Essex fight back against Gloucestershire

LV County Championship Division Two, Colchester
Close of play, day one: Essex 359-9 v Gloucestershire
Essex 4pts, Gloucestershire 3pts
Match scorecard
Live commentary
LV County Championship

Alex Wheater and Ryan ten Doeschate each hit centuries to revive Essex's fortunes after a poor start on the first day at Colchester.

Having won the toss and elected to bat the home side may have been regretting that decision as they slumped to 55-5.

But Wheater (135) and ten Doeschate (120 not out) put on 204 for the sixth wicket to turn the game around.

Essex closed the day on 359-9, Jon Lewis (3-43) posting the Gloucestershire attack's best figures.

Wheater and ten Doeschate established a new sixth wicket record stand by any county at Colchester, beating the previous best of 178 by the late Trevor Bailey and Ray Smith against Lancashire in 1951.

Essex's Wheater seized his chance to impress watching England selector James Whittaker as he destroyed Gloucestershire's attack, the pugnacious 21-year-old right-hander pulling and driving with immense authority against pace and spin alike.

Ten Doeschate went on to register a season's Championship best of 120 not out but only after a change of heart by umpire Steve Gale.

From the final ball of the morning session, the Holland all-rounder was given out caught behind following a half-hearted appeal from bowler Will Gidman.

But before Ten Doeschate and the rest of the players left the field, the umpire informed the batsman that he had made a mistake and reversed his original decision.

The batsman, who had only made 10 at the time of his reprieve, showed his thanks by going on to help himself to 10 fours and a six before bad light cut 11 overs from the day's schedule.