Jordan spearheads Surrey recovery
Surrey 315 v Essex
A career-best 71 from Chris Jordan spearheaded a fighting recovery by Surrey as they totalled 315 all out on the opening day of their County Championship Division Two match against Essex at Chelmsford.
He was backed up by useful contributions from late order batsmen Jason Roy, Gareth Batty and Stuart Meaker before Graham Napier removed him on his way to figures of 6 for 53. That also represented a career best return by the fast bowler on a day when David Masters, the country's leading wicket taker, had to settle for a solitary success at a cost of 99 while sending down 29 overs.
Surrey went into the game knowing that victory would keep their promotion hopes very much alive but they met with a series of setbacks during the opening session. A gung-ho approach saw them lose half their side for 94 with Napier and 19-year-old Tymal Mills inflicting the major damage.
Napier struck twice in the space of 10 deliveries to have Steve Davies edging to slip before bowling Mark Ramprakash while Mills' extra pace accounted for Rory Hamilton-Brown and Zander de Bruyn. Hamilton-Brown did have the satisfaction of reaching his 1,000 Championship runs for the summer on his way to 32 before he was bowled in an innings which included an on-driven six at the expense of Masters.
In between the double blows struck by Napier and Mills, the visitors also lost Tom Maynard who looked distinctly unhappy at being given out lbw to Ryan ten Doeschate. But from a position where there were doubts of them claiming a batting point, Surrey hit back with spirit.
Roy played a prominent part with a well-struck 43 before Napier returned to have him snapped up in the slips by Tom Westley, but it was Batty and Jordan who provided the real backbone to the innings. Adopting a more cautious approach than the earlier batsmen, they put together a stand of 81 in 28 overs for the seventh wicket before Batty, when one short of his half century, edged Napier to ten Doeschate at second slip.
Shortly afterwards Jordan reached a fighting half century while going on to share in another productive partnership with Meaker. That yielded 69 in 27 overs before the toiling Masters found a way through Meaker's defence after he had contributed 38 - a success that signalled the paceman's 87th Championship wicket of the season.
Jordan was finally undone by Napier who found extra bounce to have him caught behind. His innings spanned three hours 50 minutes, consuming 172 deliveries and included just four boundaries.
Napier then brought the innings to a close by having Tim Linley caught at mid wicket to signal his career best. That left Billy Godleman and Westley to negotiate just two overs which they did without any problem while taking Essex to six without loss.