Keogh the surprise package after Ryder shines
Northamptonshire 43 for 0 trail Essex 276 (Ryder 87, Browne 58, Keogh 3-35) by 233 runs
Jesse Ryder hit 87 but Essex lost their last six wickets for 39 runs as Northamptonshire fought back to enjoy the better of the opening day of the County Championship Division Two match at Wantage Road.
After Nick Browne's 58 at the top of the order, Essex were well placed on 237 for 4 with Ryder in full flow, but his dismissal shortly after tea sparked a dramatic collapse, Rob Keogh taking a career-best 3 for 35 while Rory Kleinveldt also picked up three wickets.
Stephen Peters and Rob Newton then safely negotiated the remaining 12 overs of the day as Northants closed on 43 without loss.
James Foster won the toss and opted to bat on a sunny day in Northampton and Browne got the visitor's off to a flying start, reaching 32 at a run-a-ball, but an opening stand of 48 was broken when Jaik Mickleburgh left a straight one from Steven Crook and was lbw for 8.
Browne, who completed his second half century of the season, and Tom Westley appeared to be guiding Essex to lunch in relative comfort until Crook excellently ran out the later for 14, a full length dive at mid-off before throwing down the stumps with Westley stranded.
Kleinveldt found Browne's outside edge in the third over after lunch, and despite Ryder quickly finding his stride with his first six scoring shots all boundaries, Northants kept chipping away as Ravi Bopara was sharply caught by Alex Wakely low at second slip off Muhammed Azharullah.
After his initial flurry of boundaries Ryder, together with Ryan ten Doeschate reigned in their natural aggressive tendencies to share a partnership of 90 in 29 overs, a stand that appeared to be putting Essex in a strong position, Ryder reaching 50 in 81 balls, as Essex went to tea 212 for 4.
Having looked in little danger throughout his 87, which included 11 fours and a six, Crook found a leading edge, smartly taken by Peters at cover and Essex would go on to lose their final six wickets in 64 balls.
Three overs later ten Doeschate was caught behind driving Keogh for 32 and Keogh, who had never previously taken more than a single wicket in a Championship innings with his part time offspin, got one to turn past Graham Napier's attempted drive.
James Foster passed 12,000 career first class runs but would be left stranded on 21 as Adeel Malik was bowled attempted to slog sweep Keogh, and Rory Kleinveldt returned to remove David Masters and Reece Topley inside four balls
Newton moved up to open the batting in place of Richard Levi, and together with Peters ensured Northants reached the close without loss, Newton hitting four fours in his 21, while Peters will resume on 15.