Petersen returns to haunt Glamorgan
South Africa batsman Alviro Petersen struck a superb 145 against his old county Glamorgan, but a late collapse saw Essex surrender the initiative on the first day of their LV= County Championship Division Two match.
After the visitors were asked to bat, England opener Alastair Cook could only make nine in his first championship match of the season, with fellow international Ravi Bopara then falling for a third-ball duck.
In between those wickets, Billy Godleman departed for 21, before Tom Westley was dismissed for three to leave the visitors struggling on 65 for four.
However, Petersen and Mark Pettini, who hit 56, joined forces in a fifth-wicket stand worth 181 to take their side to 246 for four and seemingly in control.
But that was before they lost five wickets for just 13 runs to be reduced to 259 for nine, at which stage they declared.
That left Glamorgan three overs to survive, which Gareth Rees and Nick James safely negotiated with the addition of just one run.
At the start of the day, Huw Waters could have claimed a wicket with the fourth ball when Rees shelled a sharp chance at short-leg off Godleman.
Cook got off the mark in the fifth over, cutting Waters through extra-cover for four, only for the seamer to gain revenge; the batsman was caught behind off the front foot.
Godleman clipped through leg for his first boundary in the 20th over and then survived a huge appeal for leg before.
But slow left-armer Dean Cosker struck with his fourth ball to celebrate a 500th wicket in first-class cricket; he had Godleman caught at slip for 21 by Stewart Walters.
Bopara was trapped in front by Moises Henriques, playing across the line, and Westley fell to the sixth ball of the afternoon session, departing to a reaction catch at short-leg by Rees off Graham Wagg.
Petersen - Glamorgan’s skipper last season - was still there, though, and kept the scoreboard ticking, reaching his first half-century of the season from 73 balls.
Thereafter, he illustrated his confidence by launching Cosker over long-on for six and, with Pettini dropping anchor, the partnership prospered.
Petersen reached three figures from 147 balls with 12 fours and a six, though much of his good work was undone as Essex suffered a dramatic collapse.
Pettini went caught at first slip by Wagg, who trapped Petersen and Greg Smith leg before to finish with 4-61.
Waters had David Masters caught at mid-on, prompting the declaration.