No brownies for The Oval’s peckish hacks, sadly, but we do have a full house of alternative milks at our hot drink station, with soya, oat, coconut, almond and cow available. On the pitch Matt Renshaw has started, er, milking the Surrey bowlers, scoring six runs off a single Sam Curran over, as many as he had off the previous 10 overs combined, swiftly followed by a boundary off Craig Overton, and having scored 11 off his first 60 deliveries he has since thrashed 10 from 10.
It’s a knight to remember (sorry) for Will Rhodes, who has just pinned Alastair Cook lbw for 23 to see Essex 37 for two after 15 overs. Lovely set-up from the Warwickshire captain, who after a succession of deliveries outside off got one to nip back in and beat the inside edge. Dan Lawrence joins Tom Westley out in the middle, having had something of a low key start to the season – 7, 17, 0 – since returning from the Caribbean
At The Oval:
Having decided to bat Somerset have made a circumspect start at the Oval: after 10 overs only one ball had gone for more than a single, they were tiptoeing along at 1.3 an over and they’d just lost their first wicket, Tom Lammonby caught by Ollie Pope at slip off Reece Topley. Previously the chief excitement was caused by Somerset giving their hosts an incorrect team sheet, details of which were duly relayed to the crowd. Roelof van der Merwe is not in fact playing, and Jack Brooks is. Somerset 14-1.
Greetings from Edgbaston, [Hello Ali!] where it’s typically tropical weather-wise and the Essex boys are in town. We’ve got a very short boundary to the left as I look towards the city and what looks like a good pitch out in the middle – hence the decision by the visitors to have a bat upon winning the toss. So it’s Alastair Cook and Nick Browne starting out against a new-ball pairing of Oliver Hannon-Dalby and Liam Norwell, with the latter having missed the run-fest versus Surrey due to a bad back. A squirted four for Cook during an otherwise probing st.. oh, a wicket … OHD tempts Browne with a wide one and the edge flies to a diving Michael Burgess behind the stumps. Essex six for one in the fifth over of the day.
Morning Tanya, morning everyone. [Hello Simon in south London!]. The bell has just rung out at The Oval, where the one big change I’ve spotted since last season involves the living wall outside the Vauxhall End/JM Finn Stand. Installed in 2005 amid some fanfair, by last year there were some unsightly dead sections and since then it seems drastic action has been taken, with the real plants having been replaced with plastic ones. I’m sure there’s a metaphor in there somewhere.