Warwickshire 385 (Burgess 170, Lamb 71) and 110 for 0 (Davies 65*) beat Essex 168 (Westley 80, Briggs 4-31) and 323 (Harmer 75*, Rossington 52, Miles 4-85) by ten wickets
Warwickshire completed the first victory of their LV=Insurance County Championship title defence by polishing off Essex by ten wickets an hour after lunch on the final day at Edgbaston.
Essex resumed on the last morning on 290 for 8, just 73 ahead and needing something special from their last two wickets to stay in the game. But they added only another 33 to be all out for 323 and leave the home side a victory target of 107 in more than two sessions. Both wickets fell to concussion substitute Craig Miles who ended with 4 for 85 while Simon Harmer was left stranded on 75.
Essex were left to digest their first defeat of the campaign and also the blow of England batter Dan Lawrence’s hamstring injury which is likely to sideline him for several weeks. Tom Westley’s side will also reflect on some careless first innings batting as the root cause of their defeat.
Miles, who was drafted into the team as concussion sub on Friday afternoon when Liam Norwell took a short ball on the head, proved to have a significant impact on the match. Within minutes of arriving at the ground, summoned from home, he was batting at No. 11 and helped Michael Burgess add 64 for the last wicket.
Then he took two important wickets late on the third day and added the final two on the last morning. An inswinger trapped Mark Steketee lbw and an outswinger did for Sam Cook whose edge gave wicketkeeper Burgess his fifth catch of the innings. Harmer ran out of partners, frustratingly as he looked untroubled in the excellent batting conditions.
Chasing 107 in a minimum of 85 overs, Davies and Sibley took their time. They acquired eight runs from the first nine overs as Cook and Shane Snater bowled testing new-ball spells, but the true pitch throttled any Essex hopes of triggering the requisite clatter.
Warwickshire eased to 50 in the 23rd over after which Davies advanced to a fluent 50 from 107 balls, maintaining his proud record of having scored a half-century in every first-class match he has played at Edgbaston (two for Lancashire and now one for his new county).