Carter and Clarke damage Essex
Essex 149 for 9 v Warwickshire
Essex were indebted to tail-enders Bryce McGain and Tony Palladino for achieving some semblance of respectability in their County Championship battle against Warwickshire at Southend. Between them they were responsible for over a third of Essex's total of 149 for 9 before rain in mid-afternoon washed out further play.
Coming together at 91 for 8, Palladino and McGain added a valuable 43 before the Australian fell lbw to Rikki Clarke for 24 spanning 63 deliveries. Before the rain came Palladino, in his first Championship outing of the summer, had struck 31 that included five fours.
The only other batsman to hold up Warwickshire for any length of time was Matt Walker who battled the way through 19 overs in making 29 from 56 balls. He was finally undone by Chris Woakes, another lbw victim, on a day when the visiting seam attack were the dominant force.
Their ability to swing the ball proved the decisive factor as bottom-of-the-table Warwickshire enjoyed one of their more successful days in the field against opponents also struggling to preserve their First Division status.
After Woakes trapped Mark Pettini lbw for a single with the 14th ball of the match, Neil Carter was to pile further misery on Essex with a devastating spell that brought him three wickets in the space of eight deliveries at a personal cost of two runs. Tom Westley edged to Darren Maddy in the slips, Jaik Mickleburgh was bowled and Ravi Bopara fell lbw for just a single.
That left Essex 31 for 4 and three runs later captain James Foster was left regretting his decision to bat even more when he became another victim of Clarke. Clarke and Carter had so far picked up three for 26 and three for 48 respectively, while Woakes had figures of 2 for 39.
The one bit of encouraging news for Essex is that Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria is likely to play in the Friends Provident Twenty20 finals day at the Rose Bowl on August 14. Kaneria has been axed from the Pakistan Test squad currently touring England and Essex are planning to re-register him for the remainder of the season. They are now seeking approval from the England and Wales Cricket Board.