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Essex v Yorkshire: Harmer happy to help with bat

PUBLISHED: 10:30 26 September 2017

Simon Harmer in batting action for Essex (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Simon Harmer in batting action for Essex (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

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

Essex spinner Simon Harmer admitted it felt good to contribute with the bat on day one of their Specsavers County Championship clash with Yorkshire.

The South African scored his maiden half-century for the champions, hitting 11 fours in his 76-ball 64 as the home side made 227 at Chelmsford.

And he shared important lower-order stands with Neil Wagner and Jamie Porter after Essex had slipped to 142-7 against the relegation-threatened visitors.

He said: “I’ve been waiting to contribute with the bat all season. It was nice to score some runs and some runs when it counted. It was quite a tough pitch, surprisingly, to bat on. I guess today was my day and I managed to cash in and contribute.

“Every time you walk out to bat there is an opportunity for you to do well. I’ve been struggling technically with a few things, but I’ve been working hard with Anthony McGrath, and it was small reward for some of that.

“I’ve always considered myself an all-rounder! No, it was just reward for some of the work that has gone in behind the scenes, working hard with ‘Mags’. It has been frustrating and a lot of bruises and today it all finally came together.”

Yorkshire are set to begin their reply on Tuesday morning and Harmer believes the Essex attack can have more success.

Jamie Porter has taken 70 wickets in the competition so far this season, while Sam Cook’s maiden five-wicket haul helped secure victory at Hampshire last week.

Harmer added: “The wicket is going to suit Jamie and Sam to a ‘T’ and hopefully ‘Wags’ can create some footmarks that I can bowl into late on or in the second innings.

“We spoke to trying to get to 220 so it was a good total from the position we were in. It’s not a 400 wicket, 200-250 is par, so we’ve done well.”

Of the injury scare over Ashes hopeful Tom Westley, who went to hospital for an x-ray after being hit on the thumb but suffered no broken bones, Harmer said: “He needed to go off for a scan obviously. He has got bigger things that await hopefully, we just needed to make sure there was nothing wrong. The scan didn’t show up anything major. I think he will be good to go.

“He’s a massive cog in our batting line-up and it would be a massive loss of he’d done any serious damage, but thankfully he didn’t. He’s back in the changing room, back to his normal self – full of rubbish!”

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