Peters fights back for Northants
Stumps Essex 433 (Cook 155, Mickleburgh 112, Vaas 5-73) v Northamptonshire 256 for 4 (Peters 105)
Northamptonshire opener Stephen Peters struck a century against his old club as his side fought back on the second day of their County Championship clash with Essex at Wantage Road.
Peters made 105 off 167 balls, his knock including 14 fours, as Northants reached 256 for 4 at the close with 17-year-old Reece Topley continuing to impress in taking 2 for 48. Former Sri Lanka seamer Chaminda Vaas earlier took 5 for 73 as Essex were bowled out for 433, with their captain and wicketkeeper James Foster making 64.
Essex started the day on 345 for 6 and Mark Pettini made it only to 18 before dragging Vaas onto his leg stump. Vaas then completed the 29th five-wicket haul of his first-class career when he forced Tim Phillips to edge to Northants wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien and depart for a nine-ball duck.
Foster went on to complete his half-century off 79 balls when he smashed Jack Brooks for a straight six. Essex debutant Lonwabo Tsotsobe made just five before he was bowled by James Middlebrook before Foster launched the same bowler to Rob White at long-on to end the innings.
Mal Loye scored just 4 in reply for Northants before presenting Tsotsobe, who bowled 11 no-balls during the day, with his first Essex wicket when he lofted him to Topley at fine leg. His fellow opener Peters, who had previously struggled for form this season, led the assault early on and he battered his way to a half-century off just 64 balls.
He and Rob White were untroubled for the rest of the session as they added over 100 between them by tea, with their side well-placed on 151 for 1. But White, who plundered 36, then walked when he was trapped lbw by Topley with the second delivery of the evening to end a second-wicket partnership of 114.
Peters, however, went on to complete his 25th first-class ton off 163 balls with a four edged through fine leg off Topley in the 46th over. But he was to depart tamely later in that over when he smashed Topley to David Masters, who took a good catch at mid-on.
Ravi Bopara was then claimed his first victim when David Sales (13) nudged him to his fellow England international Alastair Cook at slip. Alex Wakely then reached his half-century off 100 balls in the penultimate over and he will resume tomorrow on 54, with his captain Andrew Hall on 6.