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Essex batsman says early wickets a must for the hosts

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Mark Pettini believes today’s first session will be vital if Essex are to haul themselves back into their County Championship Division Two clash with Derbyshire.

The visitors dominated day one at Chelmsford with spinner David Wainwright finishing the day with 5-51, helping the league leaders bowl out the hosts for just 182.

“We would have liked a few more runs,” Pettini said. “We have something to work with and we will come tomorrow (Thursday) and hopefully get some early wickets and keep the runs down.

“The first session will be crucial and the wicket looks like it is going to turn so lets keep them as close to our score as possible.”

Pettini’s innings of 56 was the only decent score on what was a tough day for the hosts.

It was the former skipper’s fourth half century of the season and much-needed with competition fierce at the County Ground.

Owais Shah made his first Essex appearance of the season yesterday, Ravi Bopara will return to the side once he recovers from injury, while youngsters Adam Wheater and Jaik Mickleburgh are also waiting for further opportunities.

“It has been nice to have some form, I’ve worked hard during pre-season and its always nice good to see that hard work transform in the middle into some good form, I’ve just got to keep working hard and keep it going,” Pettini said.

“It’s good to have competition for places. We have a lot of exciting players at Essex, a lot of young players.

“It’s the job of the player with the shirt to make the most of every innings and that is what I have tried to do.”

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