Essex charge ahead as wickets tumble at Chelmsford

Essex v Northamptonshire – LV=County Championship Division Two – Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford – Day One – Summary

Northamptonshire 81 and 23/5 (12.5 overs)

Essex 170 (43.2 overs)

Northamptonshire have won the toss and elected to bat

Northamptonshire trail Essex by 66 runs with five wickets standing

Essex hold the advantage after 25 wickets fell on a remarkable opening day to their LV=Insurance County Championship encounter with Northamptonshire at Chelmsford.

The writing was on the wall of what was to follow as Essex reduced the visitors to 60/7 at lunch – Sam Cook and Jamie Porter doing the bulk of the damage. They returned to finish the job after the extended interval. Cook taking 5/21 and Porter 4/31. Northamptonshire knocked over inside 35 overs for 81 – Emilio Gay top-scoring with 38.

Jamie Porter took four Northamptonshire first-innings wickets for 31 (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

During lunch, Essex celebrated the 19-year career of Ryan ten Doeschate with a presentation. The former skipper gave a rousing speech that was well-received by the sizable crowd. 

Marking his retirement, Essex announced that the number 27 shirt will follow suit. The Port Elizabeth-born allrounder, who made 554 appearances across all formats for the Club, scoring 17,046 runs and taking 348 wickets, said: “From the bottom of my heart I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved with Essex during my time at the Club. It’s been the greatest professional experience to grow in this environment, to watch the organisation and the individuals within it evolve and become something that I am extremely proud to have been a part of.

“The support that the team and myself personally have enjoyed has been phenomenal and is greatly appreciated. The staff, members, sponsors, and supporters have made Essex a fabulous place to play cricket. My professional career would not have been the same without some very special teammates, who I know will be lifelong friends.”

Former Essex captain, Ryan ten Doeschte has announced his retirement following 19 years at the club

As the match progressed, wickets continued to fall. Jack White claimed 4/40, while Tom Taylor chipped in with 4/67. Having lost their opening pair of Nick Brown and Alastair Cook – Dan Lawrence (33), Adam Wheater (34) and Paul Walter (26) helped steady the ship – Essex establishing a first-innings lead of 89. 

The respective attacks were certainly providing the astonished audience with their monies-worth – and there was more to follow. Cook and Porter continued to stamp their mark all over the match, sending Gay and Ricardo Vasconcelos back within the opening eighteen balls of the visitors’ second spell at the crease.

Luke Procter was unbeaten on 14 at the close. But troubled Northamptonshire found themselves five wickets down for just 23 – Cook (4/5) taking his match figures to 9/26 – Essex on course for another swift victory. Play resumes on Wednesday at 10:30am.

Essex: NLJ Browne, AN Cook, DW Lawrence (Capt), JS Rymell, MS Pepper, PI Walter, AJA Wheater (WK), SR Harmer, S Snater, SJ Cook, JA Porter

Northamptonshire: RS Vasconcelos, EN Gay, LA Procter, RI Keogh, SA Zaib, AM Rossington (Capt) (WK), JJ Cobb, TAI Taylor, JJG Sales, SC Kerrigan, CJ White

Umpires: NA Mallender and MJ Saggers

Scorers: AE Choat and AC Kingston

Match Referee: PM Such

Brian Jeeves

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