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Danny Briggs helps put Essex in a spin at Edgbaston

Champions Warwickshire enjoyed a strong first day of their LV=Insurance County Championship match with Essex after the visitors’ decision to bat first backfired at Edgbaston.

Warwickshire CCC
Warwickshire CCC

Essex chose to bat on a good-looking pitch but were bowled out for 168 as only Tom Westley (80) showed the requisite patience against an accurate home attack.

From a relatively solid 98-2 just after lunch, the visitors suffered a post-lunch implosion of five wickets for 11 runs in 43 balls. Seam bowlers Olly Hannon-Dalby and Liam Norwell shared five wickets before Danny Briggs did a consummate spinner’s job by briskly taking out the lower order with 4-31.

Warwickshire’s batsmen were then made to work hard in reply but they reached the close on 76-2 with Dom Sibley unbeaten on 33 (79 balls).

The Bears’ reply was given a lively launch by debutant Alex Davies (22) but Essex hit back well as Davies edged Sam Cook to second slip and Rob Yates was pinned lbw by Mark Steketee.

The seamers, led by the impressive Shane Snater, bowled well and got a few past the bat in an intense and high-quality last hour but Dom Sibley (33no) and Sam Hain survived to add an unbroken 30 in 16 overs.

“It was a good day for us. We just hung in there and were patient when we needed to be like we did a lot last year,” said spinner Brggs.

“Coming out after lunch with them only two down it could have been a long, hard slog ahead of us, but the seamers all bowled really well, all in rhythm.

“We all know the ground and conditions really well and I think we bowled well in them and asked questions of the batsmen.

“I was lucky enough to take the most wickets but it could have been any of the guys, they all bowled really well.

“It’s not a 160 pitch. It’s a good wicket, a normal Edgbaston wicket.

“As a batsman, if you get in you feel you can make runs, and as a bowler you can hold an end and there is enough in it to keep you interested. It’s a good cricket wicket.”

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