Essex 9 for 1 v Worcestershire

Essex lost opener Jaik Mickleburgh in a 30-minute session of play on the second day of the Division Two promotion clash with Worcestershire at New Road.

After a complete washout on Tuesday, the teams waited until after lunch for the ground to dry out but only 6.5 overs were bowled before the rain returned. Having won the last two games after putting their opponents in to bat, Worcestershire followed the successful formula when Daryl Mitchell won the toss.

It was rookie Chris Russell who claimed the solitary success rather than his 38-year-old new-ball partner, Alan Richardson, who took 24 wickets in his county's back-to-back victories over Kent and Gloucestershire.

Russell got one to move across Mickleburgh as the opener shaped to play towards midwicket but edged to third slip where Moeen Ali held on to a smart catch, waist-high to his right.

Tom Westley got off the mark in the seventh over, clipping Richardson through the leg-side, but only two more balls were bowled before umpires Jeremy Lloyds and Graham Lloyd took the players off because of bad light.

They were not to return as steady rain set in until play was called off for the day at 4.20pm. This left Nick Browne still awaiting his first run after facing only two deliveries on his Championship debut for Essex.