Simon Harmer takes 14 wickets as leaders Essex see off sorry Warwickshire
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Simon Harmer blasted a massive hole in the Warwickshire batting at Chelmsford to take the first 14-wicket haul of his career and move Essex clear at the top of the Specsavers County Championship.
Harmer took eight second-innings wickets for 36 runs, career-best figures for an innings, to finish with figures of 14 for 128.
He took seven wickets on an overcast fourth day as Warwickshire collapsed as they chased 258 to make Essex bat again.
The bottom club fell 164 runs short and suffered their fourth innings loss of the season.
Neil Wagner, playing his last game for the county before he steps aside to accommodate Mohammad Amir as overseas player, claimed the first wicket of the day before Harmer took over.
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The New Zealand Test seamer removed Ian Bell in the eighth over of the morning to reduce Warwickshire to 47 for three. Bell had edged one just short of Alastair Cook at first slip before he got a thinner touch to give the diving James Foster the catch.
Harmer bowled 39 overs, almost unchanged, on the day before, and entered the fray after Bell’s departure.
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With his sixth ball, he had Andrew Umeed moving back indecisively and falling lbw. Two Harmer balls later, Sam Hain’s attempt to check the sweep he planned resulted in him popping up a catch to Ryan ten Doeschate at short leg.
Harmer was as parsimonious as ever, though when he gave one a bit of width, Rikki Clarke drove crisply through the covers for four. With Tim Ambrose, Clarke put a brake on the Essex charge for 16 overs before another clatter of wickets.
Clarke went controversially to a ball that pitched well outside off-stump and looked aghast at the decision; Ambrose threw his bat to the ground in frustration.
Keith Barker then tried to paddle a delivery away, got a top edge and was caught behind by Foster.
Jeetan Patel, took successive boundaries off Harmer before he became the latest lbw victim on his back foot.
Boyd Rankin was Harmer’s 13th scalp of the match, while Sunny Singh did not last long, stretching forward and edging to Cook at slip to complete a dream match for Harmer.