Cricket

Recent Match Report – Essex vs Durham Group 1 2021

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One of the world’s most boring records takes Essex closer to shot at title defence

Essex 182 and 301 (Wheater 81, ten Doeschate 55, Raine 5-64) beat Durham 99 (Cook 4-38, Porter 3-27, Siddle 3-29) and 189 (Lees 48, Porter 4-31, Siddle 3-47) by 195 runs

As far as the County Championship is concerned, the relevance of Essex’s 189-win victory over Durham is that, with time running out, it has energised the defence of their title. But the ramifications go far wider, especially for cricket statisticians, who can be guaranteed to be in a stage of high excitement after the contest set a new record for the number of lbws in a first-class match in England.

As many as 19 lbws were awarded by umpires David Millns and James Middlebrook at Chester-le-Street and it should be said in these days of video replays that, for the neutral observer, the overwhelming majority looked bang to rights.

That England (and Wales) record was beaten on a glorious sun-drenched evening in England’s most northerly first-class cricketing outpost when Jack Burnham, a former England U19 batsman suffering hard times, was struck in front by the former Australian international Peter Siddle. Burnham’s meaningful shrug appeared to be somewhat defeatist after Durham had battled grimly for much of the day against the spectre of near-inevitable defeat.
To discover a first-class match with more lbws it was necessary, according to the Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians, to turn to Guyana v Jamaica last year, which jointly holds the all-time record along with the West Indies v Pakistan Test in Guyana in 2011, both of them played at Providence Stadium. It is hard to suppress the ignoble thought that Guyana and Chester-le-Street are blood brothers, being the Test venues that many in authority would prefer to ignore.
Ultimately this contest had to settle, globally, for joint second spot, alongside two India first-class matches – Patiala’s match against Delhi in 1953-54 and a more recent clash between Uttar Pradesh and Railways in Lucknow four years ago.

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