McGrath: Essex to bounce back from ‘crazy’ defeat
PUBLISHED: 09:34 07 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:34 07 May 2018
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Essex head coach Anthony McGrath called his side’s County Championship defeat to Yorkshire ‘crazy’ but backs his men to bounce back.
The defending champions were beaten inside seven sessions at Chelmsford, after dismissing the visitors for just 50 in their first innings.
Essex made 142 in reply, but were left chasing 238 for victory after Harry Brook (124) led Yorkshire to 329 in their second innings.
The hosts were dismissed for 146 before lunch on Sunday to suffer their first four-day loss in 19 matches and 20 months and McGrath said: “It was a crazy game. To bowl a team out for 50 and get triple their total we’d be expecting to win the game.
“There were two key periods for me: if we’d have got 200-250 in that first innings it would have been a different game. Give credit to Yorkshire, they came back and started their second innings with Jonny Bairstow coming out and playing aggressively.
“But having said that, yesterday (Saturday) afternoon when they were 276-3 and we got seven wickets quickly and we’re back in the game. Again it showed our fighting spirit that we were in positions to kill the game and win it.
“It’s unlike us in the last two years where we’ve had chances to win and we have done. But that’s cricket. I’ve said to the boys that the test of a really good team is how they bounce back, and that’s what we’ll be looking to do at Worcester.”
Having seen their match against Yorkshire at Headingley abandoned without a ball being bowled, Essex beat Lancashire by 31 runs, but were then frustrated by the weather in a draw with Hampshire.
After taking only three points from their defeat, Essex lie in fourth place and having played more games than most teams in Division One.
McGrath says they will review their latest display once the dust settles and make sure they react the right way.
He added: “It’s just been one of those seasons at the moment when there has been a lot of rain about, a lot of low scores and it’s almost as if something is happening every over. But it’s one of those games where we’ve been on the wrong side of it, but it’s one game in isolation, and we’ll come back stronger next time.
“I’m not concerned at all with our players. I think the pitches here, the groundsmen have done his best. Before the Lancashire game it was under water and it’s been raining since we’ve been away, so the pitches are underprepared. That’s not helping the batters.
“I think last week at Hampshire would have been a good four-day game. And we’ve had a game washed out without a ball being bowled. So it’s been a stop-start season, very difficult for batsmen to get momentum. But we’re not concerned at all.
“We could have come out either side of this one, and we’ll look at our performance. But it’s too early to start looking over our shoulders, there’s still 11 games left.
“Last season out of the first five games we’d drawn three and won two. So if we win next week we’ll be in a similar position this year. We know it’s not always going to be easy to win games. But the most important thing, and the only thing we’re looking at, is how we react.”