Essex master Gloucestershire
David Masters took his championship haul of wickets to 71 for the season as Essex gained the upper hand against Gloucestershire on the second day of their LV= County Championship clash at Colchester.
The 33-year-old paceman, the leading wicket-taker in the country, took 4-50 as the visitors finished on 176 for six in reply to Essex's 363.
Masters’ nagging accuracy and ability to extract lift made him a difficult proposition and he was on course to register his sixth haul of five wickets or more in an innings until rain arrived to end play at 3pm.
It came with Gloucestershire still requiring a further 38 to avoid the follow-on on a lively pitch.
Masters struck as early as his second over by getting rid of Hamish Marshall with the help of Tom Westley at second slip.
After lunch he had Chris Taylor caught behind before removing brothers Alex and Will Gidman with successive deliveries.
The dismissal of Alex Gidman was not without incident. After the visiting skipper was given out lbw for 29, which included two sixes in one over from off-spinner Tom Westley, he moved forward to remonstrate with umpire Steve Gale for a few seconds before turning and heading back to the pavilion.
Gale had yesterday reversed his decision to give Essex centurion Ryan ten Doeschate out caught behind.
Today's was an unsavoury incident and it certainly it took some of the gloss off a fine effort from Kane Williamson.
The New Zealander batted with an assurance his colleagues failed to match until Graham Napier trapped him on the back foot for 83. It was an effort which spanned 107 balls and included 10 fours.
Napier had earlier got rid of opener Chris Dent, with Westley again accepting a slip catch, but it was the evergreen Masters who claimed the day’s honours.
Earlier in the day, Jon Lewis collected the final Essex wicket after they resumed on 359 for nine.
Tom Craddock was bowled to give the seamer figures of 4-46 from 15.5 overs, and his dismissal left ten Doeschate unbeaten on 124, which contained 10 fours and a six.