County Championship: Essex thrash Nottinghamshire with a day to spare

Simon Harmer.
Simon Harmer recorded match figures of 8-80 in Essex's victory over Nottinghamshire as well as contributing 43 with the bat
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Cloudfm County Ground (day three)
Nottinghamshire 187 & 158: Duckett 37, Nash 32; Harmer 6-60, Porter 3-41
Essex 241 & 105-2: Westley 49, Cook 40*
Essex (20 pts) beat Nottinghamshire (3 pts) by eight wickets
Match scorecard

Simon Harmer completed a six-wicket haul to help Essex wrap up an emphatic eight-wicket win with more than a day to spare against Nottinghamshire.

Resuming on 90-6 on day three at Chelmsford, Notts were all out for 158 as Harmer (6-60) and Jamie Porter (3-41) saw off the visitors' gallant tail.

Essex made short work of the 105 target thanks to former England pair Tom Westley (49) and Alastair Cook (40no).

Victory was Essex's first of the season while Notts remain without a win.

Harmer has now recorded nine County Championship hauls of five wickets or more since the start of the 2017 season, the most by any spinner in that timeframe.

Having struck four times on Wednesday, he claimed the key wicket of Chris Nash (32) on Thursday morning before luring Tom Moores (22) down the pitch for a stumping to end any hope of a Notts fightback.

Harmer then caught Luke Fletcher, off the bowling of Porter, to cap a fine all-round display from the South Africa bowler, who had also contributed a vital 43 with the bat in Essex's first innings of 241.

Given both sides' struggles with the bat, Nottinghamshire might have believed they had a chance when Essex opener Nick Browne was run out by Fletcher off the third ball of the hosts' run chase.

But a second-wicket stand of 85 between Cook and Westley put paid to those hopes, although the latter fell a run short of a half-century when he was caught at mid-wicket off Samit Patel.

Nottinghamshire - who also lost their previous game to Somerset without requiring a fourth and final day - have now failed to reach 200 for three innings running.