County Championship: Essex all out for 150 but fight back strongly against Lancashire

Jamie Porter
Jamie Porter is now recovered from a back injury that forced him out of a winter trip to Australia with England Lions
Specsavers County Championship Division One, The Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford (day one):
Essex 150: Siddle 33*; Mennie 3-52
Lancashire 141-8: Livingstone 33; Porter 4-25, Harmer 4-44
Lancashire (3 pts) trail Essex (2 pts) by nine runs

Jamie Porter and Simon Harmer continued where they left off last summer as champions Essex fought back after being bowled out for 150 by Lancashire.

A total of 18 wickets fell on day one at Chelmsford as the home side's first innings lasted only 50 overs.

But Porter was soon among the wickets in reply as England hopefuls Keaton Jennings and Haseeb Hameed both failed.

Porter claimed 4-24 but it was Harmer (4-44) who sent back Liam Livingstone for 33 as Lancashire closed on 141-8.

The visitors opted to bowl first without need of a toss and, after reaching 38 for the loss of Varun Chopra, Essex then slumped to 65-4 at lunch.

Nick Browne (23) was the only batsman to pass 20 and the slide continued during the afternoon before top scorer Peter Siddle (33 not out) and Porter put on 37 for the 10th wicket, the highest partnership of the innings.

Lancashire's reply began equally badly with Jennings (2) and Hameed (8) both caught behind as Porter allied his usual accuracy with helpful seam movement.

Off-spinner Harmer, who shared 147 wickets with Porter to lead Essex to the title last summer, then found extra bounce and turn to have Joe Mennie (12) caught at short leg from the final ball of the day.

Essex spinner Simon Harmer:

"The ball was turning a lot, as much as it was turning for me towards the end of last season. If that is how we're going to go at the start the season, then I'm looking forward to what lies ahead.

"The wicket was a lot drier than we expected it was going to be, with the amount of rain there was through the winter. The first outing at Chelmsford we thought there would still be quite a bit of moisture, but it was nice and dry and this weather is helping that.

"It's been a good start to the season and a good fightback by us. They bowled well, we didn't play too many bad shots and there weren't too many soft dismissals. Then, as usual, Ports stood up and ripped open their batting order."

Lancashire's Graham Onions:

"They were quite decent conditions to bowl in. We put the ball in the right areas and both teams did it pretty well. Potentially they could have been about 120 all out. They took the attack to us towards the end.

"We want to try and get as many as we can. One ahead is better than nothing. If we can push towards 20, 30, 40 runs that will be great. But we're got to be realistic as well. Just play every ball on merit.

"My mindset will be to be positive without playing too many aggressive shots and try and block up an end for Jordan Clark. He's a very good batter in his own right and if I can bat for 50-60 balls, even if I don't score any runs, and Jordan at the other end faces 50-60 he could be 70 not out. That's my goal."