Essex and Somerset in County Championship title decider

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Essex's Sir Alastair (left) leads the chase to the boundary chasing a ball during day one of Specsavers County Championship Division One match at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 5, 2019. See PA story CRICKET Hampshire. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use without prior written consent of the ECB. Still image use only. No moving images to emulate broadcast. No removing or obscuring of sponsor logos.

Fancy one more dramatic plot line to end this incredible summer of cricket? Division One’s top two – Somerset and Essex – meet at Taunton to decide the winner of the County Championship.


FOLLOW: Somerset v Essex – scorecard


 

Both teams have the chance to secure two trophies after memorable seasons.

T20 Blast winners Essex – who last one the Division One title in 2017 – have a 12-point lead over One-Day Cup winners Somerset, who are chasing their first Championship title.

Meanwhile, three counties – Northants, Gloucestershire and Glamorgan – are in contention for the two promotion places to go up behind Lancashire, who were crowned Division Two champions and return to the top flight at the first time of asking.

Somerset and Essex have been Division One’s pacesetters for most of the season, but the lead has changed hands twice in the closing month in an engaging title race.

Essex reclaimed top spot after an innings victory against Surrey coupled with Somerset’s dramatic defeat by Hampshire last week.

Many neutrals would probably want to see Somerset add a first County Championship to their Lord’s One-Day Cup success in May before club stalwart Marcus Trescothick retires this winter.

Somerset – who will have spinner Jack Leach back from England duty – will need victory on home soil to make that happen.

Essex’s South African spinner Simon Harmer has played a key role again this season as the Championship’s leading wicket-taker, having claimed 78 scalps at 18.12 apiece.

The T20 skipper was the hero for Essex on finals day as he took 4-19 in the semi-final, 3-16 in the final and then hit a match-winning 18 runs from seven balls to finally see off holders Worcestershire.