Callum Taylor is the pick of the bowlers as Essex make West Indians work hard for their runs
- Credit: Gregg Brown
The West Indians were given a thorough examination by a patchwork Essex attack on the opening day of the tourists’ two-month tour of England and Ireland, finishing day one on 309 for eight.
Essex’s youthful bowlers took their collective chance and there were a number of promising cameo performances during a sometimes frustrating day.
Opener Kraigg Brathwaite gave a masterclass in obduracy as he weighed anchor for three hours 40 minutes before he departed on 61 just before tea to a jaffa from Callum Taylor.
Medium-pacer Taylor was the pick of the Essex bunch with two for 33 from 10 overs, even though he did not enter the fray until the 48th over as the seventh of eight bowlers used. But he soon had Brathwaite and Roston Chase ducking and weaving in their crease with a succession of inswingers and nip-backers.
Taylor added Chase with a yorker that took out middle and leg stumps, but only after the all-rounder had added 119 in 23 overs for the fifth wicket with Jermaine Blackwood, and scored 81 himself.
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Debutant Sam Cook, 19, who has made first-class appearances for Loughborough MCCU, shone with the new-ball in the morning and was rewarded in his fourth over when he beat the left-handed Kieran Powell with one that nipped back and bowled him.
Before his first Essex wicket, Cook had caught the outside of Brathwaite’s bat, the ball landing just short of Varun Chopra in the slips. When Cook was rested after his initial six-over burst of nagging line, length and occasional movement, he had the impressive figures of one for 14. He finished the day with one for 49 from 20 overs.
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The slightly more experienced Paul Walter, 23, dismissed both the Barbadian Hope brothers either side of lunch, coincidentally both on 22. The elder sibling, the uncapped Kyle, got an inside edge and played on after a free-hitting 30-ball innings. Shai Hope went when he was late on a straight delivery and was also bowled.
All the while, Brathwaite was stonewalling and holding up an end. He finally reached his half-century with 135th delivery.
Brathwaite’s 155-ball marathon ended when he completely misread a delivery from Taylor, toppling forward as it thudded into his stumps.