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Wagner impressed by Essex bowlers

PUBLISHED: 20:34 07 April 2017

Essex's Jamie Porter on day one of the Specsavers County Cricket Championship Division One season (pic Adam Davy/PA)

Essex's Jamie Porter on day one of the Specsavers County Cricket Championship Division One season (pic Adam Davy/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

New Zealander praises Porter and Beard after first day against Lancashire

Essex new boy Neil Wagner was impressed with the performances of young Essex bowlers Jamie Porter and Aaron Beard on the first day of the new SpecSavers County Championship season.

Former Oaks Park pupil Porter made the early breakthrough against Lancashire in only his second over and also dismissed young England opener Haseeb Hameed soon after tea, while Beard finished with three wickets in an economical display as the visitors were dismissed for 319.

Of Porter’s ball that removed Haseeb Hameed, Wagner said: “It was an outstanding delivery. He is a batsman who leaves the ball really well and makes good decisions. But he but left one that you walk off the field and you have to say ‘It was a pretty good ball’.

“Aaron is an outstanding prospect for Essex. I am very excited watching him bowl. I love working with him, he’s a good kid. He’s still young and the talent and ability he’s got at the moment is something to be very excited about. I love the way he runs in. He’s only 19 years old, he’s got a lot of cricket left in him.”

Wagner had only arrived in Essex in midweek after New Zealand duty and picked up three wickets against his former club himself, albeit for the cost of 100 runs.

Lancashire slipped to 160-6 in the afternoon session and saw their ninth wicket fall with the score on 268, after Dane Vilas hit 74, before Kyle Jarvis and Jimmy Anderson shared a half-century stand for the last wicket.

Wagneradded: “It was tough graft out there. It was a pretty unresponsive wicket. It was quite good batting conditions with no cloud or moisture in the air and not much swing.

“They played very well. We had them under pressure at some parts of the game and let it slip a little bit. They got a couple of valuable partnerships towards the end.

“It was a wicket where if you gave yourself time it will work for you and Dane Vilas showed that. Once you got in and set on the wicket you could score freely and for long periods of time. There were a lot of boundaries from half-shots and a lot of outside half of the bat that didn’t carry to the slips.”

Hameed, after making an impressive England Test debut in India this winter, was playing after injuring a hand against Cambridge University and fell three runs short of a half-century of his own, saying: “The finger is fine now. It felt almost back to normal.

“It was a bit of a freak incident last week, injuring it in the warm-up and it was quite painful when I batted. We made the right decision in getting it checked out and thankfully it was all okay.

“It was the same finger I injured before. I was doing some short-leg practice and trapped it between ball and turf. It swelled up quite a lot and became painful.

“The surgeon has suggested that when there is a bit of time off it might be worth having surgery to take the plate in the finger out.

“I’m looking at the season in very small packages at the moment. I think it is important for me to just look at the very near future. We’ve got some important games coming up for Lancs and there is a lot of games to be played for Lancs hopefully before the Test series. I’m very much focused on doing my best for Lancashire.”

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