DAY 1 Close: Essex 60-3 (Franklin 2-7) trail Glos 155 (Marshall 64; ten Doeschate 5-62) by 75 runs
Gloucestershire had a poor day with the bat as they were bowled out for just 155 by Essex on day one at Bristol.
Alex Gidman lost what appeared to be a crucial toss on a green pitch, and so it proved as David Masters dismissed both openers as the Shire slumped to 38-4. A recovery of sorts was then negotiated by Hamish Marshall - who went on to make 64 - and James Franklin (21) in the day's highest partnership of 55.
However, Masters dismissed Franklin and Ryan ten Doeschate got to work on the Shire's lower order. The tail falling over as the last six wickets went down for a mere 62 runs; ten Doeschate finishing with an excellent 5-62.
The Essex bowlers certainly put the new Tiflex ball in the right areas and made full use of the wicket's assistance.
Glos then had the evening session to make inroads. The debate over the new ball still rages on; Steve Kirby was handed it today, but his eight overs saw no results. James Franklin appeared first change and worked wonders in his first three overs. He only conceded a single and removed both openers LBW with swinging deliveries. Jon Lewis picked up another as Essex closed 60-3.
Tomorrow's morning session could prove the key moment in the game. Should the Shire pick up two or three quick wickets, they will fancy their chances to dismiss Essex without conceding too much of a lead. However, the visitors have a good opportunity to take the game away from the Glos, if they can bat a majority of the second day.