Essex v England: Graeme Swann and Graham Onions bowl England to victory
Graeme Swann and Graham Onions shared nine wickets to propel England to a 228-run victory against Essex.
Last Updated: 04/07/13 6:58pm
Swann (5-68) and Onions (4-43) combined superbly either side of tea on the final day to dismiss Essex for 186 in pursuit of an unlikely 415.
Essex openers Jaik Mickleburgh and Hamish Rutherford added 91 for the first wicket and looked set to deny England, who were running out of time on the final day before Swann struck the first blow after lunch.
New Zealand left-hander Rutherford attempted one sweep too many and was bowled for 45, paving the way for England to take the nine wickets required in 30.1 overs.
Owais Shah fell soon afterwards without scoring, neatly caught at first slip by Jonathan Trott away to his left; then after Mickleburgh (58) had reached his second half-century of the match, from 68 balls, he fell disappointingly when he clipped a low full toss straight to Alastair Cook at short midwicket.
Just before tea, Durham seamer Onions took the fourth wicket - Ravi Bopara (33) poking a tame catch to cover - to revive England's hopes that they might yet head to Trent Bridge with a win under their belts.
Ben Foakes became Onions' second victim when he edged through to Matt Prior and England sped closer to victory when Mark Pettini - Essex's last recognised batsman - edged Swann to Jonny Bairstow at short leg.
Full, quick deliveries from Onions then accounted for Saj Mahmood and Tom Craddock, before Nottinghamshire off-spinner Swann had the final say when David Masters slogged to Tim Bresnan at deep midwicket.
England had earlier opted for extra batting practice for their middle order on the final morning rather than an immediate overnight declaration.
Ian Bell and Matt Prior were rewarded with an unbeaten 33 and 21 respectively.
Bairstow also passed 20 for the second time in the match, but any encouragement derived was off-set when he was also bowled out for the second time.
A testing passage of play while Boyd Rankin and Reece Topley were bowling nine overs in tandem proved too much for Bairstow.
He aimed a confident drive towards mid-on off Rankin but missed the ball and lost his middle-stump.
The likely Test number six therefore completed his unconvincing match with the bat, having had no first-class innings since faring well on his home ground at Headingley in England's victory over New Zealand back in May.
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