County Championship: Critchley and Walter hit fifties as Essex build lead over Notts

Home » County Championship: Critchley and Walter hit fifties as Essex build lead over Notts
Vitality County Championship Division One, Trent Bridge (day three)
Essex 253 & 329-8: Walter 79, Critchley 68; Hutton 3-73
Nottinghamshire 293: Clarke 104; Cook 4-59
Essex (4 pts) lead Notts (4 pts) by 289 runs

Nottinghamshire look set for a 300-plus target on the last day of their County Championship game against Essex at Trent Bridge after the visitors hauled themselves out of a tricky situation.

At 129-5 shortly before lunch – just 89 runs in front – Essex looked to be in danger of slipping to defeat within three days.

But after Paul Walter (79) and Matt Critchley (68) fought back in a 132-run partnership for the sixth wicket, Tom Westley’s team were 289 in front at 329-8 when rain forced an early close.

Nottinghamshire will fancy their chances if they can take the last two wickets quickly, while Essex would be favourites if they can stretch their advantage towards 350 on an intriguing final day.

Essex started Sunday 25 runs ahead on 65-1 but neither of the players who supplied the bedrock of their first-innings score were able to make a similar contribution second time around.

Dean Elgar fell to a corker from Lyndon James, the ball somehow rattling off the South African’s wrist and thigh pad before leaving the three stumps spectacularly leaning in different directions.

Hutton struck with his first two balls of the day, nightwatchman Sam Cook and Jordan Cox both nicking behind to Joe Clarke.

Critchley survived Hutton’s hat-trick attempt before Essex suffered a further setback when Westley feathered a Dillon Pennington delivery to leave his side in potential peril at 129-5.

Walter joined Critchley to plot a safe passage to lunch before taking the lead role in a 31-over afternoon session.

By tea, Essex were 221 to the good and in a strong position before leg-spinner Calvin Harrison struck twice in three overs as Walter edged to slip and Simon Harmer was snapped up by Clarke, his fourth catch of the innings.

Hutton removed Critchley lbw in the fifth over with the new ball as Essex lost their eighth wicket, but a late flurry saw them stretch their lead before the rain arrived.

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