County Championship: Benny Howell sparks Essex collapse

Benny Howells
Gloucestershire's Benny Howell broke Essex's key sixth-wicket partnership
LV= County Championship Division Two, Bristol (day one)
Essex 319: Ten Doeschate 73, Foster 63, Cook 48; Howell 3-50
Gloucestershire: yet to bat
Essex 3 pts, Gloucestershire 3 pts
Match scorecard

Late wickets from Benny Howell and James Fuller saw Gloucestershire check Essex on an even first day at Bristol.

The visitors won the toss and began well as England captain Alastair Cook made 48, but Liam Norwell (3-75) reduced them to 169-5.

James Foster (63) and Ryan ten Doeschate (73) took advantage of a good pitch to add 115 for the sixth-wicket.

But Howell (3-50) and Fuller (3-85) struck in the final session to bowl Essex out for 319 just before stumps.

Essex wicketkeeper James Foster:

"It's a good pitch and we are a little disappointed with our score. I would have liked it to be up around 350.

"Credit Gloucestershire for the way they bowled. We need to show the same discipline with the ball tomorrow.

"Alastair Cook looked in really good touch and it's not just the runs he puts on the board for us that are important. He also has a big influence off the field. He got a decent ball and all credit to Benny Howell for that."

Gloucestershire all-rounder Benny Howell said:

"We got the first new ball changed because it went out of shape very quickly and the replacement did a bit more for the bowlers.

"I got one to swing on the right line to Alastair Cook. It was a great wicket to get because he is world class and could have been there for a long time.

"It's a good pitch to bat on and if we can get through the first hour tomorrow we can hopefully rack up 400 and get a decent lead."