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Essex emerge victorious over Somerset to clinch County Championship trophy
County Championship

Essex emerge victorious over Somerset to clinch County Championship trophy

Essex finished an incredible county season by holding their nerve in a seesaw battle against Somerset at Taunton to win England's prized County Championship title for the second time in three years after sustaining a determined fightback from their opponent. 

Essex were perched comfortably at the top of the leaderboard with 12 points ahead of Somerset - who had a tough ask to beat the hosts in just four days. 

As many as 200 overs were lost in the first three days of the match; second-placed Somerset required 20 wickets on the final day for an unlikely first ever County Championship title after managing 203 in their first innings.

Former England captain Alastair Cook, the highest run-scorer for his country, stepped into a tricky situation and steadied the ship by scoring a defiant half-century under pressure.

But after Cook got dismissed for 53, Essex nosedived from 102-1 to 141 all out with England spinner Jack Leach right on top of his game, taking 5-32 to send jitters in the visitors camp.

Somerset then relinquished their second innings with a glimpse of hope to bundle out Essex for less than 62.

However, Cook used his voluminous experience to see off the spin threat with 30 not out before the teams shook hands on a draw with Essex 45-1.

One of the finest England cricketers, Marcus Trescothick hung up his boots in the Championship finale. The 43-year-old stalwart of county cricket took the field briefly for the last time for his dear club after an illustrious 26-year career but he couldn't walk away with the title win which could have been a cherry on the top.

He was given a guard of honor and a standing ovation at the end of the final.   

"We knew it was going to be a dogfight with the state of the wicket," remarked Essex captain Ryan ten Doeschate in hindsight.

"We knew it was prodigiously turning and needed some calm heads at the end there.

"I wasn't nervous, but you never know when the wicket is spinning like that."