Warwickshire dig in to check Essex
A disciplined display with the ball from Warwickshire kept Essex in check on day one of their County Championship Division One clash at Chelmsford.
On the same strip which saw 743 runs plundered in the Royal London Cup semi-final on Friday, the Bears plugged away to restrict Essex to 263-5 from 96 overs.
A measure of just how slow the day was can be seen by when milestones were reached. The first fifty came up in the 23rd over, 100 in the 46th and 150 in 59th. The new-ball was taken after 80 overs with the score on just 217 for three.
Rikki Clarke and Jeetan Patel picked up two wickets apiece for the visitors, while Nick Browne and Ravi Bopara both hit 84.
The innings were of great contrast. Browne batted for five hours 12 minutes in grinding out a 244-ball 84; Bopara gave his partner a 160-minute lead and was within 13 runs of him when Browne departed.
Clarke, who took two quick wickets with the second new ball to peg Essex back at a time when they threatened to build a huge total, was pleased with his side’s efforts.
He said: “We set out to bash away at a good line and length. The wicket wasn’t really responsive. It was a pretty decent pitch.
“For us it was just a case of sticking to our discipline and skills and put the ball in the right area.”
The wicket of ex-Warwickshire captain Varun Chopra was one they all wanted, and Clarke said: “It’s always difficult for them to come in – they’re on a hiding to nothing really.”