County Championship: Essex put themselves in reach of victory versus Nottinghamshire

Essex bowler Simon Harmer's 6-87 against Nottinghamshire are his best figures this season
Essex bowler Simon Harmer's 6-87 against Nottinghamshire are his best figures this season
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Trent Bridge (day three):
Nottinghamshire 177 & 337: Brathwaite 68; Harmer 6-87
Essex 233 & 147-1: Vijay 73*, Westley 45*
Essex (4 pts) need 134 runs to beat Nottinghamshire (3 pts) with nine wickets left

Essex performed well with bat and ball to give them a chance of beating Nottinghamshire on the final day.

Notts captain Steven Mullaney hit his fourth half-century of the season to extend the hosts' advantage.

Simon Harmer took six wickets as Notts were bowled out for 337, leaving the visitors a target of 282 for victory.

After losing Nick Browne for 11 early on, Murali Vijay and Tom Westley put on a 130-run second-wicket stand to leave Essex needing 135 runs to win.

Earlier, Kraigg Brathwaite hit 68, reaching his third half-century in three matches for Nottinghamshire, before he was removed by Harmer 12 overs into day three.

Mullaney passed fifty for the fourth time this season as Notts tried to extend their advantage, but he became Harmer's fifth victim having hit 53.

Harmer's six-wicket haul means he has now taken 51 Championship wickets for Essex so far in 2018.

India international Vijay (73 not out) and Westley's (45 not out) stand has given the visitors a good chance of victory going into the final day.

Nottinghamshire head coach Peter Moores:

We got ourselves into a good position at about 160 for one - and all credit to the way Kraigg Brathwaite and Luke Fletcher played - and then you look back and wonder if we missed out, or was it credit to the way Harmer bowled?

He got turn out of the pitch and when they took the second new ball and brought him back it was a good decision because he got bounce and the turn was sharper.

"I thought Vijay played nicely from ball one. Westley struggled a bit at the start but they've put themselves into a strong position."

Essex spinner Simon Harmer:

I think it's a wicket that looked like it suited the seamers, but there was a lot of bounce and the turn was quite quick. It was nice to contribute because second-innings wickets are always important.

"I think it was a superb little session for us (at the end of the day) from Murali Vijay and Tom (Westley). It was important that we minimised the damage and they did that and did extremely well.

"But there's still a lot of cricket to be played and we've got to work really hard to get those 135 runs, so we hope to get stuck in tomorrow morning and see it home."

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