Cricket: Porter inspires Essex against Notts
PUBLISHED: 18:41 14 May 2019 | UPDATED: 18:52 14 May 2019
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Jamie Porter found form in the Specsavers County Championship for the first time in 2019 as Essex's formidable fast bowler helped bowl Nottinghamshire out for 187.
Porter has enjoyed incredible hauls of over 50 wickets in the previous four campaigns, which included plundering 75 wickets in 2017's title winning season and 58 last year.
Those returns had caught the eyes of the England selectors last summer to earn a call-up without making his bow, but with an Ashes berth potentially on the horizon the early stages of 2019 had failed to prove profitable.
But having accumulative figures of 2-276 from the opening two games, against Hampshire and Surrey, he burst into life with analysis of 4-75, which included his 250th Championship notch in a typical destruction against Nottinghamshire.
Fellow bowlers Sam Cook, Peter Siddle and Simon Harmer all chipped in with two wickets apiece as Essex dominated the first day's action at Chelmsford.
Nottinghamshire won the toss and elected to bat first on a good-looking track under glorious blue skies but failed to make hay.
Ben Duckett fell in the fifth over for his third successive single-figure Championship score when he was lbw to Porter, a decision the batsmen didn't appear to be happy with despite replays suggesting the ball was cannoning into his middle and leg stumps
Chris Nash struck a quartet of boundaries off a single Porter over as he aggressively reached his 12,000 first-class run, but his belligerence proved his downfall when he flicked to substitute fielder Jack Plom at square leg.
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The visitors regrouped through Ben Slater and Joe Clarke, amid parsimonious bowling from Cook, Siddle and Harmer - the latter bowling five straight maidens.
The lunch interval allowed Slater and Clarke to free themselves and work towards an innings high 80-run stand.
Slater has been frustrated by good starts so far in his Nottinghamshire career, with six scores of over 40 but only a single century across all first team formats - and the pattern repeated itself when he was caught behind for 45.
Porter picked up his third scalp of the innings when he castled Clarke for a well-made 48, which sparked a collapse as Nottinghamshire lost their last six wickets for 56 runs.
Cook put down a sharp caught-and-bowled chance off Samit Patel, though it did not prove costly as Patel had not added to his score before he wafted outside off-stump to Siddle and was caught behind. It was the Australian's 100th Championship wicket, and his 45th in nine games for Essex.
Steven Mullaney departed an over later when his thick edge flew to Nick Browne at point.
Luke Fletcher added 24 runs but having slog swept Harmer over the deep midwicket for six, fell when he attempted the copy the shot but only found Cook, who had trotted closer to the rope.
The innings fizzled out when Zak Chappell and Matt Carter were both caught by Tom Westley for ducks, the former back peddling from mid-off and the latter at third slip.
Sir Alastair Cook and Browne eased the hosts to the close on 68 without loss from 21 chanceless overs, unbeaten on 29 and 34 respectively, closing the deficit to 119.