Lancashire v Essex: Honours even on day one
PUBLISHED: 18:43 09 June 2018
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It was honours even after an enthralling opening day of the Specsavers County Championship match between Lancashire and champions Essex at Emirates Old Trafford.
Lancashire, having been inserted, slipped to 59-5 nine balls after lunch as swing and some variable bounce aided their visitors.
So to close on 297-9 from 96 overs thanks to half-centuries for Jordan Clark and Shiv Chanderpaul and a late counter-attacking 41 from Graham Onions was a triumph.
Sam Cook impressed with 3-65 from 24 overs and led the way for Essex, who looked set to dominate.
His new-ball partner Jamie Porter and overseas quick Neil Wagner struck twice, as did off-spinner Simon Harmer after tea as he broke a partnership of 131 in 42 for the sixth wicket between Clark and Chanderpaul.
Clark top-scored 79 off 113 balls, a season’s best, while Chanderpaul added 58 off 181.
Both were bowled by Harmer, with Clark chopping on, in the space of three balls as the Red Rose fell from 190-5 to 193-7.
Essex, looking to complete a season’s double over Lancashire, opted for an uncontested toss before reducing the hosts to 28-3 inside 16 overs.
Porter struck twice to get Alex Davies and England Test opener Keaton Jennings caught in the slips for two and 19.
Haseeb Hameed was then caught behind for five trying to drop his hands on a short ball from former team-mate Wagner, an overseas player here in 2016. Liam Livingstone offered a tough third slip catch to Alastair Cook off Wagner on four.
But it only cost Essex another seven as the Lancashire skipper edged Cook’s seamers to second slip, where Harmer took his second catch of the morning as the score fell to 40-4 in the 19th.
Essex started the afternoon in ideal fashion with a fifth wicket as Cook trapped Dane Vilas lbw midway through the second over.
However, they ran into resistance from Clark and Chanderpaul, who batted through the rest of the afternoon largely untroubled. Their century stand came up in the evening’s first over.
Clark had reached a positive half-century of 58 balls, brushing off a blow to the helmet from a Wagner short ball on 31.
Chanderpaul went to 50 for the 221st time in his first-class career off 173 balls shortly after tea, but he was bowled by Harmer as the score fell to 190-6 after 71 overs.
And when Harmer struck again almost immediately, Lancashire were 193-7.
Joe Mennie and Tom Bailey took the score beyond 200 before the former was trapped lbw by Cook, now bowling with the new ball, at 229-8.
Onions then hit six fours in 30 balls and shared 52 with Bailey before edging Wagner to first slip. Bailey will begin day two on 36.