Essex will target a solid base with bat before thinking about win, says youngster Cook
PUBLISHED: 09:30 28 June 2018
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Two late wickets on day three of the day-night match set up a potentially intriguing last day at Chelmsford
Essex’s young bowler Sam Cook insists getting a solid base with the bat is the first target for the Specsavers County Championship Division One champions in the final day of their day-night match with Somerset at Chelmsford.
The fixture appeared to be heading for a draw when the visitors were dismissed for 407 with nine overs left.
But Essex saw Tom Westley and Michael Pepper fall before the close to leave them on 17-2 with a lead of 127 runs ahead of today’s last day (2pm start).
With Nick Browne on five not out and Ravi Bopara unbeaten on 11, Cook is hoping they can put together a solid partnership for the first session.
He said: “We’re just going to try and get a solid base with the bat and reassess as the day goes on.
“We don’t want to look too far ahead, but as always we are looking to how we can win this game.
“For the start of the session we have just got to bat really well and then we can reassess from there.”
It was a tough day for Essex in the field, but they weren’t helped by dropped catches in their attempts to make Somerset follow on.
James Hildreth top scored with a 148-ball 78, but had been dropped on 16 in the slips by Tom Westley, which would have left the away side on 159-4 and still 209 runs short of the 368 required to make the hosts bat again.
Another key moment occurred when Somerset were still 46 runs away from safety and Cook felt he had Lewis Gregory caught by Simon Harmer for 11.
The ‘catch’ was ruled not to have carried though, and Gregory went on to score 22 and help the visitors eventually end up on 407.
He was eventually out with the score on 361-8 with Somerset still needing another seven to make Essex bat again and Dom Bess ensured that was the case with an enterprising innings of 35 while Jamie Overton also hit the same score at 10.
When discussing the day, Cook said: “It’s a good wicket and though the pink ball is not offering an awful lot, I thought we stuck together as a team and throughout the whole day we bowled really, really well as a unit.
“There wasn’t a lot of assistant for bowlers, but we stuck to our plans, restricted them in patches and took wickets, which was good.”