Hampshire in ascendancy against Essex in LV= County Championship Division Two

Ravi Bopara

Ravi Bopara - Credit: Archant

The visitors lost opener Tom Westley and Ravi Bopara in the first 14 deliveries of their innings and at stumps trailed the joint LV= County Championship Division Two leaders by 231 runs.

Essex will reflect on a day of missed opportunity, having put Hampshire into bat in overcast conditions and been in the box seat at the end of the second session.

But Hampshire’s last four wickets, aided by a significant 41 extras, added 78 runs, to post a competitive total. Essex faced an hour’s batting at the end of the final session and were quickly two for two.

With his third delivery, South Africa Test paceman Kyle Abbott bowled Westley, offering no shot. One run and 11 balls later, Bopara gloved a catch to Michael Bates off the left-arm swing of James Tomlinson to leave Essex in trouble.

James Foster (26 not out) and Nick Browne (19 not out) successfully navigated the remainder of the session to see Essex through to the end without further loss.

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It was a day of fluctuating fortunes for Essex as they allowed a promising situation to slip from their grasp. Hampshire, meanwhile, deserved credit for a lower-order fight-back which left them in the stronger position at stumps.

Wicketkeeper Foster claimed five catches in the Hampshire innings, but Tymal Mills was erratic, conceding 70 runs off his 12 overs.

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