Northants boss Sadler: 'We've got a bit of a fight on our hands'
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Sadler's side finished a rain-affected day two on 32 for two, with Emilio Gay and Ricardo Vasconcelos the men to depart.
And Sadler said: “Essex are a bit over par I think for the wicket and the conditions, but credit to them
“I thought we batted well at the end though it looked hard work.
"We’ve got a bit of a fight on our hands tomorrow."
Tom Taylor took four for 59 in the Essex innings.
“Tom Taylor’s strong end to the season is continuing," Sadler said. "We know it’s in there with him.
"Hopefully he can start putting bat and ball together because if he can do that, we’ve got a very fine cricketer on our hands.”
Essex will now look to apply the pressure to Northants on day three.
And Essex head coach Anthony McGrath said: “It always difficult to say before both teams bat, but from where we were when Shane Snater got out on day one, we’d have taken 263.
“I think there is still enough in the wicket. You saw how we bowled. We created some chances and looked dangerous. So, some early wickets tomorrow and we’re well in the game.
"There is a green tinge to the wicket so there’s been plenty of movement and hopefully that continues.
“Simon Harmer was going to come on before the light closed in.
"We saw when (Rob) Keogh bowled for them there was a little turn and bounce there.
"There’s a nice footmark at one end as well, so Simon will come in to play.”