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Cricket: Essex clash with Yorkshire 'pretty even' says McGrath

PUBLISHED: 07:22 08 July 2019 | UPDATED: 07:22 08 July 2019

Simon Harmer of Essex celebrates taking the wicket of Matt Fisher during Essex CCC vs Yorkshire CCC, Specsavers County Championship Division 1 Cricket at The Cloudfm County Ground on 7th July 2019

Simon Harmer of Essex celebrates taking the wicket of Matt Fisher during Essex CCC vs Yorkshire CCC, Specsavers County Championship Division 1 Cricket at The Cloudfm County Ground on 7th July 2019

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Essex head coach Anthony McGrath felt the first day of their County Championship match with Yorkshire was 'pretty even' at Chelmsford.

Matthew Fisher of Yorkshire takes a fine catch off of his own bowling to dimiss Nick Browne during Essex CCC vs Yorkshire CCC, Specsavers County Championship Division 1 Cricket at The Cloudfm County Ground on 7th July 2019Matthew Fisher of Yorkshire takes a fine catch off of his own bowling to dimiss Nick Browne during Essex CCC vs Yorkshire CCC, Specsavers County Championship Division 1 Cricket at The Cloudfm County Ground on 7th July 2019

Simon Harmer took 5-76 as the visitors were dismissed for 208, with Essex reaching the close on 122-3 in reply.

And McGrath said: "It's typical of Chelmsford: low scores but the game's going forward. I don't think it will be a draw which we pretty much expected before the start. I'd say it's pretty even at the moment and whoever gets the most runs could be key.

"We normally concede at around 2.7 but we were more at four, so we're a little disappointed with that. But the guys are only human; they've been super-human again this year and they're allowed to have bad sessions.

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"With the short boundary here, when you do err off line you've going to get punished. But to get five wickets by lunch, having not bowled very well, is good. And as we know 200 here in the first innings is a pretty good score. How well we bat I guess will be adjudged how well Yorkshire batted.

"We would probably have batted, but for Simon [Harmer] to get five wickets, it was another superb effort. He's over 50 wickets now. Probably a few more runs than normal, but it's a short boundary [over the Pavilion side]. He keeps putting his hand up and producing for the team."

Jamie Porter and Peter Siddle nabbed braces, before Tom Westley - having extended his contract with the 2017 champions - played the lead role in Essex's reply, finishing unbeaten on 52 alongside youngster Rishi Patel, who came into the side in place of Ravi Bopara.

McGrath added: "Tom was never going anywhere, but it's good to have him signed up [on a long-term contract].

"We've managed to find someone who's got runs every game, and hopefully Tom can go on and we can get a healthy first-innings lead.

"Ravi has got a bug and isn't very well. He was up all night, but hopefully he'll be okay. We told him not to come in so he's not spreading it to all of us. Hopefully he'll be all right for Warwickshire next week."

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