Fine 64 from Simon Harmer as Essex reach 227 on day one against Yorkshire
- Credit: PA Archive/PA Images
Steven Patterson and John Brooks took three wickets each to help Yorkshire secure their Division One place for another year on the first day of their last Specsavers County Championship match of the season, writes Martin Smith.
Yorkshire started the day knowing that a six-point swing with Somerset would finally allay any lingering fears they had of joining Warwickshire in Division Two next season.
When Somerset collapsed to 236 all out at Taunton against Middlesex, coupled with the second of their three bowling points at Chelmsford, Yorkshire could breathe a sigh of relief.
There was a similar sigh in the Essex ranks that it was announced Tom Westley had suffered no more than bruising to his right thumb when rapped on the glove trying to fend off one that reared up unexpectedly from Steven Patterson. The ball looped to second slip, but the Essex No3 did not hang around to wait for the umpire’s raised finger.
Never has a batsman dashed quite so quickly from the scene of his demise. Westley barely broke stride as he bounded up the pavilion steps straight into the physio’s room.
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With England’s party for the Ashes due to be named on Wednesday morning, the sizeable Chelmsford crowd awaited news of the injury.
Westley went for a precautionary X-ray that showed no break; he will bat in the second innings.
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It was the first of Patterson’s three wickets.
Later he would dismiss both Ryan ten Doeschate, who finished with 30, and James Foster, who made 25, after the sixth-wicket pair that lifted Essex from the depths of 80 for five.
That the county champions would take one batting point for their 227 all out was largely due to some lusty late hitting by Neil Wagner and Simon Harmer, who recorded his maiden fifty for Essex on his way to a very impressive 64.
The day started half-an-hour late and ended with 24 overs unbowled because of combination of drizzle and bad light.
Yorkshire will begin their reply tomorrow morning, with Essex still hoping to finish off what would be a remarkable unbeaten season to cap their first County Chamionship since 1992.