David Hopps at Warwickshire 56-5 v Essex
Three wickets for 7 runs in 15 balls have rushed Essex towards a victory that would strengthen their hold at the top of Division One and bring more relegation fears for Warwickshire.
The statement of the obvious duly dealt with, this is what happened:
Ian Bell pushed at an excellent back-of-a-length delivery from Neil Wagner, angled across him and of excellent line, and was smartly caught by the wicketkeeper James Foster, diving to his right; Andrew Umeed went back in Simon Harmer's first over and was lbw; and Harmer took his second of the morning in his second over of the day when Sam Hain was caught at short leg off bat and pad.
Bell is not quite on his game. He looks as if he should have years of good cricket left in him, but perhaps is weighed down by Warwickshire's failings. Rather like an old coaching inn (say, totally randomly The George at Colchester, no particular reason, just came to mind, OK I did stay there last night) it could take an effort before renovations begin to show a positive effect.
These are perfect bowling conditions for Essex. The pitch is dry and turning and the weather is heavy - threatening thunder showers that have not materialised - which should put some optimism among the seam-bowling ranks.