Brown and Read rally for Notts
An unbroken half-century partnership between Ali Brown and Chris Read enabled title-chasing Nottinghamshire to gain the upper hand in their LV= County Championship clash against Essex at Chelmsford.
By stumps they had put on an unbroken 54 in 13 overs to carry the visitors to 126 for five in reply to Essex’s 154.
The Essex total represented something of a recovery after they had lost half their side for 45.
Their problems began in the fourth over when John Maunders was needlessly run out attempting a suicidal single.
Jaik Mickleburgh was bowled by Charlie Shreck soon afterwards before Andre Adams plunged the hosts into further trouble when he removed Billy Godleman and Matt Walker in the same over.
He did so by finding enough swing and lift to locate the edge, and wicketkeeper Read did the rest.
Paul Franks got rid of Tom Westley, again with the help of the impressive Read, who went on to claim six victims in an innings for the seventh time in his career.
Tim Phillips did his best to keep the Essex innings afloat after entering the battle with the score on 69 for six.
His concentration and careful shot selection enabled him to gather a valuable unbeaten 46 that contained seven fours.
The most substantial support came from Maurice Chambers; they put 34 for the final wicket, the highest stand of the innings.
Shreck and Franks finished with 3-40 and 3-20 respectively, while Adams’ two wickets came at a cost of 26.
If Chambers performed doggedly with the bat, it was with the new ball that he made the biggest impact, his hostility and swing quickly putting Nottinghamshire on the back foot.
He struck in his opening over by trapping Bilal Shafayat lbw and bowling Alex Hales.
Chambers later had Steve Mullaney leg before and so often did he pass the outside edge that he could consider himself unlucky not to have claimed further scalps.
The other two wickets to fall were picked up by left-arm spinner Phillips. Mark Wagh fell lbw and Samit Patel was caught at short-leg by Godleman as he pushed forward.
Nottinghamshire found themselves in trouble at 72 for five before they gained the initiative through Brown and Read.
Read completed a highly successful day’s work by reaching the close on 31, which included a straight-driven six at the expense of Phillips.
Brown will resume on 30 with Nottinghamshire seeking another 29 to move into a first-innings lead.