Tudor sets up Essex

Alex Tudor turned in his best performance for four years to enable Essex to take a firm grip on their Liverpool Victoria County Championship match against Somerset at Southend.

Alex Tudor turned in his best performance for four years to enable Essex to take a firm grip on their Liverpool Victoria County Championship match against Somerset at Southend.

The 28-year-old fast bowler emerged with figures of five for 67 in 19 overs as the visitors were bowled out for 133 to finish 119 adrift on first innings.

By the close Essex had stretched their advantage by a further 208 for the loss of four wickets and are now firm favourites to go on and collect their fifth Second Division success of the campaign.

It was the first time since August 2002, when Tudor was with Surrey, that the former England fast bowler had taken five wickets in an innings.


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Since then Tudor has been plagued by a knee injury that threatened his career and led to Surrey releasing him at the end of the 2004 season.

“I owe so much to Essex for giving me a chance when I was beginning to fear my career was over,” said Tudor.

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“They looked after me in terms of putting me in touch with the right people to try and get things sorted out and things are starting to work out well.

“I've still a little way to go but I feel I'm getting stronger all the time and now feel I have a future in the game.

“I've now played six championship games in a row and it's some considerable time since I've managed that. So that shows things are starting to go my way.”

Tudor took full advantage of a pitch of variable bounce to pose all sorts of problems after Somerset had resumed on 57 for three.

After a delayed start of 75 minutes because of rain, Tudor quickly made up for lost time by taking all four wickets that fell before lunch.

Those arrived during a 27-ball spell costing 11 runs, starting when he bowled Cameron White for 26.

Wes Durston, Peter Trego and Carl Gazzard quickly followed him back to the pavilion before Tudor completed his five-wicket haul by getting rid of Mike Munday.

Darren Gough provided Tudor with fine support, finishing with four for 41 - the last of those wickets coming when he had opener Neil Edwards caught behind off a top-edged hook for a determined 44.

Mark Pettini and Grant Flower then put together their second half-century partnership of the game when Essex went in again.

Both were dismissed before the century was raised but Andy Flower ensured Essex's dominance was maintained with a fluent 60 from 64 deliveries that contained nine fours. Skipper Ronnie Irani was unbeaten with 30.

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