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Essex v Lancashire: Foster focused on fighting for win

PUBLISHED: 09:23 22 April 2018 | UPDATED: 09:23 22 April 2018

James Foster of Essex raises his bat to celebrate reaching his fifty (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

James Foster of Essex raises his bat to celebrate reaching his fifty (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Essex's James Foster says the defending champions have work to do to complete a win over Lancashire at Chelmsford.

James Foster hits out for Essex against Lancashire (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)James Foster hits out for Essex against Lancashire (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

The 38-year-old wicketkeeper top scored with 69 as the hosts set their rivals 320 to win, with two days still left to play.

Foster shared a vital century stand with South African spinner Simon Harmer, who fell just short of his own half-century, after Essex had dismissed Lancashire for 144 in reply to their first innings score of 150.

But Foster said: “I’m not sure if it’s going to be a winning total. I think it’s a good score, but I still feel we have to bowl exceptionally well. They’re a very good side, a very good batting line-up. We’re going to have to keep it very simple and deliver the goods.

“It is probably advantage to us at the moment, but that means nothing – we have to execute our skills if we want to win this game.

Simon Harmer hits four runs for Essex (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Simon Harmer hits four runs for Essex (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

“In theory they’ve got two days to knock them off. It’s going to be hard work for them, but it’s going to be hard work for us, too. If we get it right it’s going to be tough for them. But they are a very good outfit.”

Foster has been around long enough to know what Essex need to do to collect their first win of the season.

Jamie Porter and Harmer took five wickets each in Lancashire’s first innings and will be key figures with the ball once again.

“It’s the old classic,” he added. “Make them play forward defence, hit top of off – I’ve heard that in a few meetings – but the new-ball is going to be absolutely crucial. We’re obviously in a very good position, but it’s not a foregone conclusion.

“Harmer and Porter are an awesome pair and they got the wickets in the first innings, but I think you have to remember that Peter Siddle bowled phenomenally well, too. That is the game: sometimes you bowl well and you don’t get the rewards, so fingers crossed he’ll pick them up second dig.”

As for his own contribution with the bat, the former England international, Foster said: “It has got a bit easier compared to how it was on that first day. It was a little bit softer on top so it would nip a bit more.

“But I thought they came in really hard before the new-ball was taken. Jordan Clark came in and bowled good pace with the old ball. He swung it and was really impressive. We’re going to have to fight very hard.”

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