Essex v Warwickshire: Ravi Bopara and Nick Browne give hosts the edge at Chelmsford

Ravei Bopara passed 50 for the third time in the County Championship this season
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Cloudfm County Ground:
Essex 263-5: Bopara 84*, Browne 84; Clarke 2-41, Patel 2-68
Warwickshire: Yet to bat
Essex 2 pts, Warwickshire 1 pt

Ravi Bopara made his highest County Championship score of the season and Nick Browne also hit a half-century as Division One leaders Essex edged day one against bottom club Warwickshire.

After opting to bat at sun-baked Chelmsford, Essex were 96-3 after the loss of Alastair Cook and Tom Westley.

Both fell to New Zealand off-spinner Jeetan Patel before Bears old boy Varun Chopra followed cheaply.

But Browne made 84, matched by Bopara’s 84 not out as Essex closed on 263-5.

The pair shared a 127-run fourth wicket stand which helped Essex end the day in a better position, the excellent Bopara having so far put on a further 36 for the sixth wicket with James Foster (13 not out) .

On his first meeting with the Bears since opting to return to Chelmsford late last season, unbeaten leaders Essex had Chopra making only his second start of season, having so far been kept out by England Test captain Alastair Cook.

Warwickshire also made a change, bringing back Patel after two weeks on drinks duty as 12th man fro New Zealand at the Champions Trophy.

Without young seamer Grant Thornton, who was out injured, that allowed them to play two spinners, as Sunny Singh kept his place.

Patel was on inside the first half hour as the Bears, beaten by an innings in three of this season’s first five matches, made a reasonable first-day bid to maintain their five-game unbeaten run against Essex.

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