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Joe Clarke retires hurt after being struck on his right hand by Sam Cook
Joe Clarke was forced to retire hurt on 11 before resuming his innings in the evening session
LV= County Championship Group One, Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford (day one)
Nottinghamshire 248-6: Clarke 57*, Mullaney 55, James 54; Siddle 3-76
Essex: Yet to bat
Essex 2 pts, Nottinghamshire 1 pt
Match scorecard

Joe Clarke recovered from an injury to his right hand to make a stylish half-century in Nottinghamshire’s fightback with the bat against Essex.

Honours arguably finished even after day one between the top two sides in Group One after Notts elected to bat.

Steven Mullaney (55) and Lyndon James (54) also made half-centuries in a 117-run partnership after Clarke (57 not out) had earlier retired hurt on 11.

He returned at five wickets down to steer the visitors to 248-6 at stumps.

Just five points separated leaders Essex and second-placed Nottinghamshire at the start of play with Essex having played a game more.

Notts found themselves 48-3 after Ben Compton, Ben Slater and Ben Duckett all departed cheaply.

There would have been further concern shortly after when Clarke was struck on his right hand by a rising delivery from Essex seamer Sam Cook.

That forced the right-hander off the field for further treatment with his participation in the rest of the match at that stage in doubt.

He would not return until 176-5 when Mullaney, who had survived being dropped on four and six, departed for 55 after he and James had earlier led a middle-order recovery.

Essex appeared to be in the ascendancy at 190-6 when Cook bowled Tom Moores (12) but Liam Patterson-White (17 not out) joined Clarke through to the close to share an unbroken partnership of 58 for the seventh wicket.

Clarke in particular found his rhythm with well-timed shots on both sides of the wicket, reaching his half-century off 78 balls with 10 fours.

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