Ormond shows rare quality

Leicestershire 225-9 Essex 190 Leicestershire win by 35 runs
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Much the most invigorating cricket here yesterday came at the start of the Essex innings, when 19-year-old James Ormond produced eight consecutive overs of genuine pace. He is the most exciting English fast bowler I have seen this season and during his spell he removed Essex's three best batsmen.

Ormond is 6ft 3in tall with broad shoulders and a strong body and, running in off 18 paces, he found a nice rhythm which enabled him to make full use in his action of all the power he generated in his run up.

His control will improve with experience - this is his first year proper with Leicestershire - but his pace was hot enough to have no less a batsman than Stuart Law jumping about in surprise. After Law and Paul Prichard had put on 54 in nine overs at the start, mostly off the bowling of Tim Mason, Ormond brought Law on to the front foot and beat him for pace bowling him off the inside edge.

Nasser Hussain then received a most painful blow on the hand from a short one from Ormond before coming forward to drive and giving an easy catch to mid-on. Prichard, who had out-scored Law in the early stages, then tried to cut Ormond and was caught at third man.

A niggling side strain had prevented Ormond from playing in the current Championship match and Graham Gooch, who had come to watch him on Thursday, had a wasted journey. But on this form, Ormond will soon have more of the selectors criss-crossing the country to have a look at him and it may not be too long before they pick him.

When Prichard was out Essex were 68 for 3 in the 15th over and they never recovered from Ormond's spell. Paul Grayson struck a few good blows, but Essex were 141 for 6 after 30 overs and they could not find a way back from there.

Ormond's opening spell damaged Essex's Sunday aspirations, for they had begun the day in second place. As for Leicestershire, they recovered well from a poor start. They lost their fifth wicket for 119 in the 27th over before Darren Maddy and Jonathan Dakin put on 69 in eight overs with some splendid attacking strokes against the spin of Grayson and Peter Such.

Maddy's 75 came from 61 balls with six fours and one six and in the end a total of 225 proved highly competitive.