June 20 2013 Latest news:
Friday, May 25, 2012
South African all-rounder targets good start from Owais Shah and Mark Pettini
Essex all-rounder Greg Smith feels it is up to him and his team-mates to put the pressure back on Derbyshire with the hosts trailing by 95 runs going into the third day at Chelmsford today.
After a slow start, Essex came good with the ball through Tom Craddock’s five-wicket haul despite Wes Durston’s century for Derbyshire and a career best 50 off just 35 balls from Tom Poynton late on in the innings.
Smith now believes the tie is firmly in the balance
“I was pretty pleased and I think you could say today was our day,” said Smith after taking 1-49 with the ball with his varying medium pace and offbreaks.
“It could have gone a lot worse, we have pulled it back very well and if we can bat until lunch and not lose any wickets then it will put the pressure back on them. We are definitely in the game.”
When Essex came into bat for the final 20 overs of the day, the deficit was 141, which could and should have been a lot more considering the visitors were 161-3 at lunch.
But Smith was delighted with their fightback despite Durston’s 116 runs coming off just 136 balls.
“We were very frustrated early on not taking the wickets in the first session but I thought Wes Durston batted very well. Fortunately we got him out and then continued to get the wickets,” he added.
The hosts were reduced to 3-2 early on in their second innings and Derbyshire sensed an early innings victory.
But Owais Shah, in his first game back from the IPL, along with the in form Mark Pettini marshalled Essex to 46-2 at the close of play, still 95 runs behind Derbyshire.
And the 29-year-old South African is hoping for a good opening session tomorrow for his side that will well and truly put them back in the match.
“We were in a little bit of trouble with the bat but Mark and Owais batted very well at the end to get us out of it a bit,” said Smith, playing against one of his former sides.
“But it is crucial to have a good hour and push on to lunch, close the gap and put the pressure back on them.”