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Napier on course for perfect finish

Essex 530 for 9 (Browne 229*, Westley 72, ten Doeschate 60, Milnes 6-93) beat Derbyshire 165 (Napier 4-28) and 303 (Godleman 100, Napier 4-50) by an innings and 62 runs
Scorecard

Graham Napier boosted his chances of bowing out of the game on a high with a four-wicket haul as Essex moved closer to promotion by crushing Derbyshire.

The allrounder, who is retiring at the end of the season, took 4 for 50 to finish with match figures of 8 for 78 to speed Essex to an innings and 62 run victory 15 minutes before lunch on the final day of the Division Two match at Derby.

Although Matt Critchley made 43 and Championship debutant Charlie MacDonell an unbeaten 35, Derbyshire were dismissed for 303 and are still looking for their first four day win of the season.

The odds were always stacked against the home side denying Essex a fourth win of the campaign but their chances were dealt two big blows in the first over of another glorious morning when Ravi Bopara struck twice.

Nightwatchman Callum Parkinson chipped the fourth ball to midwicket and Alex Mellor was tempted into an edged cut that landed in the hands of second slip.

It seemed unlikely that Derbyshire would get through the first half-hour but Critchley and MacDonell at least made Essex work for a 23-point haul by adding 72 in 16 overs.

Critchley showed why he has a Championship century to his name and MacDonell displayed good judgement and temperament before the second new ball finally ended the resistance.

Jamie Porter persuaded Critchley to hook a short ball into the hands of Napier at fine leg and he had Tom Milnes well caught low down at first slip before former Essex seamer Tony Palladino was trapped on the crease.

It was an impressive performance on a flat pitch and Essex captain Ryan ten Doeschate said: "Everyone has chipped in and we are very pleased with how we've played over the last four days.

"We always knew the second innings would be tough and those two wickets last night just before the close of play made a massive dent in their mindset and certainly lifted us.

"Graham has really led the bowling attack and as a captain, he's the guy who's the first to come to mind whenever I think I need a wicket. The amount of times he's delivered and he keeps charging in and has played a big part in us winning this game."

Derbyshire head coach John Sadler said: "After spending a day-and-a-half in the field it was always going to be hard chasing those runs down but we didn't bat well first innings and we've been comprehensively beaten.

"We have spoken about first innings runs and we've not been good enough really in the first innings in the last few games and that's what sets the game up so we know that's crucial and we've not fired."

  • Napier on course for perfect finish

    Graham Napier boosted his chances of bowing out of the game on a high with a four-wicket haul as Essex moved closer to promotion by crushing Derbyshire.

  • Godleman hundred holds up Essex

    Billy Godleman staged a one-man roadblock but Essex remain on course to boost their promotion chances after Derbyshire were forced to follow-on in the Division Two match at Derby

  • Patient Browne heaps more punishment on Derbyshire

    Something about playing against Derbyshire brings out the best in Nick Browne and the Essex opener punished his favourite opponents again on the opening day of their Specsavers County Championship match

  • Derbs implode after Browne double

    Nick Browne's unbeaten double-century provided the platform for Division Two leaders Essex to take complete control of the match against Derbyshire at Derby

Derbyshire 3rd innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st75BA GodlemanBT Slater
2nd76BA GodlemanAL Hughes
3rd16WL MadsenBA Godleman
4th43NT BroomWL Madsen
5th0NT BroomCF Parkinson
6th3CM MacDonellCF Parkinson
7th0AJ MellorCM MacDonell
8th72CM MacDonellMJJ Critchley
9th12TP MilnesCM MacDonell
10th6AP PalladinoCM MacDonell