Monty Panesar experienced a hard day of toil as he began the mission to reignite his career with Essex against his former county Northamptonshire in their LV= County Championship match at Colchester.
Released on loan by Sussex following a police fine for his drunken behaviour outside a Brighton nightclub on August 5, the England left-arm spinner sent down 34 overs on his Essex debut to achieve just one wicket, that of Alex Wakely, at a cost of 72 runs.
Northants, largely thanks to centuries from Stephen Peters and David Sales, reached the close of the first day's play on 343-5.
Panesar must have feared the worst when the visitors won the toss in ideal batting conditions. Even though David Masters claimed an early success by finding a way through the defence of James Middlebrook with the total on 27, it soon became clear bowlers would suffer a difficult day.
Only very rarely did the ball get past the bat or find the edge as Sales and Peters dominated the bowlers. Sales was first to reach three figures from the 133rd ball he received, an effort containing 17 fours and a straight driven six against Panesar.
Peters followed him to his hundred with the aid of 10 boundaries but in the same over he was bowled by Masters trying to guide the ball in the direction of third man. The partnership with Sales was worth 205 in 54 overs.
Sales' fine innings finally came to an end when he was bowled by Graham Napier for 131, his contribution spanning 201 balls and containing 21 fours in addition to his six.
Wakely brought up the 300 with a straight-driven six at the expense of off-spinner Greg Smith, but soon afterwards he lost Ben Duckett to the second new ball.
The 18-year-old batsman pushed forward against Reece Topley to be caught in the slip cordon by Gautam Gambhir, another Essex debutant.
Panesar at last had something to brighten his day when, in the first over of his fifth spell and his 30th over in total, he removed Wakely with the help of Ravi Bopara at short extra cover when the batsman was within one run of his half-century.