Matthew Fisher believes Yorkshire were only two wickets away from a level-pegging opening day against Essex at Chelmsford.

The seam bowling all-rounder is playing his first Specsavers County Championship match since last August following back and thumb injuries.

He contributed a useful 25 with the bat and then a stunning caught and bowled effort as Yorkshire made 208 and saw Essex respond with 122-3 on a slowish pitch offering help for both seam and spin bowlers.

“I think they’re slightly ahead,” he said.

“If we had them four or five down, we’d feel like we’re on par. But that first half hour to an hour in the morning is important.

“They have to start again with an inexperienced lad (Rishi Patel), who has only played a few games. We’ll try and put pressure on him early.

“Hopefully we can pick up a couple of wickets quickly. It’s a hard wicket to start on. Then we could blow the tail away pretty sharpish because the way we’re using Duanne Olivier, he could easily blow the tail away with only a few overs under his belt.”

Yorkshire, when bowled out midway through the day, looked to be only marginally under par with their score.

“At lunch when myself and Jonny Tattersall went back out, we said, ‘We’ll be happy with 250 and anything above that would be a bonus’. But we lost him quickly,” said Fisher, who was delighted to be back in action playing his maiden first-team match of 2019.

“You work hard all winter to try and achieve something in your season, and it’s been a tough first half of the year. But it’s great to be back.”

On the caught and bowled effort to dismiss Nick Browne, one-handed diving away to his left, he added: “It wasn’t the best wicket I’ve ever taken, but it was good to get down to it and get that first one in the bag.”

An image of Lauren Winfield-Hill and Adil Rashid, with the Yorkshire logo and Northern Diamonds logo in the middle

Sign up to our newsletter

For all the latest news, previews, ticket, membership and Premium Experiences information and more exciting content from Yorkshire Cricket and the Northern Diamonds straight to your inbox, subscribe now.

To view our privacy policy, click here.