Brilliant ten Doeschate sinks Derbyshire
Essex 248 for 5 beat Derbyshire 299 for 7 by 5 wickets
Derbyshire's return to Leek after a gap of 18 years ended in defeat when the fastest century of the season from Ryan ten Doeschate carried Essex to a five-wicket victory. Although the Falcons rattled up 299 for seven - their highest total in a 40 over match - ten Doeschate tore the game from their grasp after the Eagles had slipped to 64 for 4, chasing a revised target of 247 from 30 overs.
The Netherlands allrounder blasted seven sixes and five fours in a 59-ball hundred as Essex swept home with 16 balls to spare. Chesney Hughes had scored his first half century for Derbyshire and Wayne Madsen top scored with 66 in the county's best 40 overs score for 25 years, but ten Doeschate turned a daunting chase into a stroll. He shared stands of 97 in 11 overs with Jaik Mickleburgh and 87 in just six overs with James Foster to end with an unbeaten 109 from 62 balls.
Derbyshire had won their last game at the Staffordshire Moorlands ground in 1992 and they made an impressive start after the Eagles had put them in. Hughes launched the innings with some muscular blows, pulling Chris Martin for six on his way to a 34-ball fifty that also included eight fours.
It took a direct hit from Tim Phillips at mid on to run out the 19 year old for 55 but Chris Rogers and Madsen maintained the momentum by adding 59 in eight overs. A diving catch by Mickleburgh at deep square leg removed Rogers for 41 but Madsen dominated the bowling as the Falcons passed 200 in the 28th over.
Madsen struck two sixes and five fours in his 66 which came off 54 balls before he reverse swept Grant Flower and Graham Napier took a leaping catch at short third man. But the Falcons middle-order all made useful contributions led by 43 from Garry Park as 88 came from the last 10 overs.
Robin Peterson and Lee Goddard added 37 in three overs to set the Eagles a demanding target which was revised after rain in the tea interval.
Essex started badly, losing Alastair Cook in the second over when he edged a drive at Tim Groenewald and Billy Godleman also went for four in the fifth over when he miscued a drive to mid off.
When Mark Pettini skied Tom Lungley to mid on four balls later, Essex were 27 for 3 but ten Doeschate turned the game on its head with a repeat of his hundred at Derby in the final County Championship game of last season when Essex clinched promotion.
He peppered the small boundaries and the umpires had to call for a new ball after one of his sixes sailed out of the ground. The only chance he gave was a fierce return catch to Steffan Jones on 87 and he reached his hundred by lifting the Welsh paceman onto the pavilion roof, his eighth six sealing an impressive win with 16 balls remaining.