Photos: John Heald Photography


Yorkshire secured a stunning Specsavers County Championship victory over champions Essex at Chelmsford as they comfortably defended a 238 target to win by 91 runs.

Essex started day three on 97-4 and were bowled out for 146 inside 90 minutes of play.

They even lost four wickets in 23 balls without addition to slip from 114-4 to 114-8 to all but end their chances of victory, with Ben Coad taking three of them.

Steve Patterson finished with career best figures of 6-40 from 18 overs in his first match of the season having suffered a broken finger last month.

Yorkshire take 19 points from their second win in four this summer, and it happened having been bowled out for 50 in the first innings.

This was Essex’s first defeat in the Championship since being beaten here by Glamorgan in September 2016, and they take just three points.

For Yorkshire, this was their lowest first-innings winning total for 96 years when they beat Sussex at Hove in 1922 having been bowled out for 42.

After Joe Root bowled the opening over of the day, Coad put the White Rose on track with two wickets in the seventh over of the morning, the 39th, when he trapped Ryan ten Doeschate lbw for 34 and had James Foster caught behind for a duck.

That left Essex at 114-6, needing 124 more.

At that stage, all six Essex wickets had fallen to a bowler taking two wickets in an over, something Patterson did twice after tea on day three.

Coad then struck in his next when he trapped Simon Harmer lbw without further addition to the score, meaning Essex had lost three wickets on 114.

And that became four when Patterson completed his five-wicket haul by bowling Dan Lawrence for 32 – 114-8 after 42 overs.

Patterson also claimed Essex’s ninth wicket and his sixth when he trapped Jamie Porter lbw for 3, leaving the score at 126-9 in the 48th.

It was Patterson’s first haul of five wickets or more since June 2016 when he took his previous career best of 6/56 against Durham at the Riverside.

Tim Bresnan wrapped the win up when he trapped Peter Siddle lbw for 24 at the end of the 53rd over.

This was a remarkable match and a great advert for County Championship cricket.

Twenty wickets fell before tea on day one before Yorkshire, who conceded a lead of 92, responded superbly with the bat to close on 161-2.

The decision to promote Jonny Bairstow to open the batting in the second innings proved to be the turning point, with him scoring a belligerent 50 to put the pressure back on buoyant Essex.

Harry’s Brook’s maiden first-team century, a superb 124, will live long in the memory given that nobody else made it beyond 50 for either side.

Yorkshire face Surrey at the Oval from Friday in their fifth match of the season, the last before the break for the Royal London one-day Cup.

England duo Bairstow and Root are available once again before the start of the international summer.

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