Durham’s flakey 99 no match as Essex turn up the heat

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The recovery felt very much from the traditional Essex songbook with a match grasped by virtue of an enterprising counter-attack. If Dan Lawrence spends the summer with England they look a quality batsman short of retaining their title and will need several more forays of this type before the summer is out.They also have a pressing need for this win. It would take them 19 points clear of Durham, but one or both of Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire, who are contesting a close match at Edgbaston, would also remain in range. And Essex, critically, will have only two matches left after this round whilst all their closest challengers have three.The lbw count was up to 12 by the time Essex began their second innings and Durham’s innings had ended with Chris Rushworth playing a perfect defensive shot against a Porter delivery which crept under his bat and scudded into his shin.By lunch, that tally of lbws was up to 14, Nick Browne and Tom Westley both undone, and Rushworth had bowled Alastair Cook with one that left him. A lunch score of 15 for 3 in 10 overs demanded a more enterprising approach, but Michael Pepper and Paul Walter flared only briefly before falling in successive overs and it was left to ten Doeschate and Wheater to pick up their cue.Ten Doeschate became lbw no 15 when he failed to turn Carse to leg, but Wheater was closing in on his 13th first-class century when he ran himself out for 81, driving Scott Borthwick to mid-on and left inches short by an excellent pick up and throw from Matty Potts.Jamie PorterSam CookAdam WheaterRyan ten DoeschateDurhamEssexEssex vs DurhamCounty Championship

David Hopps writes on county cricket for ESPNcricinfo @davidkhopps

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