It was another positive day for Essex who found themselves on 69-0 at stumps the opening day’s play against Warwickshire, after bowling out the home side for 201 earlier in the day. The pick of the bowlers were once again, Jamie Porter and Simon Harmer who took 4 wickets apiece with a wicket each for Neil Wagner and Sam Cook, who was making his second successive Championship appearance of the season.
Jamie Porter was pleased with the day’s work at Edgbaston: “All four bowlers used did really well. Sam Cook hit a good length early on and nagged away and Harmy did what he does pretty much week in and week out, challenging that forward defence with a bit of spin and he got the rewards he deserved. Wags [Neil Wagner] bowled really well as well and took a vital wicket.
“I tried to keep it simple and to hit the top of off-stump as much as I could and if it nips, its nips but if it doesn’t then it’s a matter of just waiting for something to happen. It’s not as simple as it may look and you saw today that when it doesn’t quite go your way, it motivates you more to get fired up an get your rhythm back.
“I felt good and it came out pretty well. My job with the new ball as a strike bowler is to knock over a couple early on if I can and I managed to do that. You only get one new ball a game, at least only one when you are fresh, so you have got to make the most of it so it was nice to do my job.
“Then our openers did really well in the last session. It was typically Browney, he doesn’t really give much away and left well and when they came to him he took advantage of any loose balls on offer. Chopra looked top-drawer and was more aggressive so it was a nice partnership. If we can take the game away from Warwickshire tomorrow and bat all day then that would be a good start to hopefully clinching the win.”
Simon Harmer took his tally of Championship wickets to 59 for the season and able to turn the ball much earlier than expected in the opening session of the game. Harmer said: “We didn’t expect the pitch to turn as much as it did on Day One, and we always knew come day’s three and four with the left handers that there would be some turn. I was quite surprised in the first spell that it turned as much as it did.
I didn’t quite find the correct pace with the spin during my first spell and I was maybe too slow. I think during my first bowl today I bowled a little too slow and I found the turn was a little inconsistent, and then the odd ball would bite. I think its always about mixing it up when you have a newer, harder ball in your hand and there will be that extra turn and bounce and as the ball get older and the wicket flattens out then the turns going to be a little bit slower, but all in all today it ended up alright.
Three of Harmer’s four wickets were given out to lbw that is something he’s had joy from more often than not this season: I’ve looked to bowl straight and attack the stumps and when the balls been turning there haven’t been too many shots being offered and that always gives the bowling the benefit of the doubt. It’s worked out nicely for me and I’m not going to complain.”