Essex Master Worcestershire on day one
PUBLISHED: 18:52 31 August 2016 | UPDATED: 18:52 31 August 2016
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Veteran seamer produces a magnificent seven
A superb spell of bowling from David Masters helped Essex make a strong start to their Specsavers County Championship match with Worcestershire at Chelmsford.
Masters claimed five wickets in the morning session to put the visitors on the back foot and added two more victims as they were dismissed for 230.
And Essex overcame the early loss of Nick Browne to reach 111-1 in reply, thanks to a fine stand between Tom Westley and Alastair Cook.
The visitors decided to bat after winning the toss and made a steady enough start until Masters had Brett D’Oliveria caught by captain Ryan ten Doeschate in a bad-pad position with the score on 35.
Masters followed up with a leg before decision against Tom Fell next ball and made it three wickets in the over when bowling Joe Clarke for another duck.
Daryl Masters departed soon after, trapped in front of his stumps by Masters, to leave Worcestershire 36-4.
And the veteran seamer completed a stunning five-wicket haul when bowling Ross Whiteley with the total only on 48.
Shell-shocked Worcestershire managed to reach lunch without any further loss, as Masters reflected on a 12-over spell which had brought him 5-21.
And the visitors rebuilt their innings after the restart through Ben Cox and George Rhodes, who brought up a half-century stand in 16 overs to take the score into three figures.
Cox reached his fifty from 65 balls with 11 fours, but was then caught by Dan Lawrence at cover off the bowling of Jamie Porter to make it 142-6.
And Rhodes reached his half-century from 107 deliveries, with eight fours, to help bring pu Worcestershire’s 200, only to then push forward to a ball from Will Rhodes and offer a low catch at first slip to England Test captain Cook to fall for 59.
Joe Leach fell to the returning Masters, caught in the deep by Lawrence, to make it 214-8 and Lawrence pouched another catch to give Rhodes his second wicket, as Jack Shantry fell without scoring.
Masters wrapped up the innings on 230 when bowling Miguel Cummins to finish with superb figures of 7-52, but Essex’s joy was shortlived as Browne fell without scoring, offering no shot to Leach and being trapped leg before with only a single on the board.
Tom Westley joined Cook at the crease and the pair set about building a platform, bringing up their half-century partnership with 13 overs still remaining in the day.
Westley reached 1,000 Championship runs for the season as he moved to within a single of his own half-century, a landmark he reached having hit nine fours and faced 74 deliveries.
Essex closed on 111-1, with Westley unbeten on 58 and Cook with 43 runs to his name, having hit seven boundaries. And they will look to bat themselves into a commanding position on day two as they seek to maintain their hold on top spot in Division Two, with only one promotion place available this season.