MONTY Panesar may have been absent through disciplinary reasons but Essex hardly stuggled without him with Reece Topley taking six wickets in his first championship match of the season against Glamorgan.

Topley’s six wickets helped Essex dismiss their visitors for 244 on the opening day of the division two match at Chelmsford.

The young fast bowler, making his first championship outing of the season after a stress fracture of his back during the winter, yorked Tom Lancefield in only the second over of the day after the visitors elected to bat.

The 20-year-old struck again just before lunch, having Ben Wright caught at gully, before returning with the new ball after tea to claim four wickets in five overs, including two in successive balls, to polish off the innings.

Glamorgan looked like they had recovered from a shaky start which saw them reduced to 112 for three just after lunch as Will Bragg passed 500 championship runs for the season in putting on 68 with Chris Cooke.

Bragg’s departure for 93 in the penultimate over before tea was untimely to say the least as after the interval Glamorgan lost their last six wickets for the addition of just 53 runs.

Cooke was last man out, edging Topley to slip, just before the scheduled close for 68.

Halstead Gazette:

Jesse Ryder bowling for Essex