Somerset v Essex: Former England captain Alastair Cook hits unbeaten 39 for visitors

Alastair Cook Tom Westley
Alastair Cook (left) will resume day two needing 11 for a half-century
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Cooper Associates County Ground (day one):
Somerset 209: Trego 48; Zaidi 3-17
Essex 60-2: Cook 39*
Somerset 1 pt, Essex 3 pts

Ex-England captain Alastair Cook hit an unbeaten 39 for Essex against Somerset in his first Championship appearance since standing down as Test skipper.

Cook took two slip catches in the first session as the visitors bowled Somerset out for 209 in Taunton.

In bowler-friendly conditions Peter Trego (48) top scored as the home side struggled to deny Essex's bowlers.

Although Nick Browne was bowled cheaply by Craig Overton, Cook held out under heavy cloud cover as Essex closed 60-2.

Cook returned to the hosts' line-up after being sidelined for their first match against Lancashire with a hip injury, and the England opener took two low catches at first slip as Marcus Trescothick and new Somerset captain Tom Abell were both dismissed by Ravi Bopara.

Dean Elgar (34) and James Hildreth (36) shared a 54-run third-wicket partnership, before the former was stumped off spinner Ashar Zaidi.

Trego's lone resistance was ended as he top-edged Simon Harmer to Zaidi but the hosts managed to pick up a solitary batting bonus point as they edged past 200.

After a short delay due to bad light and surviving a tight lbw call, Cook sent Jamie Overton for three consecutive fours as he eased into the match.

Roelof van der Merwe ensured Somerset ended on a high, as he bowled Tom Westley for 10 with the final ball of the day.

Somerset all-rounder Peter Trego said:

"I think it's probably slightly swung in their favour.

"It's the old cricketing cliché: you can only see how good a pitch is when both sides have batted on it and Alastair Cook is a phenomenal player and he's making life look relatively easy out there and I don't think any of us did.

"It's a sporting wicket. There's certainly something there for the bowler, but you get rewarded for quality batting."

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