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Ten Doeschate rescues Essex

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Ryan ten Doeschate

Ryan ten Doeschate came to the rescue for Essex as he led the hosts to 318 for eight against Leeds/Bradford MCCU

Ryan ten Doeschate starred with the bat as the opening first-class matches of the season got under way on English soil today.

The Netherlands all-rounder hit an unbeaten 106 to help rescue Essex from a sluggish start against Leeds/Bradford MCCU at Chelmsford.

The Netherlands international came in with Essex struggling on 189 for eight but he and Chris Wright, who made 46 not out, led them to 318 for eight declared.

Buoyed by the face-saving 129-run partnership, Essex reduced the university side to nine for two in reply.

New signing Steven Davies was also quick to find his early-season stride and was on the brink of bringing up his century at stumps on day one of Surrey’s match with Cambridge MCCU at Fenner's.

The England international reached 94 not out after sharing a fruitful sixth-wicket partnership with former Worcestershire colleague Gareth Batty, who was unbeaten on 59 as Surrey closed on 326 for five.

Cambridge had enjoyed some early success with Peter Turnbull dismissing Arun Harinath and Michael Brown to reduce the visitors to 28 for two.

Despite Turnbull claiming his third wicket, Surrey established their seniority with Usman Afzaal also hitting a half-century.

Only 29 overs were played in the match between Northamptonshire and Oxford MCCU at the Parks, with the university side restricting the visitors to 72 for three.

Gloucestershire's clash with Cardiff MCCU at Bristol was also adversely affected by the weather, although openers Rob Woodman and Kadeer Ali safely negotiated 10 overs to leave the hosts on 20 without loss.

Meanwhile, the first day of Derbyshire's encounter with Loughborough MCCU was washed out, Lancashire’s scheduled meeting with Durham MCCU having been called off earlier in the week.

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