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‘Unforgettable day’ for Essex hero Cook

PUBLISHED: 11:08 23 September 2017 | UPDATED: 11:08 23 September 2017

Sam Cook of Essex celebrates taking a wicket with James Foster (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Sam Cook of Essex celebrates taking a wicket with James Foster (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

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

Essex fast bowler Sam Cook admitted his first five-wicket haul in first-class cricket would live long in the memory.

Cook claimed 5-18 as champions Essex skittled Hampshire for 76 to claim a 108-run victory at the Ageas Bowl.

And their success was even more impressive given the fact Essex had been dismissed for 76 in their first innings and made to follow-on.

Cook said: “It is an unbelievable feeling and a day I won’t forget about after we won the game from a position we looked out of it.

“It just shows how amazing the fight has been all season and I am chuffed to take my first five-for.

“Winning after following on doesn’t happen every day, we were under the pump a bit following on after getting rolled out in difficult circumstances.

“We have had an amazing season as a team but it keeps getting better and better.”

Kyle Abbott (6-20) had done most of the damage in Essex’s first innings, in reply to Hampshire’s 254, but Dan Lawrence hit a century second time around and shared 147 with Ravi Bopara (57).

James Foster (47) and Neil Wagner (44) then put on 82 to help lift the total to 362 and set Hampshire a target of 185 to win.

Cook and Jamie Porter (2-21) reduced the hosts to 29-6, with Simon Harmer and Wagner (2-17) getting in on the act to leave them 56-9.

Edwards was the last man to fall as Cook clinched a win that leaves unbeaten Essex 69 points clear of Surrey going into the last match of the season against Yorkshire next week.

Cook added: “At first you come into the environment and get lost in it but I think I have done well to treat it like playing any other game.

“It is an amazing environment to thrive in with everyone so happy after winning the championship.

“‘Silvers’ talked about the 1992 following on win against Hampshire in the dressing room a few days ago when we were a few wickets down and looking down in the dumps.

“He said ‘this happened 25 years ago, why can’t it happen again?’ and it just sums up our season as a whole that history has repeated itself.”

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