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First session crucial for Essex says McGrath

PUBLISHED: 07:42 22 August 2018 | UPDATED: 07:42 22 August 2018

Essex head coach Anthony McGrath (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Essex head coach Anthony McGrath (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

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

Essex head coach Anthony McGrath admits his side face a crucial first session on day four of their County Championship Division One match against Somerset at Taunton.

Nick Browne and Tom Westley add to the Essex total (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Nick Browne and Tom Westley add to the Essex total (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

The defending champions closed on 147-1 on Tuesday, with Nick Browne (75) and Tom Westley (43) both unbeaten after the loss of Varun Chopra (24), and need another 189 runs for victory.

But McGrath knows anything could still happen on the final day and said: “I’m never surprised by cricket because it always throws up weird and wonderful games such as this. Going into the fourth day both teams are both very much in the hunt.

“The first session will be vital and if Somerset get early wickets we are going to be under pressure because there is still a lot to get. However, the way that Nick Browne and Tom Westley batted showed you can get runs on this wicket.

“I thought that Nick and Tom really batted superbly for us. I also thought that Somerset and, in particular Leach, bowled really well. It has been a fantastic day of county cricket.”

Somerset’s Jason Kerr agreed with his opposite number, adding: “Traditionally here the third day is a really good wicket and in the evening session it tends to flatten out, so the first session will be crucial.

“There was a real opportunity for us to make a huge score and make sure there was only one winner. However we got a lot of starts and Eddie Byrom played really well, but nobody went on to post that really big score and it has left the game in the balance.

“Jack Leach bowled beautifully for us and one of the things we pride ourselves on here is going for under three an over through the summer. He was the only bowler to do that. We only bowled five maidens, of which Jack bowled four, and it’s great to see him back.”

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