Essex 245 and 73 for 1 lead Warwickshire 161 (Siddle 5-33) by 157 runs
Peter Siddle took his second five-wicket haul this season to help Essex put Somerset under serious pressure at the top of the Specsavers County Championship. The paceman recorded figures of 5 for 33 as Essex looked to reduce the 15-point deficit to the Championship leaders and take advantage of Somerset's travails at the hands of Yorkshire at Headingley.
Siddle took his season's tally to 32 wickets in the Championship at a cost of 19.87 each. On a personal note, his latest exploits were a timely reminder to the Australian selectors as they prepare to name their squad ahead of what would be Siddle's sixth Ashes series.
In removing four of the last five batsmen, Siddle helped Essex dismiss Warwickshire for 161 and gain a first-innings lead of 84. It was the sixth time in six Championship matches at Chelmsford this season that Essex had outscored their visitors; they won all five of those previous games.
Siddle was recalled to the attack in an act of desperation by Essex captain Ryan ten Doeschate after Tim Ambrose and Michael Burgess had compiled a big-hitting sixth-wicket stand of 64 in 19 overs that lifted Warwickshire from the depths of 62 for 5. The effect was immediate: Ambrose was out to the third ball of Siddle's new spell, Burgess to the sixth.
Henry Brookes and Olly Stone followed in quick succession before Aaron Beard wrapped up the innings by bowling Jeetan Patel.
That left Essex with 29 overs in the evening to build on their lead, which had grown to 157 at the close with nine wickets still standing.
After Nick Browne and Alastair Cook had recorded their fifth half-century opening stand of the season, Will Rhodes repeated his wicket-taking form of the first innings when he struck with his second legitimate ball of the second. Browne was adjudged lbw after hitting eight fours in a 71-ball 38.
Essex sent in Matt Quinn as nightwatchman for the final three overs to accompany Cook through to the close. Cook had looked assured in reaching 34.
Siddle had set Warwickshire on the slippery slope when he had Rhodes lbw to a straight one in his third over. Liam Banks followed in the next when he was bowled around his legs by Quinn.
Adam Hose continued a sequence of low scores since his 111 against Nottinghamshire at the start of June. He faced 25 balls without scoring before falling to Beard's second delivery, well held at first slip by Cook moving to his right.
Debutant Dan Mousley, 18 just a week ago, gave himself room against Simon Harmer and was beaten by the extra bounce as he edged to Adam Wheater for 3. Rob Yates put on 29 for the fifth wicket with Ambrose during which Warwickshire's first fifty was posted in the 28th over. But Yates had added just one run to his lunch-time 31 when he swept early at another Harmer delivery and was lbw.
Ambrose decided the best means of defence against Harmer was to attack. When he late-cut Harmer for his sixth four, it brought up the fifty partnership in 16 overs. The run spree didn't stop there: Burgess caned Quinn for three fours in an over. It was too much for ten Doeschate and Siddle was thrown the ball.
Ambrose, having scored 38 from 93 balls, was unable to withdraw his bat in time and snicked to Tom Westley at third slip. Burgess had reached 35 from 55 balls when he picked out Westley at mid-off. Ten Doeschate caught Brookes at short leg and Wheater held on when Stone feathered behind and Siddle had four wickets in 23 balls for four runs.