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Dan Lawrence shores up Essex before Fin Bean shines in reply

Yorkshire 134 (Hill 36, Cook 3-31, Snater 3-39) and 87 for 2 (Bean 41*) trail Essex 225 (Lawrence 61, Thompson 4-60) with four runs

England Test hitter Dan Lawrence reached the only half-century to date – a tentative 61 – when Essex claimed a slim advantage midway through their LV= Insurance County Championship showdown with Yorkshire.

On a sunny second day at Headingley, Lawrence reached 50 for just the fifth time in all cricket during an injury-ravaged summer as Essex answered Yorkshire’s first innings 134 with 225.

No other batter from either side has raised his bat yet in a bowler-dominated Division One game, though young Yorkshire opener Fin Bean comes closer and comes close to 41 out of 87 for two unbeaten from 27.4 overs from their second innings.

The hosts, trailing four, fought hard with the ball, then batted to stay in the chase for just a second win in 2022. But they lost to George Hill who was caught skidding in the day’s final.

Yorkshire enjoyed a useful morning followed by a super start to the afternoon with Essex dropping to 105 to six.

Jordan Thompson claimed the first two wickets fell and later finished four for 60, while new ball partner Ben Coad’s first of two wickets was the 200th of his first-class career.

Thompson uprooted Nick Browne’s stump with his first ball, at the start of the second left of the day, before driving out Tom Westley as the first of five lbws in the first six wickets.

Steve Patterson also trapped Sir Alastair Cook for 23 as the former England captain bounced back to one that slipped through.

It was the seventh time in the last seven Championship games the two played that Patterson removed the southpaw.

Essex reached lunchtime at 79 for three of 33 overs. But things changed quickly.

Thompson immediately returned early in the afternoon and struck in his first skip for the second session which ran when Matt Critchley was lbw.

And when Feroze Khushi and Adam Rossington were stuck lbw with deliveries staying low from Coad in the space of six overs, Essex was six-down in the 41st over and 29 runs adrift. The Khushi wicket, Coad’s first, was number 200.

However, the pendulum of the day was about to swing again when Essex reaffirmed their authority, thanks in large part to their hard-nosed sailor Snater, who freewheeled his side for the lead.

Snater hit the ground off the front foot and rear well, pulling Thompson for six to secure a 135 for six lead in the 47th over.

He shared 75 inside 15 overs with Lawrence, which he passed in the mid-1940s. The English man had been on 25 when Snater came into the fold.

Lawrence, who played 145 balls, was more than happy to play second fiddle before Snater took Hill’s seam to midwicket, where subfielder Ben Mike kept his first contribution in a Yorkshire shirt after transferring from Leicestershire. With 180 for seven, Essex was on with 46.

Lawrence reached his 50s shortly after 118 balls, his fifth from a frustrating summer that was literally paralyzed after returning from England’s spring test tour of the West Indies.

The 25-year-old suffered two hamstring injuries early in the season and had to find his way again for the likes of Essex, the Lions and the London Spirit, while the England senior team won six of the seven summer tests. Based on this evidence, a bright future remains.

He hit with skill and caution in bowler-friendly conditions but would have been frustrated had he felt an outside off just after tea and left Hill (three for 22 from 13.4 overs) behind – 209 for eight in the 68th over , a lead of 75.

Ben Allison, for 23, was then caught lbw by Thompson before Hill’s third wicket which was from a swinging Sam Cook caught behind.

After Cook knocked Adam Lyth out of Yorkshire early in the second innings, Bean played with positivity but composure as he indicated it was easier to hit under the Headingley sun.

Hill also played nicely for 33, although he waved his bat in frustration after falling on Jamie Porter three balls before the scheduled close.

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