Essex 18 for 0 dec and 307 for 5 (Browne 151*, Bopara 69) beat Leicestershire 251 for 7 dec (Cosgrove 94, Robson 50, Ryder 4-77) and 73 for 1 dec

An outstanding unbeaten career-best 151 from opener Nick Browne, during which he passed 1,000 championship runs for the season, helped Essex to victory over Leicestershire at Grace Road.

Asked to score 307 to win from a minimum of 65 overs, the visitors knocked off the runs needed with five wickets and three overs in hand. The key partnership was that of 157 for the third wicket between Browne and Ravi Bopara, compiled off just 29.5 overs. Bopara's 69 was his highest championship score of the season.

The morning session had seen three declarations, setting up a potentially exciting finish to a match which had lost its first two days to the weather.

Leicestershire picked up the wickets of Dan Lawrence, caught at first slip edging an attempted drive at Ben Raine for 28, and then Tom Westley, who failed to keep a square drive down and was caught at point, for just one.

Browne, however, was soon timing the ball nicely, and Bopara, after being dropped off consecutive balls by Angus Robson at first slip and then by the bowler himself, Rob Sayer, when on just 17, began to belie his previous poor form.

His dismissal, caught behind off a delivery from Ben Raine that lifted more than had previously been the case on a flat Grace Road track, brought in Ryan tenDoeschate, whose 28 from 19 balls added further momentum to the innings.

Leicestershire were without Charlie Shreck, who pulled up injured, and with Clint McKay having returned to Australia and Ben Raine suffering from cramp, the attack looked threadbare. Bad light nearly came to their rescue though, but just three over were lost, and though Jesse Ryder went caught behind off Rob Taylor on the resumption, Browne and Mark Pettini saw Essex home.