Yorkshire 90-6 trail Essex 227 by 137 runs
Neil Wagner took two wickets in seven balls, a run out two overs later that removed danger man Gary Ballance, and a third scalp to the last ball before lunch to put champions Essex in the ascendency at Chelmsford.
Wagner’s mid-session intervention reduced Yorkshire from 48 for two to 74 for five in reply to Essex’s first-innings 227. When Jamie Porter returned at the Hayes Close End, Wagner had figures of two for 18 from a five-over spell. Yorkshire, who claimed the points necessary to avoid relegation from Division One on day one, limped to lunch on 90 for six.
It took Porter three-quarters of an hour before he made the initial breakthrough on a pitch that had lost its spite of the first day. He produced one that nipped in late to remove Kraigg Brathwaite’s off-stump with the West Indian aiming through midwicket.
Brathwaite had needed 21 balls to get off the mark, driving Porter to the cover boundary for three, but only added another one from the remaining seven deliveries. When Porter gave way to Wagner, he had figures of one for 14 from seven overs.
Simon Harmer’s introduction was greeted by a pulled four from Adam Lyth and a straight six next ball. But three balls later Alex Lees prodded forward to try and smother any spin and nicked behind to James Foster.
Foster claimed a second catch when a quicker ball from Wagner moved away to end Lyth’s 52-ball innings on 35. And the New Zealand Test quick took the fourth wicket when he swung one back in to pin Jack Leaning lbw.
Wagner had a hand in the fifth wicket, too. Andrew Hodd straight-drove a full-toss and the bowler deflected on to the stumps with Ballance, on unlucky 13, a foot out of his crease. Wagner made it three for 20 from six overs when he had Hodd lbw with the last ball before the interval.