defeating Gloucestershire at Chelmsford by 10 wickets a fortnight ago, before drawing a hugely-competitive match at Sussex on Wednesday.

Tomorrow’s opponents have drawn their only game of the season so far and will be without the services of ex-Essex spinner Monty Panesar, while David Masters and Aaron Beard have been added to the hosts’ squad.

New head coach Chris Silverwood has been delighted by his side’s start to the season, and hopes they can maintain their standards, starting on Sunday.

Silverwood told the club’s website: “We’ve made a pleasing start to the season, the lads have been in the runs throughout the order with good partnerships all the way down so we’ll be hoping that will continue.

“From the bowling perspective, we’ll look to keep pushing forward from the start we’ve made in that department.

“We’ve been very good at stages in all our games and we’ve just got to keep learning and keep driving ourselves on and making sure that whatever we do, it’s to the best of our ability.”

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After the demolition against Gloucestershire, Essex were made to battle hard in their game against Sussex, at Hove, Cook’s unbeaten 127 helping the visitors to 266 for seven at the close.

“There were a lot of good things that came out of the four days at Hove, it was a really tough hard-fought game of cricket as we knew it would be,” Silverwood added.

“But it was really enjoyable and a great advert for Championship cricket. We had to dig deep at times, possibly deeper than we’ve had to do for some time but the good thing was that we found a way to get back into the game each time.

“We always found solutions and somebody always came to the fore.

“The bowling partnership between ‘Napes’ and Jamie Porter in the last session of the third day epitomised what this team is all about now. They dug in, put their bodies on the line and did a terrific job for us.”

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