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RESULT
4th Match, Nottingham, April 05 - 08, 2024, County Championship Division One
253 & 374/9d
(T:335) 293 & 80

Essex won by 254 runs

Report

Paterson's five thwarts impressive Essex bows for Cox and Elgar

Proteas seamer notches seventh five-wicket haul for Notts as home side edge opening day

Dean Elgar battled to 80 from 156 balls in his first innings for Essex, Nottinghamshire vs Essex, County Championship, Division One, Trent Bridge, April 5, 2024

Dean Elgar battled to 80 from 156 balls in his first innings for Essex  •  Getty Images

Essex 244 for 9 (Cox 84, Elgar 80, Paterson 5-49) vs Nottinghamshire
Dean Elgar and Jordan Cox made eye-catching debuts for Essex but it was Elgar's fellow South African Dane Paterson who stole the show on the opening day of the Vitality County Championship season at Trent Bridge.
Opener Elgar, who retired from international cricket earlier this year, looked more than capable of filling the void left by Sir Alastair Cook, defying typical opening-day conditions with a classy 80.
He shared a 112-run third-wicket partnership with the brightly talented former Kent batter Cox, who went on to make 84. But Paterson, who flew back from a winter at home only on Wednesday, powered a Nottinghamshire fightback by taking 5 for 49 with his wily medium pace.
Paterson bowled Elgar with one of several outstanding deliveries as Essex, runners-up in Division One last season, slipped from 170 for 2 to 176 for 5, before closing on 244 for 9 from 77 overs, time having been lost to a wet outfield at the start and bad light in the evening.
Cox impressed his new employers with a mature performance but one which, Elgar apart, lacked any meaningful support.
Elgar announced himself with a boundary first ball, dispatching a Brett Hutton half-volley through cover. In testing conditions, the South African was 31 from 62 at lunch, having survived a number of tricky moments without giving a chance.
Feroze Kushi, without a Championship appearance since last June but preferred to Nick Browne to open with Elgar, made a brisk 18 that included an audacious six off Nottinghamshire debutant Dillon Pennington, who then had him squared up and edging to first slip.
Paterson, Nottinghamshire's most consistent performer with the ball, took over from Pennington at the pavilion end and soon tempted Tom Westley into a nibble outside off stump, wicketkeeper Joe Clarke taking a good, diving catch to his right.
Clarke has the gloves in this match because a Nottinghamshire batting line-up bolstered by the return of England's Ben Duckett for his first Championship match for 11 months, and by the addition of Jack Haynes, another signing from Worcestershire, could not accommodate regular 'keeper Tom Moores.
As Nottinghamshire searched for a further breakthrough with the Kookaburra ball - in use for the first of four Championship rounds this year - Elgar and Cox dominated much of the afternoon session, the former completing his half-century off 86 balls, Cox reaching that mark from 10 balls fewer soon after lofting leg-spinner Calvin Harrison over the straight boundary for the day's second six.
Elgar was playing with such assurance, drawing on the experience of his two previous county stints with Somerset and Surrey, that a debut century looked there for the taking. But the session ended with Paterson, having switched to the Radcliffe Road end, taking wickets in consecutive overs before tea.
Back for his fourth season at Trent Bridge after topping 50 wickets in each of the first three, Paterson produced the ball of the day to bowl his compatriot - angled in from round the wicket and straightening just enough to pass the edge and clip the off bail.
Moments later, Paterson was celebrating again as another fine delivery trapped new batter Matt Critchley in front, leaving Essex 174 for 4 at tea, which quickly became 176 for five on the resumption as Paterson continued his excellent spell by dismissing Paul Walter, tamely caught behind, to claim a third wicket in the space of 16 balls.
His fifth wicket in all soon followed, Adam Rossington deceived by another superb ball that took out his off stump, giving the bowler figures of four for 24 from an eight-over second spell, and a seventh five-wicket haul in Championship cricket.
Cox's hopes of a debut hundred were also thwarted, having overtaken Elgar with his 11th four only to perish next ball when Harrison turned one past his defensive bat to bowl him. All-rounder Lyndon James, meanwhile, dismissed Simon Harmer and Shane Snater to give Nottinghamshire three bowling points, with Essex still looking for a first batting point.

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County Championship Division One

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