Essex star Jesse Ryder relieved to find form after 'tough start'

Essex all-rounder Jesse Ryder says his first Championship century came after a difficult start in England.

The 29-year-old had failed to make a half century in eight innings until his 133 against Gloucestershire on Monday.

"It's pretty pleasing. It's been a tough start over here on the four-day side of things," the New Zealand international told BBC Essex.

"I knuckled down, got through the tough bit, built an innings and got the rewards for it."

Ryder and Ravi Bopara put on 197 for the third wicket as Essex moved into a commanding position against Gloucestershire, going into the the third day 425-3 and with a lead of 201.

Ryder's County Championship knocks

v Gloucestershire 133

v Hampshire 0 & 14

v Kent 10

v Glamorgan 42 & 10

v Surrey 11

v Worcestershire 45 & 20

Upon reaching his 100, Ryder showed the big hitting he is renowned for, striking a further 33 off 14 balls before being caught behind.

Ryder, who was dropped from the New Zealand Test and World Twenty20 teams earlier this year after a drinking session, had yet to make in-roads in either Division Two or the T20 Blast with the bat since making his debut for the Chelmsford side in May.

But he recorded career-best bowling figures with a maiden 10-wicket haul against Kent last month.

"I've been here a month now and I'm still trying to get used to the wickets," he said.

"We've played on some slow decks and some challenging decks and bowlers have been bowling well.

"I kept getting starts and frustration took over a little bit, but it was good to clear my head with a week off and come back and score some runs.

"I'm just getting back to what I know. Staying still, seeing the ball, hitting the ball: keeping it pretty simple."