Essex 84-5 v Yorkshire
Tom Westley’s hopes of making the England Ashes party, to be announced later this week, suffered a double blow against Yorkshire at Chelmsford.
In fending off a ball from Steven Patterson that reared up, struck him on the glove and looped to Adam Lyth at second slip. Westley, out for 13, was already on his way before the umpire’s finger went up and his exit turned into a determined dash as he reached the pavilion. And instead of heading to the changing room he bounded up another flight of stairs straight into the physio’s room to have the hand examined.
It was the only ball that misbehaved during the morning session and Westley’s departure precipitated a pre-lunch collapse as Essex went from 63 for one to 84 for five at the interval.
Otherwise the pitch was sufficiently slow that Varun Chopra was moving several yards down the wicket before the bowler was in his delivery stride. He connected with one from Patterson which sailed so far over long leg that there was a delay while another ball was found.
Chopra had set his own tempo when play started half-an-hour late because of early drizzle, taking 10 runs off John Brooks’s first over. Nick Browne settled himself in studiously. The left-hander got off the mark to the 18th ball he faced before denting Ben Coad’s parsimonious start with an imperious straight-drive to the boundary.
Coad gained his reward when he removed Chopra for 28 with Alex Lees taking the catch low down at first slip. When Coad was granted his first break he had bowled seven overs, three of them maidens, for just 13 runs. Patterson replaced him at the River End and Tom Westley cover-drove his first ball gloriously for four, one of three boundaries before his mishap.
Lawrence, centurion in the victory at Hampshire last week, was third to go, playing down the wrong line to Brooks for eight. He was followed soon after by Browne, who became Coad’s second victim when he was bowled for a 92-ball 29, and Ravi Bopara who was lbw to Brooks.