Essex v Somerset: Jamie Porter propels Division One leaders closer to title
|Specsavers County Championship Division One, The Cloudfm County Ground (day four):|
|Essex 159 & 293: Wheater 88, Browne 83, ten Doeschate 67; C Overton 3-68|
|Somerset 164: Hildreth 51; Porter 5-40 & 109: C Overton 36; Porter 7-55, Harmer 3-29|
|Essex (19 pts) beat Somerset (3 pts) by 179 runs|
Jamie Porter claimed a career-best 7-55 for match figures of 12-95, as Essex beat Somerset to propel the Division One leaders nearer the title.
Despite being without the injured Mohammad Amir, Essex's seventh win in 10 County Championship matches leaves them 36 points clear of second-placed Lancashire with four matches left.
Resuming on 158-4, Adam Wheater made 88 as Essex were bowled out for 293.
Porter and Simon Harmer then skittled Somerset for 109 to win by 179 runs.
South Africa Test spinner Harmer finished with 3-29 at Chelmsford as he and fast bowler Porter both passed 50 Championship wickets for the season in this match to take their combined tally to 105 - 53 for Harmer, 52 for Porter.
That sets up next week's meeting at Old Trafford with Lancashire, who gained a little ground this week with their maximum point-haul against bottom club Warwickshire.
Despite completing their fifth straight Championship win, Essex took only 19 points from the match, having failed to pick up any batting bonus points.
After being bowled out inside 38 overs, Somerset remain second bottom, 23 points adrift of sixth-placed Yorkshire going into next week's trip to Edgbaston to play Warwickshire.
Essex were without Ryan ten Doeschate in the final session, the skipper having left to return to South Africa for family reasons.
Porter's 12-wicket match haul included twice claiming the scalp of one of his boyhood heroes, 41-year-old Somerset opener Marcus Trescothick.
Jamie Porter told BBC Radio Essex:
"He's one I love to get. He was a hero growing up and to get him twice in the game is a special feeling. It was 2005 I really got into the game - watching him play in the Ashes, how much he pretty much dominated Test cricket for a time.
"Just to be playing against him is special. It was nice to get Tres second ball, but to win the game is the best feeling. It really gives us a boost going to Old Trafford next week. This win puts us in a hell of a position at the top."
"We knew we only had two sessions to go all out and we gave them everything we had. The wicket was pretty dry and when it's dry it goes with the seam. That suits me quite well.
Somerset captain Tom Abell told BBC Radio Bristol:
"You've got to give credit to the way Porter bowled. There was a little bit in the wicket throughout the game and he certainly extracted the most out of it. At the same time, it was a pretty disappointing effort with the bat from us again - not for the first time this season.
"We're not good enough with the bat at the moment, simple as that. Confidence is down, as it would be given the form of a lot of our batting line-up. There's no substitute for runs and time out in the middle. Unfortunately none of our batting line-up have found any rhythm and had any extended period of time at the crease this season.
"It's an issue we're all too aware of. It is all very well trying to address it in the nets and in training, but it is difficult to put it right. From a batting point of view we're constantly under the pump because we're not playing well and we're chasing big scores."