Essex fightback as wickets tumble in abundance 

Somerset v Essex – Vitality County Championship Division One – The Cooper Associates County Ground – Day One – Report

Essex 156 and 6/0 (1.0 overs)

Somerset 128

Somerset won the toss and elected to bowl

Essex lead Somerset by 34 runs with ten second-innings wickets standing

Jamie Porter and Sam Cook claimed five wickets apiece as Essex edged an incredible opening day against Somerset at the Cooper Associates County Ground which saw twenty wickets fall.

Sam Cook took five Somerset wickets for 38 as Essex edged day one at the Cooper Associates County Ground, Somerset (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

Porter finished with five for 37, and Cook 5/38 as Essex skittled the home side for 128, to secure what had earlier seemingly an unlikely first innings advantage. 

Tom Lammonby top-scored for the home side with 38, while Andy Umeed contributed 31. However, those around them fell cheaply on a day dominated by the bowlers.

Earlier, it was the Somerset attack that had dominated. Migael Pretorius returned figures of four for 36, while Craig Overton and Jake Ball chipped in with two apiece as Essex was dismissed in fifty-one overs for 156. Returning skipper, Tom Westley hit 43 off 84 deliveries.

Essex had reached six without loss at the close, extending their lead to 34 runs. Speaking to Richard Latham of the ECB Reporters Network, Essex seamer, Porter, said: “The pitch is too slow to be dangerous in any way, but there clearly was not much time to prepare it and there was a lot of seam movement all day.

Jamie Porter returned bowling figures of five for 37 (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

“I thought our batters did well to post 150-plus in the conditions and I was confident that if the bowlers hit the right areas, we would get our rewards.

“My plan was simply to concentrate on a line and length and let the pitch do the rest. I can’t see it playing much differently as the game progresses.

“It has been a great start to the season for me. The ball is coming out well and long may it continue.”

Play resumes on Saturday at 11am

Somerset: MT Renshaw, SR Dickson, TA Lammonby, ARI Umeed, T Banton, JEK Rew (WK), L Gregory (Capt), C Overton, M Pretorius, JH Davey, JT Ball

Essex: D Elgar, T Westley (Capt), NLJ Browne, JM Cox, MJJ Critchley, NRM Thain, HG Duke (WK), SR Harmer, S Snater, SJ Cook, JA Porter

Umpires: JD Middlebrook and AG Wharf

Scorers: LM Rhodes and P Parkinson

Match Referee: P Whitticase

Elsewhere, no play was possible on day one of Middlesex’s  Vitality County Championship Division Two match with Leicestershire at Lord’s due to persistent rain throughout the day.

No play was possible at Lord’s due to the inclement weather conditions

Brian Jeeves