SPINNER Simon Harmer hailed Essex’s character as they fought back to claim a remarkable victory against Durham.

Essex had been bowled out for 96 in their first innings and gave up a 163-run deficit before turning the game on its head, racking up 330 the second time around and dismissing the visitors for 123.

Harmer took centre stage, claiming his 22nd five-wicket haul and sixth 10 wickets in a match since joining the county in 2017.

But the 32-year-old was quick to point out it had been a team effort.

“For Ben Allison to bat the way that he did in his second game and Paul Walter was incredible,” said Harmer.

“For us to conjure up 160-odd for them to chase gave the boys belief.

“What we’ve achieved over the last four years really gave us the belief we could still win from the position we were in but it isn’t often we find ourselves backs against the wall like that.

“It shows the character of the boys, and shows that we aren’t only good when we are ahead but we find ways to win.”

Harmer took 5/57 in the second innings having bowled unchanged from the River end on day four.

He finished the match with 10/136 and was thrilled to be able to make such a big impact,.

“I really enjoy taking wickets in the second innings of the game,” said Harmer.

“I think it is easier to take wickets in the first innings of a game and be happy with that when actually the second innings wickets win games.

“To do that today and come in and take wickets is always enjoyable.

“But it isn’t about me scoring runs or taking wickets it is about the boys back in the changing room and what it means to you, them and us as a group.

“I think that is why we find ways to get out of situations that we find ourselves in.

“Essex have what money cannot buy.

“In situations like yesterday morning, it is about the group of guys and you don’t want to let them down.”