County Championship: Simon Harmer's 5-57 sweeps Essex to victory as Durham collapse

Simon Harmer
Simon Harmer finished with match figures of 10-136
LV= County Championship Group One, The Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford (day four):
Essex 96 & 330: Walter 77, Lawrence 76, Allison 52; Carse 5-82
Durham 259 & 123: Burnham 43; Harmer 5-57, S Cook 3-17
Essex (19 pts) beat Durham (5 pts) by 44 runs

Simon Harmer spun Essex to an unlikely 44-run win as Durham collapsed on the final morning at Chelmsford.

Durham needed a further 108 for victory with seven wickets intact, and Jack Burnham (43) took them to 83-3 until he fell to a loose shot off Harmer.

Scott Borthwick (24), Stuart Poynter and Ben Raine then went quickly as the visitors slumped to 91-7.

Harmer removed Ned Eckersley and Brydon Carse to complete his five-wicket haul as Durham were bowled out for 123.

Durham looked to be heading to victory as Burnham and Borthwick built a 63-run fourth-wicket stand, taking their side almost halfway towards their target of 168.

However, Burnham took one too many liberties with Harmer and swiped a shot straight to Tom Westley at long-on to spark the collapse.

Durham captain Borthwick, who ground out 24 from 120 balls, survived a stumping appeal off Harmer, but was trapped in front by the spinner's next ball.

Sam Cook removed Poynter six balls later, and Harmer then had Raine leg before as Durham lost four wickets in 22 balls.

Eckersley and Carse played positively before both fell to Harmer - who finished with match figures of 10-136 - and Jamie Porter wrapped up a stunning comeback win before lunch by bowling Matt Salisbury as Durham lost their last seven wickets for 40 runs.

The visitors had been heavy favourites after knocking over Essex for 96 on day one and then building a 163-run first innings lead.

Yet the hosts were indebted to crucial lower order runs in the second innings as the final five partnerships added 150 to set a defendable target of 168.

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