Fixture Type: LV= CC 2
Fixture Date: Tuesday 3 September – Friday 6 September
Start Time: 10:30am
Results: Lost by 8 wickets
Worcestershire endured a difficult opening day against Essex at Chelmsford with the home side, replying to Worcestershire’s 102 all out, on 199-4 at stumps, a lead of 97 runs.
Having won the toss Worcestershire, who made two changes from their previous match against Leicestershire with Ross Whiteley and David Lucas replacing Tilan Samaraweera and Graeme Cessford, started badly as they lost three wickets within the first hour of the day.
Daryl Mitchell was the first to go for 2, with the score on 3, when he edged David Masters to Nick Browne at second slip, Moeen Ali departed for 7 when he mistimed a drive off Graham Napier and was caught by Reece Topley at short mid-wicket and when Matt Pardoe, also for 7, edged Topley to Owais Shah at first slip Worcestershire were 31-3 in the 15th over.
Then the fourth wicket fell before lunch when Tom Fell (15) was trapped lbw off Topley, who then would have had Whiteley out first ball if Shah hadn’t dropped in the slips, as the visitors went to lunch on 73-4.
But after lunch Worcestershire crumbled as they lost their last six wickets for 29 runs. Joe Leach (24) was caught at short mid-wicket by Ryan Ten Doeschate, Michael Johnson (0) was bowled by David Masters and then Topley went on to take career-best figures of 6-29 as he took the wickets of Shaaiq Choudhry, bowled for 1, Jack Shantry, caught at short leg by Ben Foakes for 0, and Whiteley, caught behind by James Foster for 14. Then Masters had Lucas caught by Napier at long-on for 11 to dismiss Worcestershire for 102 off 45.3 overs.
In reply Essex lost Nick Browne early on when he was bowled by Alan Richardson for 0 but Jaik Mickleburgh and Greg Smith soon steadied the ship as they took the home side to 63-1 at tea.
In the evening session the Essex pair showed the visitors how good the wicket was as Smith quickly went to his 50 off 65 balls, with 7 fours, and Mickleburgh being more cautious as he took 81 balls to reach his 50, with 9 fours.
Their second wicket partnership had reached 158 when Mickleburgh top-edged a sweep off Ali and was caught by Mitchell for 65 off 108 balls, with 11 fours. Shah was then lbw to Richardson (2-60 off 16 overs) for 4 and Smith was caught at deep mid-on by Richardson off Ali (2-26 off 9 overs) for 94 off 119 balls, with 12 fours, to leave Essex on 172-4 and then ten Doeschate (16*) and Foakes (11*) added a further 27 runs before stumps.
Worcestershire face a tough ask to avoid defeat after the second day against Essex at Chelmsford, with the visitors ending the day on 163-3 in their second innings, trailing by 86 runs.
Beginning the day on 199-4 Essex added 10 runs until Ryan ten Doeschate (21) edged behind to Michael Johnson off Jack Shantry and then, on 238, James Foster (9) also edged behind to Johnson off David Lucas (1-60 off 13 overs).
But then both Ben Foakes, who went to his 50 off 88 balls, with 7 fours, and Graham Napier stayed out in the middle for the rest of the morning session as they took the home side to lunch on 323-6.
After lunch their seventh wicket partnership had moved on to 92, with Napier hitting a straight six off Shantry to get to his 50 off 70 balls, until Foakes was bowled by Alan Richardson for 71 off 125 balls, with 9 fours.
Then Worcestershire polished off the tail for one run in the space of four balls as David Masters (11) was caught by Joe Leach at mid-on off Richardson (4-92 off 26 overs), Monty Panesar (1) was bowled by Shantry (3-76 off 22.2 overs), who then, next ball, trapped Reece Topley (0) lbw to dismiss Essex for 351 off 89.2 overs, with Napier unbeaten on 64 off 83 balls, with 9 fours and 1 six.
Trailing by 249 runs the Worcestershire opening pair of Daryl Mitchell and Matt Pardoe survived before tea, with the score on 36, and then after tea they took their stand to three figures, with Mitchell taking 108 balls for his 50, before the captain gloved a sweep off Panesar to Owais Shah, running in from slip, for 62 off 123 balls, with 8 fours, with the score on 113.
Pardoe went to his half-century off 120 balls, with his 7th four, before, on 147, Panesar got Moeen Ali (21) to edge to Shah at slip and then in the penultimate over of the day Tom Fell (2) was lbw to Greg Smith as Pardoe ended the day unbeaten on 74 off 160 balls, with 10 fours.
Worcestershire were comprehensively beaten by 8 wickets against Essex on the third day at Chelmsford.
Resuming on 163-3, trailing by 86 runs, Worcestershire suffered two early blows when nightwatchman David Lucas (0) was trapped lbw off Reece Topley, who then three balls later got Joe Leach (4) to edge behind to James Foster, with the score on 173-5.
Matt Pardoe added 14 runs before he was caught by Jaik Mickleburgh at second slip off Ryan ten Doeschate for 88 off 188 balls, with 12 fours, and when Michael Johnson (3) was caught in the covers by ten Doeschate off Topley the visitors were facing an innings defeat on 203-7, trailing by 46 runs.
But Ross Whiteley and Shaaiq Choudhry took Worcestershire into the lead, with a seventh wicket partnership of 67, until Choudhry was out to the final ball before lunch when he edged David Masters to Foster for 34, with the visitors on 270-8.
Whiteley then departed for 38 when he edged the first ball after lunch to Foster off Topley and the left-arm seamer wrapped up the innings as Jack Shantry (12) edged behind to Foster to dismiss Worcestershire for 299 off 91.2 overs, with Topley finishing with 5-56 and match figures of 11-85.
Requiring 51 runs to win the Essex openers Jaik Mickleburgh and Nick Browne put on 45 before Mickleburgh (28) and then Greg Smith (2) were both caught by Moeen Ali at gully off Shaaiq Choudhry (2-7 off 4 overs) but it merely delayed the inevitable as Browne (22*) hit the winning runs to condemn Worcestershire to their sixth Championship defeat of the season.
WORCESTERSHIRE (102 & 299) LOST TO ESSEX (351 & 53-2) BY 8 WICKETS
Worcestershire Team: Daryl Mitchell*, Matt Pardoe, Moeen Ali, Tom Fell, Joe Leach, Ross Whiteley, Michael Johnson+, Shaaiq Choudhry, Jack Shantry, David Lucas, Alan Richardson