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Essex rout Nottinghamshire in County Championship but could face points deduction for bat issue

Essex seamer Sam Cook takes 10 wickets in match against Notts as he pushes for England call-up; Essex now face nervous wait with points deduction possible after opener Feroze Khushi's bat failed on-field dimensions check; remaining four Division One matches end in draws

Sam Cook, Essex (Getty Images)
Image: Sam Cook claimed a 10-wicket match haul as Essex thrashed Nottinghamshire in the County Championship

Essex clinched a thumping 254-run win over Nottinghamshire in the Vitality County Championship, skittling their hosts for 80 at Trent Bridge as Sam Cook claimed a 10-wicket match haul.

Essex, runners-up to Surrey during the 2023 campaign, shredded their opponents in 34.3 overs in their second innings with Cook claiming 6-14 to add to figures of 4-59 first time around.

Joe Clarke (19) top-scored for Nottinghamshire and was one of only three players to make double figures, alongside Haseeb Hameed (10) and Matthew Montgomery (12).

However, Essex now face an anxious wait to see if they will receive a points deduction after opener Feroze Khushi's bat failed an on-field dimensions check on day three.

The Chelmsford side could potentially lose their 16 points for a win if an offence is confirmed.

In 2022, Durham were docked 10 points after Nic Maddison's bat failed to fit through the measurement gauge.

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Essex head coach Anthony McGrath said: "The match referee and the umpires were involved after the incident and now it will go to the ECB. We'll await news on that.

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"They have got the bat in question and will go through whatever the process is involved and hopefully we will get to know within the next couple of days.

"It's not ideal [to be facing a potentially big penalty], but whatever happens it won't take away from what was a really good team performance."

Essex seamer Cook eyes England call-up

Cook's display was a standout and the bowler hopes it impressed the England selectors as he eyes an international debut this summer.

"I'm desperate to play for England and hopefully that performance is something towards that but I'm trying to concentrate on playing for Essex," said Cook.

"In the past I've probably been guilty of chasing it a bit too much and getting caught up in that, but in the last six months I've tried to go back to basics and concentrate on what I do well."

The four other Division One matches ended in draws after a weather-wrecked opening round, with Durham vs Hampshire abandoned without a ball bowled.

Defending champions Surrey's clash with Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford also ended in a stalemate, with just 80.1 overs bowled across the four days.

Warwickshire and Worcestershire drew at Edgbaston, a game in which Worcestershire's Kashif Ali scored a hundred in each innings, making 110 and 133 respectively.

Kent, meanwhile, overcame a final-day wobble versus Somerset, slipping to 10-2 and 68-3 at Canterbury before Joe Denly (110) and Daniel Bell-Drummond (107no) shared a fourth-wicket stand of 222 to end Somerset's victory hopes.

Brook returns in style for Yorkshire with 69-ball ton

In Division Two, Harry Brook thumped a 69-ball hundred for Yorkshire in their draw against Leicestershire, in what was his first innings since December after taking time away from the game following the death of his grandmother.

Middlesex's Ryan Higgins recorded his highest first-class score of 221 in the run-fest stalemate against Glamorgan at Lord's in which both sides topped 600 in their first innings and only 15 wickets fell.

Plus, Lewis McManus' 45-ball 13 not out for Northamptonshire and bad light ended Sussex's bid for victory at Hove, with Northants 170-9 and leading by just 63 when the umpires decided it was too gloomy to continue,

Finally, Derbyshire and Gloucestershire had their match abandoned without a ball bowled, suffering the same fate as Durham and Hampshire in Division One.

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