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Ryan ten Doeschate

Ryan ten Doeschate was the dominant figure today, frustrating Lancashire with a feisty knock of 85 from 123 deliveries

Two wickets in the last 11 overs from captain Glen Chapple gave Lancashire a real boost on a hard-fought opening day of their LV= County Championship Division One match against Essex at Old Trafford.

After the visitors were invited to bat despite a covering of grass on the track, Ryan ten Doeschate top-scored with 85 as they closed on 251 for six.

Openers Billy Godleman and Jaik Mickleburgh, who shared 73 for the first wicket, both hit 39, off 74 and 95 balls respectively, but they fell to left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan either side of lunch.

Kerrigan had left-hander Godleman caught at mid-wicket by Stephen Moore in the 26th over and trapped Mickleburgh lbw two overs into the afternoon session to leave the score at 86 for two in the 32nd.

Matthew Walker and ten Doeschate later shared 66 in 17 overs for the fourth wicket before Walker chopped on to Sajid Mahmood for 42 after tea.

Essex looked as if they would claim the day’s honours until Chapple trapped James Foster and ten Doeschate, who hit 13 fours in 123 balls, lbw late in the day.

Chapple finished with 2-41 from 18 overs and Kerrigan 2-71 from 33.

There was a hint of swing for Lancashire’s bowlers – certainly after the ball was changed midway through the morning by the umpires – but not as much as has been on offer early in previous championship fixtures here.

Runs did not flow for Essex, however, because the likes of Chapple, Mahmood, Daren Powell, Kerrigan and Kyle Hogg all bowled with control throughout the day.

Mark Pettini and Walker added 44 for the third wicket in 20 overs before Hogg had the former well caught low down by gully fielder Mark Chilton. At that stage the visitors were 130 for three.

That united Walker and all-rounder ten Doeschate. They navigated their side to tea with the addition of another 39 runs, playing well straight and through the covers.

Ten Doeschate reached his fifty off 52 balls in the early evening sunshine but his alliance with Walker was broken when the former Kent man was cramped for room trying to cut Mahmood. That left Essex at 196 for four.

Ravi Bopara has been named in the Essex side and will replace unbeaten Grant Flower when Essex take the field on day two.

Bopara was at Downing Street today with the rest of England’s victorious ICC World Twenty20 squad.

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