England started the first day of their Ashes warm-up match against Essex at the County Ground in Chelmsford on Sunday.
Alastair Cook's were asked to bat first in the morning but they lost regular wickets as Tymal Mills (2-80) impressed with his pace early on.
Leg-spinner Tom Craddock took three wickets, including Kevin Pietersen (49), as England struggled to take advantage of a good pitch.
However, a century partnership between Tim Bresnan (55*) and Graeme Swann (62*) ensured that England ended the day in a good position on 328-7.
Read below to find out how events unfolded on Sunday.
10.30amGood morning everyone. We're just over a week away from the start of the Ashes, so it's time for a warm-up game. Essex are England's opponents for the next four days as Alastair Cook's side look to hit top form ahead of the contest with Australia.
10.34amThere's a big crowd expected at Chelmsford today and the weather is perfect for cricket. It's time for the toss. Trust me, England will bat.
10.34amBREAKING NEWS: Essex win the toss and captain Ravi Bopara confirms that his side will bowl first.
10.35amThere's a smirk on Bopara's face as he chooses to bowl first before confirming that the decision to let England bat first was already agreed.
10.40amEngland leave out Stuart Broad and James Anderson for this final game before the Ashes but it makes sense to give the key bowlers a rest following the Champions Trophy. Joe Root opens with Cook and Kevin Pietersen continues his comeback from injury.
10.44amEssex have left out James Foster and Graham Napier as they look to give the key duo a rest as their fixtures begin to pile up. Youngsters Tymal Mills, Tom Craddock and Ben Foakes will all be desperate to impress over the next few days.
10.48amIt's a flat pitch at Chelmsford, so there's big opportunity for England's batsmen to find some form ahead of the Ashes. Jonny Bairstow, in particular, will feel he needs runs in this match.
10.52amEssex do have the potential to worry England this morning with their attack but their batting lineup is another matter. Mills and Mahmood have got the pace to make anyone uncomfortable and David Masters still has the skill to break through even the best of techniques.
10.58amBoth sides have headed out to the middle and are greeted by some polite applause. It's hot and sunny now, so it's a good day to be batting. Cook and Root stride out together. It will be Masters to open the bowling.
ENG 7-0Cook nudges the first ball of the match straight past Masters for a single. Root edges one towards the slips a couple of deliveries later but the ball drops short of Mark Pettini and runs away for four runs. A thick inside edge brings a single to fine-leg before Cook adds another run to the same area. Solid start for England.
ENG 7-0Mills will get the new ball from the other end. He's a left-arm seamer and he's got the ability to bowl very quickly.
ENG 10-0Impressive start to the over from Mills, who passes the 90mph mark on more than one occasion. Cook looks comfortable though as he leaves a couple of wider deliveries before blocking a full ball. The bowler offers some more width later in the over and Cook cuts for three runs.
ENG 10-0Masters is slightly too straight early in a new over but Cook can't beat Mickleburgh at short-leg. Cook is solid in defence but he can't pick a gap in the field as the bowler completes a maiden.
ENG 20-0Mills is too wide to Root and England's new opener steers the ball past backward point for four. There's an appeal for lbw a ball later but it looks like the delivery pitched outside leg-stump. A thick edge races past third-slip and Root has four more in fortunate fashion. Mills responds well to the two boundaries but Root still manages to sneak a single on the off-side. Cook adds another run from the final ball to keep the strike.
ENG 23-0England rotate the strike well at the start of the over to pick up two runs. Masters continues to test the batsmen with his accuracy and movement. One more from the over makes it three.
ENG 28-0Mills is continuing to bowl with good pace but he's too short midway through the over and Cook pulls powerfully to the boundary. Cook cuts the next ball but picks out the fielder at point. A flick off the pad then brings a single. Steady start from England so far.
ENG 33-0Pettini fails to block the ball at third-slip when Cook edges the ball away, meaning England's skipper collects four runs. Masters is keen to stick with his full length but he's met with some stubborn defence. Cook rushes a single to mid-off to make it five from the over.
ENG 33-1Big moment for an impressive young bowler at Chelmsford. Mill delivers a ball at just under 93mph and gets it to rise to take Cook's edge on its way to Foakes behind the stumps. England's captain departs. Jonathan Trott comes in next.
ENG 33-1Trott is greeted with some impressive pace from Mills as the bowler passes the 94mph mark. It's a scratchy start from England's number three, who struggles to get bat on ball early in his innings. Superb over from Mills and he completes a wicket maiden.
ENG 37-1Root picks up a couple of runs early in a new over from Masters. England's opener is struck on the pads but Masters realises the ball would have missed leg-stump. Root flicks the ball to fine-leg for another couple of runs.
ENG 45-1Mills is too straight at the start of the over and that allows Trott to get off the mark with three through mid-wicket. Root blocks well before rocking back to punch the ball through the off-side for four runs. A mistake in the gully allows England to sneak another run. Eight from the over.
ENG 46-1Big appeal for lbw from Masters but there's a clear inside edge before the ball strikes the pad. A thick edge squirms through point for a single. Foakes comes up to the stumps to prevent Trott from batting too far out of his crease. Just one run from the over.
ENG 46-1First bowling change of the morning as Sajid Mahmood comes into the attack to replace Mills.
ENG 50-1Mahmood is too wide early in the over and his start gets worse as Root steers a full-toss through point for four. The bowler's line is wrong for most of the over and there's no concerns for Root as England reach 50.
ENG 55-1Trott plays a couple of nice shots but picks out the fielders early in the over. A flick to fine-leg earns him a single and gives the strike to Root. The Yorkshire ace whips a straight ball through mid-wicket in superb fashion to pick up four runs.
ENG 55-1Mahmood is finding some movement in the air but he's struggling with his line. Five dot balls are followed by a perfect cover drive for four from Trott. Time for a drinks break.
ENG 60-1Mills returns to the attack following the break. The pace is impressive again but England look comfortable as they collect five from the over.
ENG 69-1Mahmood continues his spell but he's too wide and too full midway through the over, allowing Root to drive for four runs. England gain a leg-bye when Mahmood strays onto the pads. Trott is comfortable at the end of the over as he flicks the ball off his hip for another boundary.
ENG 73-1Mills oversteps the mark early in the over and he's punished for the no-ball. Root nudges a couple of runs before the umpires delay the match for a moment. They're unhappy with the shape of the ball and call for a replacement after just 16 balls. Mills strikes Root on an exposed area of the leg and it's a bit of a painful one for the opener. Four from the over and there's another break as Root receives some treatment.
ENG 73-1Root decides he's fine to continue and prepares to face Mahmood again.
ENG 73-2Mahmood finds a much better line to catch Root's edge and Westley does well at second slip to take a good low catch. Pietersen in next for England.
ENG 78-2Trott is happy to leave early in a new over from Mills. A leg-bye hands the strike to Pietersen, who drills a full-toss through extra cover for four.
ENG 87-2Trott gets off strike at the start of Mahmood's over. An attempted bouncer invites the pull from Pietersen, who picks up four in front of square on the leg-side. A wide full-toss allows Pietersen to steer the ball past point for four more.
ENG 92-2Bopara begins with a good length, with Trott taking a single behind square on the leg-side. Pietersen miscues a drive but readjusts to punch the next delivery through the off-side for four runs.
ENG 100-2Masters is slightly too full to Trott, who takes advantage to drive through cover for four. The bowler recovers well but runs the over when he strays onto the pads to concede four more to fine-leg.
ENG 101-2Bopara persist with a full length to Pietersen, who drives to deep cover for one. Trott is more than happy to defend on the front foot with lunch just around the corner.
ENG 105-2Pietersen shuffles across his crease to whip Masters through mid-wicket for four runs. Foakes responds by coming up to the stumps. It's a good response from Masters, who restricts Pietersen to just four from the over.
ENG 114-2Trott slices a drive past point for four at the start of Bopara's over. A shorter ball is cut by Trott for the same result. Bopara adjusts his length, conceding just one more from the over.
ENG 115-2LUNCH: Masters completes the final over of the session and England pick up just one run. Steady morning for both sides, England will be content with their work.
1.04pmEssex did carry some threat early in the session but Pietersen and Trott look more than comfortable at the moment. We'll take a break for around 30 minutes but make sure you join us in a while for the second session.
1.34pmWelcome back. England will have been happy with their position at lunch. Despite losing both openers, Trott (32) has coped well in the middle alongside Pietersen, who has moved effortlessly to 21.
1.38pmEssex allowed England to score quickly at times during that first due to some poor bowling but they've shown that they can worry the batsmen on a flat pitch at the County Ground.
1.40pmPietersen and Trott have returned. Essex are ready to begin the second session. Mills will begin with the ball in hand.
ENG 115-3Mills continues his good work from the morning session as he claims his second wicket of the day. The pace bowler finds the perfect length to Trott, who is encouraged to play outside off-stump and edges one to Foakes.
ENG 117-3Ian Bell is the new batsman and he immediately gets off the mark with a single on the leg-side. Pietersen hurries a run from the final ball to keep the strike.
ENG 119-3Pietersen clips Masters through square-leg for two at the beginning of the over. The batsman is content with leaving the remaining deliveries just outside off-stump.
ENG 119-3Mills pulls his length back to Bell, who is forced to take evasive action to dodge the ball on a couple of occasions. It's a maiden over for Mills, who has some nice rhythm at the moment.
ENG 120-3Pietersen pulls a shorter ball from Masters for a single. Bell remains on one and he's content with defending against the experienced seamer.
ENG 130-3Mills continues with the short length to both England players, with Bell looking slightly uncomfortable as he steals a single to fine-leg. A fuller delivery invites the drive from Pietersen, who drills four runs through extra cover. A decent over is ruined when Mills delivers a full-toss and is easily steered through point for four more.
ENG 134-3Masters delivers four dot balls before being cut over the slips by Bell, who reaches the rope for the first time in his innings. Just four from the over for England.
ENG 135-3Pietersen gets off strike early in a new over from Mills. The bowler once again shortens his length to Bell, who is forced to play due to the line. One single from the over.
ENG 144-3Mahmood returns and bowls an awful full-toss to Pietersen, who punishes the delivery with four through cover. A shorter ball is flicked to the fielder in the deep on the leg-side for one. Mahmood then strays onto the pads to allow Bell to earn four to fine-leg.
ENG 146-3Pietersen drives to the fielder at deep cover at the start of a new spell from Bopara. Bell rotates the strike again. Bopara's length is good to Pietersen, who has no freedom to pick the gap in the field.
ENG 153-3Bell flicks the ball away early in Mahmood's over and runs well to earn three. Mahmood struggles to find a consistent line to Pietersen but does force the batsman into a good defensive shot when he delivers a full ball. However, Pietersen ends the over positively when he's offered a full-toss, which he happily drives to the boundary.
ENG 158-3It's really poor bowling from Essex, who haven't really tested this pair. Bell hurries a single before a loose delivery from Bopara races away for four byes. Bopara decides it's time for Tom Craddock, the leg-spinner, to have a bowl.
ENG 163-3Bell rocks back to cut Craddock through the off-side for a single. The spinner finds a good length but Pietersen still manages to loft the ball down the ground for four runs. There's a fantastic effort from Craddock when Pietersen drives through the air. The bowler can't hang on to the catch but it's great fielding from the spinner.
ENG 163-3Bopara delivers a much better over to Bell as he completes a maiden. Bell is currently on 12 and Pietersen is just one short of 50.
ENG 163-4Brilliant moment for Craddock as he takes a sharp return catch when Pietersen attempts to drive down the ground again. No fifty for Pietersen, Bairstow in next.
ENG 171-4Bairstow is greeted with a gift from Craddock, who sees a full-toss punched through mid-wicket for four. The new batsman defends the next couple of balls before reaching the rope again when he drives a half-volley through cover.
ENG 172-4Bell defends early in the over before driving Bopara to deep cover for one. Bairstow sits back in his crease to block out the remainder of the over.
ENG 172-5WICKET! BELL (13) C MICKLEBURGH B CRADDOCK
ENG 172-5Amazing catch from Mickleburgh! Bell attempts to paddle sweep to fine-leg but Mickleburgh anticipates the shot at short-leg to take brilliant one-handed catch. Craddock has his second wicket. Prior in next for England.
ENG 176-5Craddock begins with a half-volley to Prior, who drives powerfully for four. A boundary and a wicket from the over.
ENG 176-5Masters returns to the attack and breezes through an over to complete a maiden to Bairstow. Much better from Essex in the last 30 minutes.
ENG 176-5Craddock has settled well, finding a good length to Prior. Not much turn on offer for the leg-spinner but his accuracy is admirable. It's a maiden.
ENG 177-5Bairstow is keen to get forward when facing Masters but he's not offered too much width. A flick off the pads brings a single to fine-leg. Good bowling from Essex.
ENG 183-5A loose delivery from Craddock is swept to the rope for four by Bairstow. The same batsman cuts through the off-side for a single before Prior adds another to long-on.
ENG 183-5Master is bringing the ball back into Prior, who deals with the threat well to block out another maiden. Bopara busy in the field and his side are doing a good job at the moment.
ENG 189-5Bairstow collects a single early in Craddock's over. Prior stretches to drive the spinner through the covers, where Mahmood fails to prevent a boundary. Another run is added with a cut to deep point.
ENG 193-5Mills returns to the attack for a new spell. Prior leaves a wide delivery on either side of the wicket before nudging a single to square-leg. Bairstow whips the ball through mid-wicket for three when Mills comes round the wicket. Four from the over.
ENG 195-5Craddock delivers five dot balls on a good length before losing accuracy and being swept to fine-leg, where Mills does well to restrict Bairstow to two runs.
ENG 203-5Mills fires in a bouncer but the pitch is too slow and Prior rocks back to pull powerfully for four. The bowler doesn't get too much encouragement from the flat track and his move is probably not improved when a thick edge races through third-man for four.
ENG 204-5Bairstow gets off strike early in Craddock's over. Prior is eager to use his feet to open up the off-side but he's prevented from picking the gaps by some extra pace. Good variations from the leg-spinner.
ENG 206-5Bairstow is happy to deal in singles at the moment as he moves to 22. Prior is forced back by the extra pace from Mills and earns a run to square-leg. Bairstow picks put the man at mid-wicket. Just two from the over as Mills continues to impress with his speed.
ENG 206-6Superb from Craddock, who gets one to turn sharply and catch the edge of Prior's bat. Foakes takes the catch to give Craddock his third wicket. England's batsmen continue to get in and out before making a notable score.
ENG 206-6TEA: Tim Bresnan is the new batsman and his technique is immediately tested by Craddock's variations. The leg-spinner looks full of confidence at the moment and the pressure is certainly on England. Wicket maiden and it's time for tea.
3.42pmImpressive session for Essex but England will be disappointed that nobody has gone on to make a big score. Craddock and Mills have taken the opportunity to impress today.
3.44pmEngland will be happy to see Pietersen, in particular, playing confidently but they would have liked to see a big score from someone today. Now could be the time for Bairstow to score some runs to improve his own confidence ahead of the Ashes.
3.50pmNo surprise to see Craddock looking delighted as he walked off at tea. Like most leg-spinners, he did bowl some loose deliveries but he's proved that he has the skill to worry any batsman.
3.55pmEngland will be targeting a solid evening session and a big score for Bairstow will be high on the agenda. Essex might just be targeting a bat later today.
3.59pmThe players are on their way out to the middle. Bairstow begins the session on 22, while Bresnan is yet to score in his short innings.
4.01pmIt will be Mahmood who begins the session with the ball in his hand.
ENG 210-6Bairstow nudges a single into the leg-side early in the over. Bresnan takes advantage of a full delivery outside off-stump to drive through the covers for three. Steady start following the interval.
ENG 212-6Bresnan seemed to struggle to pick Craddock before the break but he looks more relaxed as he defends before nudging two to fine-leg. The spinner's accuracy is impressive again but he can't find the turn to beat the bat.
ENG 212-7Bairstow cannot believe he has to depart as he leaves Mahmood's delivery, only to see that the ball has clipped the top of off-stump. Mahmood is delighted, understandably. Swann in next.
ENG 221-7Mahmood continues to struggle with consistency as he delivers a half-volley to Swann, who steers the ball through point for three. Bresnan rocks back to pull a shorter delivery past square-leg for four. A second pull shot is slightly mistimed but Bresnan still finds a single.
ENG 221-7Bresnan is unable to get balanced at the crease to cut Craddock through the off-side. Apart from one short ball, it's another perfect maiden over by the spinner.
ENG 222-7Swann hurries a single to wide mid-off early in Mahmood's over. Bresnan is comfortable against Mahmood's leisurely pace and he uses his feet well to meet the ball early. Just one run from the over as Bresnan misses the opportunity to pull into the leg-side.
ENG 222-7Swann misses the opportunity to sweep a fuller ball and he's almost bowled by Craddock. The spinner continues to test the technique and he's agonisingly close to catching the edge when Swann attempts an expansive drive. Warm applause for Craddock as he completes another maiden. He has 3-34 from his 12 overs.
ENG 226-7Bresnan nudges a run to square-leg before Swann drills a wider delivery past point for a couple. Swann miscues a pull shot but still manages to sneak a single. Mahmood's lengths are disappointing but England can't take advantage to punish the bowler.
ENG 234-7Swann top edges a slog-sweep but it lands safely on the leg-side and he collects three runs. Bresnan attempts a similar shot and his top edge lands safely too, with two runs being the end result. A punch through the leg-side brings three more.
ENG 239-7Mahmood's earlier wicket has earned him a couple of extra overs but he continues to struggle with his length as Bresnan hammers a full-toss straight to Mills at cover. A shorter delivery is pulled in front of square on the leg-side for a boundary by Bresnan. The same batsman adds another run to cover. Five from the over.
ENG 244-7Bresnan sits deep in his crease to flick a single behind square. Swann mistimes his sweep shot but manages to find two runs when Foakes loses the flight of the ball. England's duo in the middle then trade singles at the end of the over.
ENG 244-7Bopara decides to give Mahmood a rest as he throws the ball to Mills again. Mills does his best to find something in the pitch and a hint of movement is enough to beat Bresnan's outside edge. Bresnan wisely pulls his bat away when the bowler fires in a shorter ball. Good return for Mills.
ENG 260-7Brilliant from Swann as he skips down the pitch to loft Craddock down the ground for four runs. Bopara sticks with the same field and Swann takes on the fielders again to score four more. Even better from Swann as he takes advantage of a slightly shorter delivery to hit through cover for four. Swann makes it four boundaries from the over when he pulls the ball behind square on the leg-side. Fantastic attacking from Swann.
ENG 261-7Bresnan pushes Mills to mid-off for a single early in the over. Swann is hit in the stomach when Mills surprises him with some good pace. It's a good tight line from the pace bowler as he continues to cramp the batsman at the crease. Another maiden from Mills.
ENG 263-7Craddock is given a break following that loose over as Westley comes on to bowl his brand of spin. Big stroke of luck for Bresnan, who chips the ball just short of Mickleburgh at mid-wicket. A single to deep cover brings up the 50 partnership between these two. Swann adds one more run to keep the strike.
ENG 263-7Swann is happy to get off strike with a single on the leg-side. Bresnan adds another run just behind square. Mills target Swann with the short ball but the batsman defends well to defend the remaining deliveries. Time for a drinks break.
ENG 263-7It's been a good recovery from Swann and Bresnan, who have both been positive when they've needed to be. Essex will want to end this partnership as soon as possible.
ENG 266-7Bresnan drives powerfully but Mahmood does very well at cover to prevent a run from being scored. It's a tight over from Westley, who concedes just three runs. There's another change coming as Bopara comes back into the attack.
ENG 266-7It's a good over from the stand-in captain, who finds some movement to worry Bresnan. Good defence on show as another maiden is completed.
ENG 267-7Westley isn't a massive spinner of the ball but he gives it plenty of flight throughout the over. A single to third-man is the only blemish in the six deliveries.
ENG 270-7Bresnan and Swann trade singles at the beginning of Bopara's over. The medium pacer invites Bresnan to flirt with the ball just outside off-stump but the batsman survives. One more single makes it three from the over. It's been a bit of a quiet period in Chelmsford.
ENG 273-7Swann pushes Westley through a gap on the off-side for an easy run. Bresnan gets forward well to defend against the spinner before nudging the ball through mid-wicket for two. Bresnan 32* Swann 31*
ENG 276-7Essex aren't happy with the ball again but the second new ball will arrive in six overs. Bresnan and Swann both drive singles to deep cover. Just one more run scored as Bopara does a good job of keeping things tight.
ENG 279-7Westley continues to give the ball some flight. A thick edge races away for a couple of runs before Swann comes close to chipping the ball to Mahmood at extra cover. Swann adds another run from the final ball of the over to steal the strike. Impressive batting from these two.
ENG 283-7Swann enjoys some luck when a thick inside edge evades the stumps and races to the rope for the first boundary in 11 overs. Bopara responds well to beat the outside edge. There's an optimistic appeal when Foakes takes a catch down the leg-side but there's no bat involved. Four from the over.
ENG 289-7Westley has been doing a good job for his side but he starts a new over poorly as Bresnan drives a half-volley through extra cover for four. A shorter delivery is cut behind point later in the over for a couple more runs. Six from Westley's over.
ENG 297-7Bopara continues with a straight line to both players. Swann nudges a single to fine-leg. Bresnan takes advantage of a rare wider ball from Bopara to slice four runs to third-man. A shorter ball is pulled away for another run. Eight runs scored in total from the over.
ENG 300-7Westley completes the 80th over of the innings, conceding just three runs from the six balls. The new ball is available and Bopara takes it immediately.
ENG 300-7Masters returns to the attack to bowl the first over with the new ball. Essex will want to wrap things up pretty quickly from here.
ENG 302-7Impressive start to the over from Masters, who finds a good length to Bresnan. The batsman moves to 49 with two through mid-wicket. Master nips a couple back to make life slightly uncomfortable for Bresnan.
ENG 315-7Mills is back into the attack to share the second new ball with Masters. Good start by the 20-year-old as he beats Swann's outside edge. Foakes does superbly down the leg-side to prevent a deflection off the glove from reaching the boundary. Swann pulls a shorter over square-leg to reach the rope. Mills is left frustrated a ball later as Swann reaches his 50 when a thick inside edge races away for four. It turns into an expensive over as a thick edge sails past gully for another boundary. This partnership has now passed the century mark. Mills is then punished for a wide. 13 from the over.
ENG 315-7Masters is doing his best to beat Bresnan's defence with some late swing. There's no freedom for the batsman in the over as Masters completes a maiden.
ENG 318-7Some poor fielding from Masters at mid-on allows Swann to cruise three runs early in a new over. Mills responds well to beat Bresnan's outside edge on two occasions with deliveries that just seam away from the batsman. A wider ball invites a wild swing from Bresnan, who still can't make contact. Much better over from Mills.
ENG 322-7Swann times a drive well to earn two runs through extra cover. A straighter delivery is flicked through the leg-side for a single and Bresnan then reaches his half-century with a quick single down the ground. Impressive from Bresnan. Four from the over.
ENG 322-7Good effort from Mills to force Bresnan to duck at this stage of the day. Bresnan is eager to feel bat on ball but he picks out the fielder at point on two occasions. Mills then brings Bresnan onto the front foot to defend with a fuller ball. It's a maiden. Four overs left in the day.
ENG 323-7Clever bowling from Masters to get one to leave Swann just outside the off-stump. Swann's defence is straight out of the textbook as he blocks in the middle of the over. A pull shot to deep mid-wicket brings a single and that's the only blemish in the over.
ENG 323-7Good move from Bopara as he brings Craddock back on with three overs left in the day. The spinner is slightly too short on his return but Swann can't pick the gap in the field. Maiden over.
ENG 324-7Masters is typically accurate early in the over as he pins Bresnan to the crease with his straight bowling. A slightly shorter delivery is pulled through the leg-side for a single. Just one run left in the over.
ENG 328-7CLOSE OF PLAY: Craddock finds some slow turn in the final over of the day but Bresnan does well to prod the ball away to safety. A quicker ball is then cut through point for four by Bresnan. The final ball of the over is blocked and an even day of cricket comes to an end.
6.22pmImpressive day from Essex. They did well to test England's star-studded batting lineup earlier in the day but that partnership between Bresnan (55*) and Swann (62*) means England have wrestled back some control.
6.23pmCraddock and Mills will have gained plenty of new supporters following their respective displays today. The leg-spinner bowled with good intent during the afternoon and the 20-year-old pace bowler worried England with his sharp pace.
6.27pmThat's it from me today but make sure you return at 10.30am tomorrow when I'll talk you through the second day's play. Thanks for joining me, goodbye.