Essex on the brink of title win

Essex are on the brink of claiming their first County Championship title in 25 years after beating Warwickshire by an innings and 56 runs.

Having earned a 168-run first innings lead on day two at Edgbaston, Essex skittled Warwickshire for 112 on day three with Jamie Porter, Sam Cook and Simon Harmer sharing the wickets.

The result means that Essex will be crowned champions if Lancashire fail to win against Somerset at Taunton while Warwickshire now look destined to be relegated from Division One.

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Even if Lancashire, who are currently following on, secure an unlikely win, Essex will require just eight points from their final two games to guarantee top spot and a first red-ball trophy since 1992.

Warwickshire began day three on 7-0, still trailing by 161, but lost both openers inside the first three overs of the day; Porter inducing an edge from Dominic Sibley (3) before trapping Sam Hain (11) lbw.

Sam Cook then got in on the act to dismiss former England pair Jonathan Trott (6) and Ian Bell (5) within the space of two overs as Warwickshire slipped to 25-4.

A sharp catch from Ravi Bopara at leg gully saw Chris Woakes (13) dismissed, giving Harmer his first wicket and the off-spinner removed Alex Mellor (4) soon afterwards for his second.

Porter (3-37) returned to have Keith Barker (0) caught behind and Harmer had Matt Lamb (35) caught in the deep to leave Warwickshire with just two wickets remaining and requiring another 86 to make Essex bat again.

Cook (3-42) claimed his third wicket as Dan Lawrence took a superb catch over his shoulder running back from gully to dismiss Jeetan Patel (19).

It was left to Harmer (4-25) to take the final wicket, Henry Brookes (11) caught bat-pad by Varun Chopra to leave Essex within touching distance of the title.

skysports.com

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