Yorkshire 134 (Hill 36, Cook 3-31, Snater 3-39) vs Essex
In returning an excellent 3 for 31 from 15 overs, the 25-year-old England Lions seamer became the first English bowler in more than half a century to bring up the double hundred at an average under 20.
Cook, whose 201 wickets have came at 19.56 apiece, achieved a feat last secured by Derbyshire’s Alan Ward in 1971 and took advantage of helpful conditions to vindicate captain Tom Westley’s decision to bowl first at the start of the two counties’ 12th match of 14 in Division One.
There was no play possible beyond tea, taken at 3pm, due to rain, with Essex’s innings not starting and 43 overs cut from the day’s allotted 96.
Play was preceded by a minute’s silence in memory of Queen Elizabeth II and the national anthem, while both teams wore black armbands.
While Essex are bidding to end the season with a top-three finish in Division One – they started this round 30 points behind Lancashire with a game in hand – Yorkshire are still not clear of relegation danger. They are 25 points clear of second-bottom Warwickshire.
Cook has been in outstanding recent form. He has taken 23 wickets in his last six appearances both in the Championship and for the Trent Rockets in the Hundred, including a crucial 10 for the match in Essex’s victory over Kent last week.
A bowler who is affectionately known as Little Chef at Chelmsford, owing to the presence of the Alastair Cook in their squad, Sam Cook is without express pace. He is not as quick as new-ball partner Jamie Porter, for example, but he rarely lets batters settle with his accuracy and skill. Many see him as the ideal replacement for James Anderson in England’s Test team when needs be.
He made the initial breakthrough by getting Fin Bean caught behind for a duck one-handed by wicketkeeper Adam Rossington, who also had an impressive day. It was the first of four catches for the ex-Northamptonshire man.
That left Yorkshire, batting under floodlights all day, at 4 for 1 in the fourth over before Tom Kohler-Cadmore edged to third slip for Cook’s milestone wicket and Hill feathered behind. When the latter fell in the afternoon’s second over, Yorkshire were 64 for 5 in the 30th.
After an early Porter strike, getting the other opener Adam Lyth caught behind, Snater matched Cook’s contribution as Essex pressed ahead.
Snater’s first wicket was Will Fraine bowled for a duck shortly before lunch. Afterwards, he had Matthew Revis caught behind off the inside edge and also bowled Jonny Tattersall for a hard-working 32 as Yorkshire fell to 100 for 7 in the 41st over.
Allison then added his two wickets, including bowling Ben Coad with a vicious bouncer which he could only fend onto his stumps, before Porter wrapped up the innings by trapping Jack Shutt lbw in the 53rd over.
New Yorkshire loan signing Ben Mike, the all-rounder who has joined early from Leicestershire ahead of a three-year contract starting this winter, has not been selected and must wait at least a week for his debut.