Yorkshire v Essex: Five-star Amir shines
PUBLISHED: 18:56 06 August 2017
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Wickets tumble at Scarborough
Mohammad Amir returned an excellent 5-18 as leaders Essex enjoyed the better of a helter-skelter opening day of their Specsavers County Championship match with Yorkshire at Scarborough.
The Pakistan left-arm quick claimed his first five-for in an Essex shirt in his second Championship match as his 11.2-over burst helped blow the hosts away for just 113.
The visitors then responded with 188-5 from 58 overs, for a lead of 78.
Captain Ryan ten Doeschate reached an unbeaten 61, while Ben Coad claimed 3-29 from 12 overs for the hosts.
Amir, 25, struck twice in his first six-over burst with the new ball, twice in two balls in the first over of his second spell and once immediately after lunch.
He was backed up by new-ball partner Jamie Porter, who claimed three wickets, and two for Ravi Bopara as the visitors expertly made use of swinging conditions.
Alex Lees, captain Tim Bresnan and Coad all fell for ducks following an uncontested toss.
There was the odd loose shot. as Tom Kohler-Cadmore played down the wrong line to an in-swinger from Amir and Adil Rashid played across the line and was lbw to Bopara.
But Essex bowled their hosts out rather than being gifted a series of wickets.
Having said that, Yorkshire should have posted more than 113, as Adam Lyth and Ryan Sidebottom showed with a last-wicket stand of 39 to give the score some respectability from 74-9.
Lyth played superbly in the circumstances, and never at any stage opted to attack his way out of trouble with partners coming and going too often.
Yorkshire have lost two of their last three Championship matches, including here against relegation-threatened Somerset last month.
If they lose here, the champions of 2014 and 2015 will be looking over their shoulders at the foot of the table instead of aiming for another title.
For unbeaten Essex, a win here will be a giant step towards their first Championship title since 1992, especially if Lancashire’s struggles at Hampshire turn into a defeat.
But that chain of events is nowhere near certain as Yorkshire hit back with the ball after lunch.
They struck three times in the afternoon as Jack Brooks made the breakthrough when he had Varun Chopra lbw in the fourth over before Coad and Bresnan got Nick Browne in the 16th and 17th overs, leaving the score at 48-3.
Ravi Bopara pulled the second ball of the evening session from Brooks for six, just out of Sidebottom’s reach at long leg and straight drove the fifth for four before falling to the final ball - caught at square-leg pulling as the score fell to 81-4.
Adam Wheater (34) and ten Doeschate shared 58 for the fifth wicket to ensure a lead, but Yorkshire hit back midway through the evening with three wickets in eight balls as the score fell to 144-7 in the 43rd over.
Coad, the pick of Yorkshire’s bowlers, had Wheater caught behind and James Foster at second slip in the 42nd over before Sidebottom removed Paul Walter in the next.
Brooks had Simon Harmer caught at second slip in the 53rd over to leave the score at 164-8, a lead of 51, before ten Doeschate reached 50 off 70 balls.
*Essex have announced the passing of former player, captain, chairman and president Doug Insole, who passed away peacefully at home on Saturday night at the age of 91.
A club statement said: “Doug was one of the most outstanding players and administrators in cricket and affectionately known by everyone at the Club as ‘Mr Essex’.
“The club wish to send condolences to Norma and Doug’s family and friends at this time.”