Graham Hardcastle reveals the huge effect Mohammad Amir is having on title chasers Essex
Essex extend their Championship lead Maiden win for Warwickshire Notts tighten grip
Chris Silverwood hailed the impact of Pakistan quick Mohammad Amir on the cock-a-hoop Essex dressing room after his 10-wicket starring role in their two-day win over Yorkshire at Scarborough.
Left-armer Amir ripped through Yorkshire in both innings with a masterclass in taking advantage of favourable conditions, helped out by new ball partner Jamie Porter.
The 25-year-old claimed five wickets in each innings to finish with career-best match figures of 10-72 from 28.2 overs, while Porter added seven.
This was only Amir’s second red ball appearance as overseas for an Essex side who are rampaging towards a first title since 1992.
“He’s shown what a class act he is in this game, and he has done it in white ball cricket as well for us,” said coach Silverwood,Yorkshire born and bred like his assistant Anthony McGrath.
“To have him coming in fresh for the second half of the season is fantastic. He’s fitted in brilliantly, and he’s a great lad. He’s great around the dressing room.”
Essex have now won six of their nine Championship matches and hold a 41-point lead over Lancashire and Hampshire in joint second.
Lancashire have five to play and Hampshire only four. They both play Essex at home next month.
The Chelmsford side find themselves in a position which the majority of people thought was not possible back in April.
“What’s happening is credit to these guys,” said Silverwood. “There’s a lot of hard work still with some tough games coming up. But the lads keep finding a way.”
For Yorkshire, they are facing a final month relegation fight after three defeats in their last four. They have four games remaining, and must improve their batting.
Coach Andrew Gale added: “There are players who can make big runs, it’s just they’re all out of form at the same time. That can only be down to pressure and expectation they put on themselves or from the outside. It’s up to them to be honest with themselves and deal with it.”
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Sheer delight: Mohammad Amir celebrates one of his ten dismissals in the match