Simon Harmer’s four-wicket burst leaves Hampshire in deep trouble at end of first day of their LV= Insurance County Championship clash at Essex

Simon Harmer spun four evening wickets to entangle Hampshire after Shane Snater’s 71 had dug Essex out of a hole in their LV= Insurance County Championship clash.

By Alex Smith
Sunday, 26th June 2022, 6:51 pm
Essex bowler Simon Harmer took four wickets to leave Hampshire in deep trouble at the end of day one of their County Championship clash at Essex. Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images.
Essex bowler Simon Harmer took four wickets to leave Hampshire in deep trouble at the end of day one of their County Championship clash at Essex. Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images.

All-rounder Snater became Essex’s third-highest Championship run-scorer and recorded his third half-century this season to help Essex recover from 105-7 to 238 all out.

Harmer entered, after Sam Cook nabbed the openers, to bamboozle Hampshire’s batters on a spinning wicket with 4-23 to see the Championship hopefuls slump to 68-6 at the close.

The Cloud County Ground pitches had proven to be slow and incredibly flat thus far this season – resulting in three bore draws. As such, Harmer had only taken 12 wickets in the Championship this season.

This was a renaissance to the wickets prepared in the last half a decade or so and brought great success to Essex, and Harmer.

Kyle Abbott and Keith Barker, in particular, found good bounce off a length, while Liam Dawson and Harmer would get good turn.

It wasn't a surprise 16 wickets fell in the day.

Hampshire’s opening duo of Felix Organ and Holland have been fallible throughout the season, so the former falling in the first over – edging to a juggling first slip Alastair Cook – and the latter in the ninth was hardly atypical.

Harmer was unsurprisingly introduced from the River End in the eighth over, and it was equally unsurprising that he had a scalp within seven balls. The only surprising aspect was the manner of the wicket as James Vince danced down, missed the ball and was stumped.

Ten balls later, Dawson dabbed towards short leg but it sat up for wicketkeeper Adam Rossington to grab. Soon after, Nick Gubbins’ otherwise spritely 34 ended when he edged to second slip, Hampshire slipping to 55-5, almost mirroring Essex’s 56-5 earlier in the day.

Aneurin Donald edged his next delivery to short leg, and Barker just about survived a hat-trick ball. Ben Brown and Barker survived the final 29 balls of the day.

Earlier, after Essex had chosen to bat, Nick Browne was bowled on the angle by Abbott for a 14-ball duck, Alastair Cook pushed Barker to third slip and Dan Lawrence was lbw to Brad Wheal to leave Essex 17-3.

Tom Westley held things together with a leg-side dominant 46 and partnerships of 40 with Paul Walter and 47 with Adam Rossington – with Walter and Michael Pepper falling within three Ian Holland balls.

Rossington and Westley also fell in quick succession – bowled by an Abbott ripper and lbw to Dawson, respectively – to leave the hosts 105 for seven.

Nine days ago, Snater was a part of the Netherlands’ bowling attack which was flailed for a world record 498 by England in Amstelveen. He went for 99 runs, although he picked up the wicket of his cousin Jason Roy, before getting tanked for 26 in 19 balls two days later.

His fortunes spun around as he counter-attacked with some style. Much of his scoring could be described as agricultural but bordered into inventiveness with a sublime duck-come-uppercut before hooking and straight-smashing a pair of sixes.

Snater’s fifty came in 47 balls while putting on 59 with Harmer, 58 with Aaron Beard and, after he had lifted to 71, the final two put on 16 – in total, the final three wickets were worth an invaluable 133 runs.

Essex 238 lead Hampshire 68/6 by 170 runs