Vitality County Championship – Day One – Nottinghamshire v Essex

Vitality County Championship – Day One – Nottinghamshire v Essex

Dean Elgar

It was a battle of the South Africans at Trent Bridge on the first day of the LV= County Championship as Dean Elgar (80) faced Dane Paterson (5 for 49). The latter’s efforts ensured that Nottinghamshire ended the day ahead against Essex, a team with title ambitions.  A day that either team could have dominated ended with Essex  244 for nine.  

The first day back from a long absence brought about a certain buzz of anticipation, which was no different for the patrons of Trent Bridge. Play was delayed an hour because of overnight rain, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of the assembled crowd as they shared stories of their winter adventures before looking ahead to another season by the banks of the Trent.

There were new faces on both sides, Jack Haynes and Dillon Pennington arriving from Worcestershire to bolster the Nottinghamshire ranks, while Dean Elgar and Jordan Cox, the new Essex players, threatened to leave their mark with a third-wicket partnership of 112, after they lost the early wickets of Feroze Khushi (18) and captain Tom Westley (7) with the score on 58 for two.

With 86 tests under his belt, Elgar looked every bit the accomplished performer he is. The first ball of the game disappeared through the covers for four, and he looked odds on for a big score until his fellow South African international managed to flick the very top of Elgar’s off-side bail, and the opener walked off bemused at how he had been bowled. It was part of an inspired spell of bowling from Paterson either side of tea, taking four for 24 to put Notts in control. The bowler, who has only returned to the country in the last couple of days, celebrated his birthday a day late. He had Matt Critchley (1) lbw, followed by Paul Walter (0) caught behind and then bowled Adam Rossington (13).

Cox, a new signing for Essex from Kent, played a mature innings that went under the radar. He batted solidly with Elgar, and there was the hint of a batter in form when he hit the highly-rated Calvin Harrison back over his head for six and, with the very next ball, brought up his fifty with a well-timed four. Like Elgar, Cox’s dismissal came out of nowhere as Harrison got revenge for his earlier mauling to finally dismiss the batter for a well-earned 84. Shortly after, Shane Santner (12) was comprehensively bowled and what once looked like Essex’s day, after losing the toss and being asked to bat, had been turned around by the Notts bowlers, as they finished on 244/9. Essex have bowlers in Sam Cook and Jamie Porter who could cause Notts a few problems early on; it promises to be an entertaining start to the season.


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