|County Championship Division Two, Cardiff|
|Close, day one: Glamorgan 231 v Essex 343-9|
|Glamorgan 4pts, Essex 6pts|
A disciplined century from England batsman Ravi Bopara put Essex in charge going into day three at Glamorgan.
Home paceman Michael Hogan took the wicket of Jaik Mickleburgh to leave the visitors precariously placed on 25-3.
Bopara steadied Essex, and despite the efforts of Australian Hogan (5-68), the right-hander defiantly reached his ton off 204 balls.
He finally fell for 145 to a slower ball from Graham Wagg, but Essex finished on 343-9, a lead of 112.
His innings was, in the circumstances, one of his best for the county, with Graham Napier their next highest scorer on 41 not out, although Ben Foakes (38) and James Foster (27) provided good support for Bopara in stands of 83 and 91.
Near the end of the day, left-armer Wagg bowled four no-balls in an extraordinary 11-ball over that produced 21 runs, including a six from Napier.
VIEW FROM THE COMMENTARY BOX
BBC Essex's Nick Gledhill:
"Essex needed Ravi Bopara to find his form and he responded with a superb 145 which has put his side in control of this match.
"Mark Pettini and Ben Foakes played important supporting roles in partnerships with Bopara that gave Essex a platform. He had some luck, especially when surviving one very close lbw shout, and wasn't fluent until he sped through the nineties with successive leg-glanced fours.
"From then on he played with freedom and renewed confidence. It was an innings that bodes well for the rest of the season and backs up the judgement of the England selectors who have kept him in their plans."