Photos: John Heald Photography
Yorkshire and Essex played out one of the more remarkable days of Specsavers County Championship cricket at Chelmsford, with both sides bowled out before tea and the visitors ending day one with a slender advantage despite earlier conceding a lead of 92.
The match started with Yorkshire bowled out for just 50 in 18.4 overs, with Joe Root out for a golden duck and Jonny Bairstow seven.
Essex’s new ball seamer Sam Cook claimed 5-28 and Australian quick Peter Siddle 4-7.
Then, Root’s predecessor as England Test captain Alastair Cook also fell without scoring as Essex slipped to 10-2 at lunch and were bowled out for 142 on the stroke of tea.
Jack Brooks, Tim Bresnan and Ben Coad all claimed three wickets.
The final session started with 31 overs still to be bowled at the start of Yorkshire’s second innings, and they closed on 161-2 with a lead of 69.
The White Rose’s first-innings total, which saw only Gary Ballance reach double figures with 22, was their lowest since 1973 when they were bowled out for 43 in a defeat to Surrey at the Oval.
It was also their lowest first-innings total since being skittled for 40 by Kent at Bradford six years earlier.
Conditions favoured bowlers, but not enough to warrant both sides being bowled out before tea. There were a number of loose shots in both innings.
Cook had Harry Brook caught at second slip, Adam Lyth caught behind, Root caught at first slip and Bairstow bowled with a beauty that nipped away as he played forwards defensively.
He later completed his five-for by trapping Tim Bresnan lbw, with Siddle wrapping up the innings with four of the last five to fall.
Jack Brooks gave the visitors the ideal start to Essex’s first innings by get Alastair Cook caught behind for a five-ball duck and Tom Westley bowled off an inside edge.
Day 1 highlights
Wickets continued to tumble after lunch, with Brooks, Tim Bresnan and Ben Coad all claiming three-fors.
The difference, however, between the two first innings proved to be a polished 48 from England Lions batsman Dan Lawrence and Simon Harmer’s late 36.
Coad bowled Nick Browne with one that kept low shortly after lunch and later had Jamie Porter lbw and Harmer caught at mid-on to wrap things up. The Harmer wicket was his 20th of the season so far.
The day of surprises continued after tea, with captain Ballance and coach Andrew Gale opting to promote Bairstow to open the batting alongside Lyth instead of Brook.
And it was a move which reaped reward.
Bairstow struck the new ball incredibly cleanly, hitting Cook and Porter over the top of mid-off’s head for fours and a six.
He helped Yorkshire pass their first-innings total without losing a wicket in the first half of the evening and went on to post the match’s first half-century off 42 balls.
He then fell as one of two quick wickets to Siddle, who bowled him off an inside-edge and then had Lyth caught at second slip by a juggling Harmer.
Thankfully, however, there were no more alarms as Brook and India overseas batsman Che Pujara built on the positive start to end the day not out on 57 and 22. Brook’s 47-ball fifty was his first in first-team cricket.