ESSEX spinner Simon Harmer has admitted it would have been disappointing had his side lost to Hampshire.

The visitors made it close at Chelmsford as their run chase was cut 12 runs short of Essex's total. Hamer was the difference maker in the game as he returned his career best figures taking 15 wickets in the match.

Harmer said: “It was the type of wicket we are more accustomed to here at Chelmsford. There was a bit of turn but it was an even competition between bat and ball. I can’t say it was too one-sided because if you applied yourself there was plenty of runs on offer, a lot of them were batter error.

Echo: On form - Simon Harmer was at his best against HampshireOn form - Simon Harmer was at his best against Hampshire

“I would have been extremely disappointed if we had lost that. There were a few nervous moments, with the four leg byes with the penultimate ball I started to think we needed to start boxing a bit smart but all’s well that ends well.

“It isn’t idea to go for that many runs. There needed to be a bit of cat and mouse with their batters. I needed to bowl an attacking line and their best option was the slog sweep. My mindset was that if you could do that for 299 runs then I’ll take my hat off, shake your hand and say ‘well done’.

“We always knew we would get to a point in the season where the wickets would start to deteriorate and get wickets that would turn. You aren’t going to get seven wickets like that at Chelmsford over a season so when it is your day you need to cash in and make sure you go big.”

From the opposition, Hampshire captain James Vince was left with a "bitter taste" as he had to watch his side fall just short of reaching the target set by Essex.

Echo: Bitter taste - Hampshire's James Vince was left annoyed after the loss to EssexBitter taste - Hampshire's James Vince was left annoyed after the loss to Essex

He said: “We got the highest score of the game in our second innings by 50 runs. Due to the conditions we had to play village cricket really and attack the short side and hope you got lucky.

“The pitch from day one was turning a hell of a lot. The disappointing thing today was that we had talked about getting through the new ball – mainly for the spin than the seam – and we did that very well.

“We did the hard work and we saw as the ball got older it spun less, then they changed the ball a couple of times. We had one that came out after 30 overs which had writing on it and then we lost six wickets in next to no time and the ball started seaming around from the other end as well.

“All the effort we put in to get to the stage where we felt the game was in our hand, then it got taken away from us. It leaves a bitter taste especially as we got so close. There were some uncontrollables there that stopped us from getting all the points.

“We were hoping to come up and go man for man against a decent Essex team and let the best team come out on top, but the conditions prevented that from happening.”