Northants succumb to Essex

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David Masters

David Masters' 2-35 provided adequate support for championship debutant Tom Craddock, who took four wickets in Northants' second innings

Leaders Northamptonshire slipped to their first defeat of the LV= County Championship campaign, while Essex ended a run of four consecutive Division Two draws with a 171-run victory at Chelmsford.

With 21-year-old trialist leg-spinner Tom Craddock marking his championship debut with four wickets, the visitors were bowled out for 244 after they had started the day on 37 for one in pursuit of an unlikely target of 416.

It was one they never really threatened to get near and as wickets fell at regular intervals Essex were able to claim only their second triumph of the summer.

Northamptonshire's innings was noted for its unfulfilled promise, with several of the top order laying the foundation for a substantial contribution only to perish when seemingly well set.

Ben Howgego and Rob White confirmed the point when they resumed in the morning, carrying the total into the 80s without any real problems before being despatched within touching distance of their half-centuries.

White departed leg before to David Masters for 43, while the introduction of spin accounted for Howgego for 41 as Tim Phillips gained a similar verdict with his first delivery.

Alex Wakely and Andrew Hall also failed to make the most of encouraging starts, both entering the 30s before they were removed.

Wakely became the third lbw victim of the innings, this time against off-spinner Tom Westley, a dismissal which ended a stand of 53, before Hall was bowled when attempting to sweep Craddock.

That signalled Craddock's first championship wicket of his career. He is currently on a two-month trial after impressing against Essex while playing for the Unicorns earlier in the season.

Craddock was to stamp his mark with three further wickets as he pressed his claims for a long-term contract.

Chaminda Vaas located Ryan ten Doeschate at deep mid-on, Lee Daggett was snapped up at short-leg by Jaik Mickleburgh and James Middlebrook put up an easy catch to cover.

That wicket left Craddock with figures of 4-70 from 30 overs - and he no doubt derived even more satisfaction from the fact it was against a county for whom he had a trial last season.

Westley finished with 2-45 and Masters 2-35 as Essex emerged with 19 points. The visitors had to settle for just three.

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