Cricket: Harmer hails Essex win over Hampshire
PUBLISHED: 08:30 02 September 2018
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Essex spinner Simon Harmer hailed the efforts of his team-mates after their victory over Hampshire at Chelmsford.
The defending county champions won by an innings & 52 runs, having lost the entire first day’s play due to the wet weather.
And Harmer, who finished with match figures of 6-86, said: “It took a massive effort from the group to play the cricket that we wanted to play, to bat first and look to bat big and then bowl them out twice.
“It was the only way we were going to win the game. It was a tremendous team performance and it was good to see the batting unit putting up the runs so that the bowlers could take care of the rest.
“I don’t think there was enough in the wicket for us to really bowl them out quickly, but they did dig in and hung around. It was a relief to get the wicket right at the end there – it could have been squeaky bums in the last few overs.”
Dan Lawrence hit a century as Essex made 435, before Australian seamer Peter Siddle claimed match figures of 7-70 from 36 overs.
And Harmer was happy to play a supporting role, from whichever end of the ground, as he added: “Siddle has been a special addition this season and he showed his class again in this game. I don’t think the wicket deteriorated or played as we thought it would. We thought it would turn more than it did. It was quite dead and it was hard work.
“With ‘Sidds’ always coming back and getting vital breakthroughs, it made our job a helluva lot easier.
“Berg was hit into the river with the ball that was seven overs old and then it got changed. We didn’t think it was a fair representation of the condition the ball was in. So it took away our trump card because we always knew it was going to be the new-ball [that would be key] but with me being hit into the river and getting an older ball and not a brand-new ball it made it a lot harder than it should have been. There was always the possibility that it they had dug in – and they could have – it might have been interesting.
“My mentality is that if there is something for the bowlers at one end I’ll bowl from the other end. The seamers felt bowling up the hill there was more nip off the wicket and that is why I bowled the majority of my overs from the Hayes Close End.
“I do enjoy bowling from the River End, and I would have liked to have bowled there more this game. It’s clichéd but it’s what the team needed. It was a team decision. It wasn’t the end of the world and it worked out okay.”
*An Essex XI are set to visit Upminster for their annual benefit match on Sunday. The T20 contest begins at 3pm, but there is a softball festival and colts match taking place at Upminster Park before the main action, with refreshments available all day.