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Cricket: 'Tough day for Essex' admits Nel

PUBLISHED: 18:24 05 April 2019 | UPDATED: 18:24 05 April 2019

Hampshire's Sam Northeast hits the ball away for four runs during day one of Specsavers County Championship Division One match at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton.

Hampshire's Sam Northeast hits the ball away for four runs during day one of Specsavers County Championship Division One match at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton.

PA Wire/PA Images

Essex assistant coach Andre Nel admitted the first day of the new Specsavers County Championship Division One season had been a hard one for the 2017 champions.

Essex assistant coach Andre NelEssex assistant coach Andre Nel

Ryan ten Doeschate chose to bowl first at the Ageas Bowl, but saw hosts Hampshire reach 303-4 before bad light stopped play, led by an unbeaten 94 from Sam Northeast.

Matt Quinn took two wickets, while Ravi Bopara and Jamie Porter also struck with the ball, but the home batsmen had the better of things.

Nel said: “It was a tough day. The conditions were cold and windy and the outfield was wet.

“Yes, we struggled and we weren’t at our best today but we will come back tomorrow slightly stronger and be on the button.

“If we can make the second new ball work for us then we will try and bowl them out for under 350.

“The pitch looked greener when we got here and then they cut it more and it played nicely.

“It helped the batters but we didn’t bowl as well as we could have as a unit.

“It is the first day of the Championship and you don’t win the Championship on the first day.”

Wicketkeeper Adam Wheater had to leave the field with a hand injury, forcing Dan Lawrence to take the gloves behind the stumps.

Nel added: “He went for a scan and we are still waiting for feedback from the hospital.

“It was his thumb. He took the ball and it looked innocuous but unfortunately he had to go for an x-ray and scan.”

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