Ryder wickets swing Essex fortunes
Glamorgan 40 for 3 (Ryder 3-18) trail Essex 279 (Mickleburgh 50, Hogan 4-36) by 239 runs
At the end of an absorbing opening day at Chelmsford, a late burst with the ball by Jesse Ryder ensured that Essex claimed the honours. The home side had been dismissed for 279 having won the toss but an incisive spell from the New Zealander left Glamorgan on 40 for 3.
Several batsmen were dismissed after they had settled in and seemed set for more rewarding times. Six got beyond 20 but only Jaik Mickleburgh managed to post a half-century.
Ravi Bopara was one of those to promise a decent score only to fall short. He is still struggling to make an impact at Championship level for Essex this season. He contributed only 30 of a total of 279 and has now topped 50 just once in 11 Championship innings this season.
Although Bopara scored a century when the Australians visited Chelmsford just over a week ago, he has not reached three figures in the Championship since his 147 against Gloucestershire 12 months and 12 matches ago. On this occasion, his hopes of a substantial score were ended by paceman Graham Wagg when he was yorked.
Mickleburgh scored exactly 50, containing nine boundaries from 86 deliveries, before he was caught behind by Mark Wallace, Wagg again being the successful bowler. The ball swung sufficiently to pose problems for most of the day and Australian fast bowler Michael Hogan took advantage to help himself to four wickets. They came at a cost of only 36 in 19.3 overs, a performance that emphasised his control and took his total of victims for the season to 36 in the competition.
Amongst his latest victims was Ryan ten Doeschate, who was just two runs short of his half-century when he was trapped leg before wicket by a ball that swung into him.
It was tailenders Graham Napier and David Masters who provided the most entertaining batting of the day. Napier, with his typically forthright approach, smashed two sixes among his seven boundaries before holing out on the long-off boundary. His 43 came from just 27 deliveries whilst Masters struck four fours and a six while making 28 from 20 balls before Hogan held onto a fine one-handed return catch to claim his final wicket.
Glamorgan, one of only two counties who are unbeaten in the Championship this summer - the other is Yorkshire - lost three wickets in the final hour of play as Jesse Ryder put them firmly on the back foot by capturing all three.
He started by having Will Bragg caught behind in his first over and followed that up by removing 18 year-old Aneurin Donald for 14 and nightwatchman Andrew Salter, both lbw.