Essex 263 and 175 for 3 (Cook 74*) lead West Indians 146 (Chanderpaul 66*, Chambers 4-62) by 292 runs
West Indies' preparations for the Lord's Test, which starts in ten days, were blown off course as Essex bowled them out for 146 and closed the second day of the tour match at Chelmsford 292 runs in front with seven second-innings wickets in hand.
While Alastair Cook took the opportunity of another chance in the middle to follow up his first-innings 46 with an unbeaten 74, the West Indians' batting was nothing to write home about. Only Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who made a typically dogged 66, prevented a complete rout.
Resuming on 24 for 1, within a quarter of an hour the tourists were 29 for 4. Dale Richards nibbled at Maurice Chambers in the third over, and two balls later Narsingh Deonarine was bowled off a big inside edge. Soon after Lendl Simmons played a loose swish outside off stump and gave wicketkeeper James Foster his second catch of the morning.
Chanderpaul and Brendan Nash stopped the rot, but Nash looked out of sorts and was beaten more than once. It was not surprising when Chambers comprehensively bowled him for 14.
Allrounder Dave Bernard decided the best form of defence was attack and thumped three fours, but with the ball still moving around it was always going to be a high-risk strategy; Jahid Ahmed replaced Chambers and straight away had Bernard caught behind. In the next over Mervyn Westfield had Darren Sammy leg-before for 1, and West Indians were 80 for 7.
Chanderpaul is no stranger at having to marshal the tail, and he again did so well, mixing caution with outbursts of violence. In one over he cracked a four and a six of Ahmed, but support for him was simply not there.
Lionel Baker became Chambers' fourth, and career-best, victim when he was caught in front of his stumps by a yorker, and Westfield wrapped things up by removing the last two batsmen in quick succession, leaving Chanderpaul high and dry.
With almost half the day to bat, Essex went about grinding the tourists' noses further into the mud, despite the early loss of Jason Gallian, collecting a pair at the hands of Baker.
Cook, who had appeared still troubled by his finger injury yesterday, looked carefree second time round, although he had a slice of luck when dropped by stand-in wicketkeeper Simmons before he had scored.
Varun Chopra and Jaik Mickleburgh both got starts before getting out, but Cook found support from Foster, and the pair added an unbeaten 77 for the fourth wicket.