Dominant Derbyshire march on
Derbyshire completed an emphatic 10-wicket victory over Essex inside three days to extend their lead at the top of LV= County Championship Division Two.
After bowling Essex out for 234 in their second innings, the visitors were left with the simple task of scoring 94 to record their fourth win of the campaign and a first at Chelmsford since 1937.
Only James Foster, with 96, and Owais Shah, who made 75, offered any real resistance but their efforts never threatened to undermine Derbyshire’s superiority.
Essex had resumed the day on 46 for two but soon met further trouble when left-arm spinner David Wainwright struck in consecutive overs.
A top edge from a mis-timed pull by Mark Pettini gave Wes Durston a simple catch at first slip with the score on 73 before Ben Foakes turned to see his middle stump knocked out of the ground.
Either side of these setbacks, Shah had looked secure, driving and cutting with confidence. However, against the gentle off-spin of Durston, he missed a long-hop and was bowled, a dismissal which brought an end to an effort containing 10 fours and a six.
Shah’s departure came with the total on 127, leaving Foster to keep the innings afloat. He responded with a mixture of defence and controlled aggression, his more positive approach coming in the latter stages as he ran out of partners.
Foster reached his half-century from 119 deliveries with six fours, but then struck four sixes and two more fours before he was last out, an lbw victim to Tony Palladino.
His fine effort spanned 173 balls and three-and-a-quarter hours.
Wainwright returned 3-83 from 32 overs to finish with match figures of 8-134 while pace bowler Tim Groenewald took 3-26 from 15 overs in Essex’s second innings.
Martin Guptill wasted no time in setting the visitors on their way to their target, twice driving Charl Willloughby for six with effortless ease.
The New Zealander also picked up two fours against the same bowler and when leg-spinner Tom Craddock took over, he off-drove successive deliveries for six and four to complete a half-century that arrived from 42 balls.
Paul Borrington was content to watch Guptill’s blitz from the other end but then opened up to take two fours in an over from Greg Smith to carry Derbyshire to their target.
Guptill finished on 66 from 52 balls, containing seven fours and three sixes, while Borrington’s 30 included five fours.
Derbyshire picked up 22 points as a result of their triumph while Essex had to settle for three.