Essex v Glamorgan, Chelmsford, 1st day April 26, 2011

Harris stars to boost Glamorgan

Essex 13 for 1 v Glamorgan 282

James Harris emerged as Glamorgan's star on the opening day of their County Championship match against Essex at Chelmsford. First the 20-year-old put together a well-constructed 53 in the lower order to usher the visitors to a respectable 282 total after they had been put in to bat.

Then Harris shone with the ball as he claimed the prized wicket of Alastair Cook, the England opener falling lbw for 5 as Essex closed on 13 for 1 in reply. Harris' performance was a boost for the Welsh county although they were no doubt disappointed to not post a bigger total given the fact several of their batsmen failed to make substantial scores when looking well set.

Although William Bragg made 55, three of his colleagues were dismissed in the 30s, making Harris' late rally all the more vital. Glamorgan's hopes of making a good start to their innings were dented by David Masters, who removed openers Gareth Rees and Alviro Petersen during his first five overs.

Rees (8) fell lbw while Petersen (21) was left hearing the rattle of timber as he played down the wrong line with the total on 33. The dismissal of the skipper heralded the arrival of Michael Powell to do battle on a ground where he scored a double century five years ago.

He was just beginning to impose himself again when, having reached 36, he was undone by the extra lift of Lonwabo Tsotsobe and was caught behind by James Foster, one of four catches taken by the Essex captain.

Powell's removal ended a third-wicket stand of 61, the best of the innings, while Bragg, whose effort contained eight boundaries, was finally dismissed by Maurice Chambers with the help of Foster.

That was also the combination that ended Harris' fine effort, one containing seven fours. It was only his third half-century in the championship, his last an unbeaten 76 on the same ground in 2009. Chambers emerged at Essex's most successful bowler with three for 63 from 17 overs, while Masters, Tsotsobe and Ravi Bopara picked up two each.

When Essex replied, Cook despatched the first ball he received from Adam Shantry to the boundary with a flashing square cut. But then Harris struck to leave Cook reflecting on a poor start to the season. Although he scored 155 in the last game against Northamptonshire, he has failed to reach 40 in six other trips to the middle - not the sort of form befitting a batsman who amassed 766 in last winter's Ashes series in Australia.