Tough day for Essex as Worcestershire take control

Ravi Bopara, who top-scored with 50 in Essex's defeat at Gloucestershire

Ravi Bopara, who top-scored with 50 in Essex's defeat at Gloucestershire - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Essex 177 all out, Worces 47-0.

Worcestershire paceman Josh Tongue gave another demonstration of his potential as champions Essex were dismissed for 177 on day one of the Specsavers County Championship Division One clash at Blackfinch New Road.

The 20-year-old was fast-tracked onto the England Pace Programme and then the England Lions training camp in Australia last winter after a first season of Championship cricket had yielded 47 wickets.

Tongue needed ankle surgery in January and the inclement weather restricted the number of overs he could get under his belt during the pre-season programme after his lay-off.

But the Academy product showed why he is regarded as such an outstanding prospect in destroying the Essex middle order as part of a highly disciplined attack.

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Tongue dismissed Dan Lawrence, Ryan ten Doeschate and Ravi Bopara in the space of 15 balls.

He then added the wicket of Jamie Porter for good measure to end with 4-45 from 15 overs as Essex were bowled out on the verge of tea.

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Head Coach Kevin Sharp had revealed the Worcestershire players “wanted to put on a performance for the members” after losing the previous home match against Nottinghamshire by an innings and 41 runs inside five sessions of play.

His bowlers certainly lived up to that promise after Essex had opted to bat with Tongue, Steve Magoffin, Joe Leach and Ed Barnard keeping the batsman under pressure with a tight line and length in the morning session and then capturing eight wickets between lunch and tea.

Worcestershire reached 47 without loss in reply before bad light stopped play.

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