Paul-Walter

Paul Walter (Essex Cricket Twitter)

Eight overs and 14 runs into the second session, Essex declared their innings at 359/8, thus giving India a lead of 36 runs on the third and final day of their practice match at the County Ground in Chelmsford on Friday. This was after Indian bowlers failed to rein in the Essex batsmen as they continued to score freely, reaching 345/8 at the lunch break.

Follow live: India vs Essex, Day 3

Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami began the proceedings for India but the overnight pair of James Foster (42) and Paul Walter (75) picked up from where they’d left on Thursday. They began finding boundaries forcing Virat Kohli to bring in spin in the form of chinaman Kuldeep Yadav as early as the ninth over of the morning. But the boundaries continued to flow with Kuldeep being struck for three of those within his first two overs.

Walter then smacked Kuldeep over the boundary rope for a six – a shot that took him to his half-century.

Umesh Yadav then struck in his consecutive overs with the scalp of Foster on 42 and the new man Matt Coles (0) to reduce Essex to 283/7. The stand between Foster and Walter was worth 91 runs.

However, Walter was then joined by Aron Nijjar (21*) and they ensured the twin blows didn’t affect their scoring rate. Meanwhile, R Ashwin, who sat in the dressing room on the Day 2 after being hit on his index finger during batting practice, was back on the field and came in to bowl the 75th over as part of a double-change from India alongwith Shardul Thakur. But they failed to provide any breakthrough with the duo building a 51-runs stand which was broken by Ishant with Walter being caught by Rahane on 75. Hardik Pandya continues to be wicketless and expensive.

Brief Scores: Essex 345/8 (Paul Walter 75, Tom Westley 57; Umesh Yadav 4/35) trail India (395) by 50 runs