Essex gain an 89-run lead over Yorkshire in the County Championship

England fringe Test batsman Dean Lawrence hit the game’s only half-century so far as Essex took a slender lead at the halfway point of their County Championship Division One match with Yorkshire. On a sunny second day at Headingley, Lawrence reached 50 for just the fifth time in all of the cricket during an injury-plagued summer as his careful 61 helped Essex to 225 in reply to Yorkshire’s first innings of 134. I helped.

No other batsman from either side has yet made his mark, although new Yorkshire opener Finn Bain is edging closer to being unbeaten on 41 from 87-2.

Trailing by four, the hosts battled hard with the ball and bat to remain in search of just their second win in 2022. But he lost a catch to George Hill at slip in the last over of the day.

Yorkshire enjoyed a productive morning followed by a strong start to the afternoon, Essex slumping to 105-6.

Jordan Thompson claimed the first two wickets and finished with 4-60, while new-ball partner Ben Codd’s first two-wicket haul was the 200th of his first-class career.

Thompson removed Nick Brown’s off-stump with his first delivery at the start of the day’s second over, before dismissing Tom Westley for five lbw for the first six wickets.

Steven Pietersen also dismissed Sir Alastair Cook for the seventh time in their last seven Championship meetings, stranded in front for 23 as the former England captain played back one that slipped.

Essex reached lunch at 79-3 in 33 overs. But things changed quickly.

Essex gain an 89-run lead over Yorkshire in the County Championship

Thomson returned early in the afternoon and struck in his first over during the second session when Matt Critchley was caught lbw.

And when Feroze Khushi and Adam Rossington were lbw through balls that fell short in the space of six overs by Codd, Essex was six down in the 41st over and still trailing by 29 runs. Code’s first happy wicket was 200.

However, the pendulum of the day was about to swing again as Essex reasserted their authority thanks largely to their hard-hitting seamer Shane Snatter, who gave his side the lead freely.

Sneaker hit the ground well off the front foot and back and pulled Thompson for six to take the lead to 135-6 in the 47th over.

He shared 75 inside 15 overs with Lawrence, who faced 145 balls and was more than happy to play second fiddle before the skipper took Hill’s seam to midwicket, where substitute fielder Ben Mike picked Leicester up. Retained for his first contribution in a Yorkshire shirt joining from the Shire.

Lawrence reached his half-century off 118 balls, his fifth of a disappointing summer in which the 25-year-old suffered two hamstring injuries on his return from England’s tour of the West Indies, the final Test of the winter.

He batted with skill and caution in bowler-friendly conditions, though must have been disappointed to feel out for one after tea, and Edgehill (3-22) trailed his team by 75 on 209-8.

Ben Ellison was caught lbw by Thomson for 23 before Hull’s third wicket was caught behind by a swinging Sam Cooke.

After Sam Cook removed Adam Leith early in Yorkshire’s second innings, Benn played with positivity but bravely pointed to the easy batting conditions in Headingley’s sunshine.

Hull also played well for 33, although he sharpened his bat in frustration after being felled by Jamie Porter three balls before the allotted time.

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