Matthew Fisher

“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.

“I think they’re slightly ahead. 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.

“(Browne caught and bowled) 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.

“It’s quite a slow wicket.

“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.

“It was tricky to know whether to attack or defend then, but others in our lower play shots. So I just tried to hold things together.”

6.06pm Close. Essex, replying to 208, have reached 122-3 from 44 overs. They trail by 86 with Westley 52 and Patel 10.

5.58pm Westley reaches his fifty off 101 balls with 8×4s. Essex are 122-3 in the 41st over. Three more to bowl after this one this evening.

5.31pm Third wicket, and a much needed one, for Yorkshire as Lawrence chips one to mid-wicket off Oliver. Maharaj with the catch. Essex are 101-3 in the 33rd over.

5.05pm Duanne Olivier has been brought into the attack with Essex 74-2 after 26 overs. We are now playing under floodlights.

4.33pm Essex are 56-1 in the 18th over.

Tea Matthew Fisher took a stunning one-handed catch in his follow through at the start of Yorkshire’s defence of 208 on day one against Essex at Chelmsford.

The hosts have reached tea in the early stages of this Specsavers County Championship clash at 42-1 from 12 overs and on top.

Fisher, who earlier added a useful 25 with the bat, had Nick Browne superbly caught and bowled, one-handed diving to his left inches off the ground as Essex fell to 11-1 in the sixth over.

Earlier, Yorkshire lost five wickets at the start of the afternoon, three of them to Simon Harmer, who finished with 5-76, and the others to seamers Peter Siddle and Aaron Beard.

Added to Harry Brook’s 46, Will Fraine contributed 29, Jonny Tattersall 23, Fisher 25 and Keshav Maharaj 26 as the White Rose were bowled out inside 50 overs on a pitch offering plenty for seam and spin.

Tattersall fell caught behind off Harmer’s first ball of the afternoon, leaving him on a hat-trick having dismissed Brook with the last ball of the morning (129-6 in the 32nd).

Fisher and Maharaj then shared 48 for the seventh wicket before the latter was lbw to Harmer, who later removed the former via the same method but sweeping to end the innings.

Sandwiched in between, Siddle bowled Steve Patterson with a grubber and Beard had Ben Coad caught behind by a diving Adam Wheater, leaving the score at 206-9 in the 49th.

While Harmer finished with 5-76 from 18.3 overs, he conceded three leg-side sixes and went at more than four runs an over as Yorkshire played him positively.

There were 126 runs scored in boundaries or sixes by Yorkshire.

3.34pm Around the grounds courtesy of the ECB Reporters Network….

Division One

Hampshire v Warwickshire (Day 2, Ageas Bowl)

Fast bowler Olly Stone, who has been out since January with a stress fracture in his lower back, marked his return to County Championship action with a five-wicket haul as Warwickshire bowled Hampshire out for 539 on the second morning. Warwickshire are 39 for 2 in reply with the in-form Dominic Sibley dismissed for 16 by Kyle Abbott.

Surrey v Kent (Kia Oval)

Play did not get under way at The Kia Oval until noon, then Rory Burns was dropped off the first ball of the day but Harry Podmore’s disappointment was short-lived. With his second delivery he had Mark Stoneman lbw. Surrey are 99 for 3 with Dean Elgar 54 not out while Burns was dismissed by Podmore for 30.

Essex v Yorkshire (Chelmsford)

Simon Harmer took his season’s Championship wicket tally to 53 as Essex bowlers threatened to take control. The South African off-spinner, who claimed 131 wickets in his first two seasons, reached his half-century for a third year when he pinned Tom Kohler-Cadmore. Harmer added four more either side of lunch for figures of 5 for 76 as Yorkshire were bowled out for 208.

Somerset v Nottinghamshire (Taunton)

Bottom of the table Notts have reduced the leaders to 174 for 6 with Jake Ball, Luke Wood and Ravi Ashwin each taking two wickets.

Division Two

Leicestershire v Durham (Leicester)

Chris Wright took 5 for 30 as Leicestershire dismissed Durham for 117, after the visitors decided to bat first. Cameron Bancroft top scored with 36.

Middlesex v Gloucestershire (Merchant Taylors’ School)

Gloucestershire’s bowlers took advantage of the swinging conditions to make early inroads after putting Middlesex in by removing Stevie Eskinazi (9) and Sam Robson (23). Middlesex are 115 for 4 with Josh Shaw, who is on loan from Yorkshire, taking three wickets.

Northamptonshire v Lancashire (Northampton)

Opener Ricardo Vasconcelos went past fifty for the fifth time this season before departing for 77. Northants are 185 for 4 against second-placed Lancashire.

Worcestershire v Derbyshire (Kidderminster)

There have been four wickets for Charlie Morris and three for captain Joe Leach as Worcestershire’s bowlers dismissed Derbyshire, who decided to bat first, for 208. Luis Reece and Fynn Hudson-Prentice top-scored jointly with 31.

3.23pm Great catch by Fisher in his follow through, diving to his left, one-handed inches off the ground gets rid of Browne. Essex are 11-1 in the sixth over.

2.52pm Coad gone! He’s the victim of a smart diving catch by Wheater behind the stumps off seamer Beard, who has just returned to the attack. Gone for 14. Yorkshire are 206-9 in the 49th over.

2.36pm This game is moving forwards as Patterson is bowled by Siddle, with a ball which shoots low and takes off stump. 184-8. Next ball rears from a length and misses outside edge.

2.31pm Maharaj gone! He’s been trapped lbw by Harmer – almost a yorker which he tries to help on its way to fine-leg. Looked out. Gone for 26. 177-7 in the 44th. End of a 48-stand with Fisher.

2.27pm Maharaj dropped on 25 by Ten Doeschate off Siddle at short mid-off, diving forwards. 176-6 in the 43rd.

1.45pm Tattersall gone! Harmer gets him caught behind and is on a hat-trick. 129-6 in the 32nd.

Lunch An entertaining opening morning at Chelmsford has seen Yorkshire reach lunch at 128-5 after 30 overs, losing Harry Brook to the last ball of the session.

After Steve Patterson won Yorkshire’s eleventh successive toss and chose to bat, the visitors fell to 69-4 in the 18th over, two of which fell to new ball seamer Jamie Porter, before recovering through Brook and Jonny Tattersall.

The pitch has shown signs of uneven bounce.

Adam Lyth skewed a drive at Porter to point as Yorkshire fell to 18-1 after five overs before Gary Ballance was bowled around his legs by Peter Siddle in the eighth over, losing his leg stump. Both left-handers had fallen for single-figure scores.

Will Fraine (29) was next to go in the ninth when he edged behind a ball which nipped away from Porter – 43-3 – before Tom Kohler-Cadmore was trapped lbw by the off-spin of Simon Harmer for 16 in the 18th.

Brook, with 46, and Tattersall (22 not out) then shared 59 inside 13 overs to recover the situation before the former was bowled by Harmer to give Essex a pre-lunch boost.

Harmer’s first wicket of the day was his 50th in the Championship this season.

Brook and Matthew Fisher have come into the side for Jack Leaning and David Willey.

12.04pm A bit of pre Ashes news regarding Jimmy Anderson from the ECB…..

“England seam bowler Jimmy Anderson, who left the field during Lancashire’s Specsavers County Championship match against Durham at Sedbegh School on Tuesday July 2 due to tightness to his right calf, underwent an MRI scan on Friday. The MRI confirmed that Anderson has suffered a low grade calf muscle tear. As a result of the injury, he will commence a rehabilitation programme with the England and Lancashire CCC medical teams.

“Anderson will miss Lancashire’s next two Championship matches against Northants and Sussex.

“He will be reassessed on an ongoing basis regarding his availability for the Specsavers Test match versus Ireland at Lord‘s on July 24 and the Specsavers Ashes Series against Australia starting on August 1.”

11.56am Plenty of encouragement from the Essex fielders, with cries of, “Four before Harmer lads, four before Harmer” in reference to the introduction of their in-form off-spinner on a pitch which seems to have a plenty in it for the bowlers. Yorkshire 60-3 after 13. Kohler-Cadmore 13 and Brook 4.

11.34am Ballance gone! He’s been bowled around his legs by Siddle, loses leg stump, 8. 37-2 after eight.

11.18am Strong caught behind shout from Porter against Lyth (5). Ah, next ball, he skews to point. 18-1 in the fifth.

11.03am Interesting first over from Porter against Lyth – lbw shout first ball and then the last one reared a bit from a length and beat the outside edge. 2-0. Siddle sharing the new ball.

10.41am Teams………

Essex: Browne, Cook, Westley, Lawrence, Patel, Ten Doeschate c, Wheater w, Harmer, Siddle, Beard, Porter.

Yorkshire: Lyth, Fraine, Ballance, Kohler-Cadmore, Brook, Tattersall w, Fisher, Maharaj, Patterson c, Coad, Olivier.

10.36am TOSS: Another toss won, our eleventh in succession in the Championship (excluding uncontested tosses) and choose to bat first.

9.35am Around thee grounds courtesy of the ECB Reporters Network…….

Division One

Hampshire v Warwickshire (Day 1, Ageas Bowl)

Stand-in opener Ian Holland (143) and Aneurin Donald (173) shared 262 for the fourth wicket, advancing from 168-4, to underpin a close score of 450-6. Sam Northeast made 59 and Olly Stone took three wickets.

Somerset v Nottinghamshire (Taunton)

Craig Overton is added to leaders’ Somerset’s squad as they look to extend their 15-point lead at the top against bottom of the table Notts. The visitors are without Stuart Broad, whose workload is being managed ahead of the Ashes. Academy all-rounder Liam Patterson-White could make his first-class debut after impressing in the second XI while Zak Chappell, Jake Libby, Luke Wood and Matthew Carter are added to the squad beaten by Essex.

Surrey v Kent (Kia Oval)

Rory Burns returns for Surrey after missing the defeat to Yorkshire but they are still without eight players because of World Cup commitments or injuries. Ollie Pope had his first net since shoulder surgery on Friday but ready to return yet.

Kent’s 13-man squad is unchanged with Fred Klaasen and Mitch Claydon added to the team which drew with Warwickshire last week.

Essex v Yorkshire (Chelmsford)

Second-placed Essex are likely to be unchanged after winning five of their seven games so far. Batsmen Nick Browne and Tom Westley both signed new contracts this week. For the visitors, Harry Brook comes in for Jack Leaning while all-rounder David Willey misses out for personal reasons.

Division Two

Leicestershire v Durham (Leicester)

All-rounder Tom Taylor has been ruled out for the hosts so Gavin Griffiths and Callum Parkinson will compete for starts. Durham have no fresh injury worries and could select the side which drew with Lancashire in the last round of games.

Middlesex v Gloucestershire (Merchant Taylors’ School)

Bottom of the table Middlesex, who haven’t finished last in the Championship since it started in 1890, look to start a climb up the table. Steven Finn has a niggle and will be replaced by Tom Barber while Jack Davies makes way for Robbie White, who has returned from a loan spell with Essex. Gloucestershire are at full strength.

Northamptonshire v Lancashire (Northampton)

Fresh from their record win over Sussex, Northants are likely to be unchanged. James Anderson (calf) and Liam Livingstone (side) are absent for Lancashire, as is Tom Bailey (knee). Richard Gleeson is due to face his former county, while leg-spinner Matthew Parkinson could make his first appearance of the season in the Championship.

Worcestershire v Derbyshire (Kidderminster)

Wayne Madsen returns to the Derbyshire squad after missing their draw against Middlesex with injury and Tom Lace, who wasn’t allowed to play against his parent county, is also named in a 13-man squad. Worcestershire are still without Wayne Parnell but have no other injury concerns as Derbyshire visit Chester Road for the first time for 20 years.

Good morning from Chelmsford, where it is a muggy morning. Dry and warm without a great deal of sun.

Yorkshire face an Essex side who are second in the table and on a three-game winning streak. They are 21 points behind leaders Somerset, while Yorkshire are third and a further 15 points adrift.

The White Rose are in buoyant mood after last week’s win over Surrey at Scarborough, a nail-biter which ended with only 10 balls remaining when Duanne Olivier had Gareth Batty caught in the slips.

It is expected that South African spinners Simon Harmer and Keshav Maharaj will have a bit impact upon this game.

We are all set for an 11am start. Enjoy the day.

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