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Durston drives Derbyshire into pole position

Essex CCC

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Wes Durston struck his second century of the season as Derbyshire moved into a strong position in their LV= County Championship match against Essex at Chelmsford.

Durston scored 116 off 136 deliveries with the help of eight fours and two sixes as Derbyshire secured a first-innings lead of 141 after being bowled out for 323, with Tom Craddock taking 5-91.

Essex reached 46 for two in their second outing to trail by 95 heading into day three.

The most productive partnership for the visitors was between Durston and captain Wayne Madsen, who put on 77 for the third wicket.

The pair came together following the dismissal of Martin Guptill, easily caught by Charl Willoughby at short midwicket off Greg Smith.

That was the only cause for Essex celebration in the morning session but, immediately afterwards, Madsen was caught behind off David Masters for 50, containing five fours.

Wes Durston

Wes Durston's century helped Division Two leaders Derbyshire into a first-innings lead of 141 against Essex at Chelmsford

Afterwards, it was left to Durston to give the Derbyshire innings substance, although it was an entertaining 10th-wicket stand of 45 between Tom Poynton and Tim Groenewald that carried them to a third batting point.

Poynton completed his maiden first-class half-century from only 35 balls with the aid of seven fours and two sixes, before Craddock had Groenewald stumped to claim the first five-wicket haul of his career.

Four of Craddock’s victims came in a 21-ball spell that cost just 10 runs.

Groenewald wasted no time in making an impact when Essex embarked on their second innings, removing both openers in his first two overs.

Alviro Petersen departed in the same manner as in his first knock, caught at second slip by Guptill for two off a delivery that hurriedly left him.

It signalled another failure for the South African. Although he scored 145 against Glamorgan, he has failed to get beyond 20 in his other 10 championship innings.

Tom Westley soon followed Petersen back to the pavilion after edging to first slip with only three runs on the board.

But Owais Shah and Mark Pettini remained defiant through the remaining 16 overs. Even so, Essex reached the close still facing a gigantic task to prevent their opponents cementing their place at the top of the table.

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