Jamie Porter and Simon Harmer put leaders Essex on top at Edgbaston

12 September 2017 08:23

Jamie Porter and Simon Harmer once again rose to the fore for Division One leaders Essex as they took a firm grip on their Specsavers County Championship encounter with rock-bottom Warwickshire.

The Essex bowlers are the top two wicket-takers in the division this year and took their combined tally to 120 with four scalps apiece as Warwickshire were all out for 201, having lost the toss at Edgbaston.

Paceman Porter made the first two breakthroughs and ended the innings with four for 62 by removing obdurate opener Dominic Sibley, whose anchoring 76 from 183 balls at least prevented complete collapse.

Harmer, meanwhile, finished with four for 47 to take his haul of wickets for the season to 59 before Essex - 36 points clear of Lancashire at the top of the table - closed on 69 without loss.

Varun Chopra looked in supreme touch against a Warwickshire attack including Chris Woakes as he ended the day on 42no to leave Essex 132 runs behind after day one.

Mark Stoneman boosted his chances of retaining his place as England opener for this winter's Ashes series with an assured 131 for Surrey against a toiling Yorkshire at The Oval.

Stoneman failed to make a compelling case for keeping hold of his spot alongside Alastair Cook against the West Indies but did so on Tuesday with 22 fours in an excellent 171-ball innings after Surrey had opted to bat first.

There were also significant returns for Rory Burns (75), Kumar Sangakkara (85no) and Ben Foakes (64no) as Surrey racked up an imposing 398 for three in their first match back at their south London home since a crossbow bolt which landed on the field of play led to the abandonment of last month's encounter with Middlesex in the final session.

Steven Davies proved to be a thorn in Lancashire's side as his 111 carried Somerset to 330 for nine at Taunton.

The hosts were struggling on 105 for four having been put into bat when Davies walked to the crease but the wicketkeeper-batsman shared a 119-run stand with captain Tom Abell before going to three figures late in the day.

The opening day of Middlesex's contest with Hampshire was wiped out by unfit playing conditions at Uxbridge.

Heavy rain on Monday evening ran down the slope at the Park Road sports complex and crept under the covers and sheets leaving umpires Graham Lloyd and Russell Evans with little option but to call things off after their second inspection at 11am.

In Division Two, promotion-chasing Worcestershire were held up by Neil Dexter's unbeaten 102 as Leicestershire amassed 325 for seven at New Road. Captain Mark Cosgrove also frustrated the Pears with a fine 74.

Derbyshire captain Billy Godleman and opener Luis Reece made joint top scores of 51 to help their side to 338 for nine against Sussex at Hove.

Richard Gleeson's five for 60 helped restrict Glamorgan to 207 all out before Northamptonshire closed on 59 for two in Cardiff while Cameron Bancroft's 124no carried Gloucestershire to 242 for five against Kent in Bristol.

Source: PA