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M Vijay and Tom Westley hundreds seal comfortable Essex chase

M Vijay during India's training session AFP

Essex 233 (Vijay 56, Mullaney 4-68) and 282 for 2 (Westley 110*, Vijay 100) beat Nottinghamshire 177 (Porter 4-50) and 337 (Brathwaite 68, Slater 54, Mullaney 53, Harmer 6-87)
Scorecard

M Vijay led Essex to their fifth victory of the Specsavers County Championship season, compiling a high-quality century against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge. The Indian Test opener, who played in the first two matches of the recent series against England, followed up his first innings score of 56 with a match-winning contribution of exactly 100.

Vijay scored his runs from 181 balls and shared in a second-wicket stand of 204 with Tom Westley, who finished with an unbeaten 110. Set 282 to win, the visitors reached their target just before lunch to complete a comfortable eight-wicket victory.

Essex began the final day in a strong position on 147 for 1, requiring only 135 more. Vijay, who resumed on 73, was watchful for half an hour before picking off Luke Fletcher for a trio of leg-side pulled boundaries to burst into the 90s. A scampered single from Luke Wood's bowling took the 34-year old to his 25th first-class hundred, made from 173 balls.

His feat matched that of Hashim Amla, who scored 181 against Glamorgan in 2009, as the last Essex batsman to score a century on his county debut. With only 61 runs required Samit Patel eventually made the breakthrough, bowling Vijay off an inside edge.

Westley's fifty had come from 101 deliveries and his only alarm came when Dan Lawrence called him for a risky single to get off a pair; Lyndon James' throw narrowly missing, with Westley not in the frame.

Lawrence accelerated his side towards the finishing line but left it to his partner to stroke the winning runs through the off side to seal Essex's first Championship win at Trent Bridge since 2003. Westley faced 193 balls and added 61 with Lawrence, who closed on 29 not out.

Essex, the 2017 champions, picked up 20 points from their victory and return to third spot in the Division One table, with fixtures against Worcestershire (at home) and Surrey (away) to come. Nottinghamshire, having announced the signing of Zak Chappell from Leicestershire earlier in the day, collected only three bonus points, leaving them in fifth spot, with just a home match against Somerset to follow.