Harmer happy to help Essex hammer Hampshire as star turn in a quickfire triumph
PUBLISHED: 08:00 18 June 2019
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Essex spinner Simon Harmer was surprised to see his side secure County Championship victory over Hampshire inside just five sessions this week.
South African Harmer finished with stunning match figures of 12-61 as the 2017 champions won by an innings and eight runs on Monday afternoon.
And he admitted it was a big win for Ryan ten Doeschate's side, who are now seven points behind second-placed Hampshire with a game in hand.
Harmer said: "In retrospect we didn't think it would be over in a day and a half, but it is another massive win for us.
"Chelmsford always turns on days three and four, but this one turned from day one. They could have played better than they did.
"There was turn and bounce with the new ball. They should have been more circumspect.
"They needed to be more patient before taking me on. When it flattened out it would have been easier."
Jamie Porter (2-44) and Sam Cook reduced the visitors to 8-3 in their first innings on Sunday, before Harmer (5-23) and Cook (3-50) shared the remaining seven wickets to dismiss them for 118.
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Essex closed the first day on 147-3 thanks to a half-century from Ravi Bopara (59), who put on 105 with Dan Lawrence (57), but were all out for 214 on day two.
They still had enough on the scoreboard, though, as Porter (2-19) again struck two early blows with the ball to reduce Hampshire to 5-2 before Harmer nabbed a brace to leave them 16-4.
Wickets kept tumbling at regular intervals, as opener Joe Weatherley looked on, and Harmer finished with 7-38 as they were all out for 88 in 30 overs.
"'Ports' got two important wickets on day one and today," added Harmer on Monday.
"(Ajinkya) Rahane is from the sub-continent so I would have been his bread and butter, so that was an important wicket for us.
"I am just trying to concentrate on getting the ball in the right area and grind out wins. Today was my day, but next time could be a different story.
"I need to cash in when I can take them because a dry spell could be around the corner.
"Ravi and Dan batted well last night to give us some momentum. If we had to chase 120 it would have been very tricky and maybe a different story. They gave us a chance to not bat again."
Essex now play host to leaders Somerset on Sunday.