Essex have started a crucial match for their hopes of winning Division One of the Championship against Hampshire at Chelmsford. With rain delaying the start of most matches on day one of the penultimate round of competition, a victory over Hampshire could see Essex keep their fight for the title with Surrey going into the final round.
However, their hopes were dented in the second over of the match after they elected to bat first, as Cook succumbed to Abbas’ third ball of the morning.
Under grey skies and in windy conditions, Abbas bowled around the wicket to the left-handed former England captain. He angled the ball in and Cook attempted to defend. But he played down the wrong line, his bat inside of the ball which nipped past his outside edge and thudded into his off stump.
The ball didn’t really do much off the surface or through the air, perhaps straightening but only by a touch – it was the angle Abbas created and the line Cook played down which saw him lose his wicket. The perfect delivery to a left-hander. Abbas is Hampshire’s leading wicket-taker this year in the County Championship, having taken 45 wickets in 13 matches.
Essex were left 0-1 after Cook’s dismissal, and fell to 18-2 within the first ten overs of the match after Nick Browne was caught behind off Keith Barker.
Watch: Mohammad Abbas bowls Alastair Cook below
— LV= Insurance County Championship (@CountyChamp) September 19, 2023
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