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Superb Derbyshire stay clear at the top

Derbyshire completed an LV=County Championship win inside three days for the second consecutive match, with a 10 wicket win over promotion hopefuls Essex.

The result represents Derbyshire’s first win at Chelmsford since 1937 and sees Derbyshire extends their lead at the top of the LV=County Championship Division Two table.

Chasing 94 to win, Martin Guptill (66*) and Paul Borrington (30*) made short work of the total, chasing down the target in the 19th over.

Essex had resumed Day Three 46-2 and still 95 runs adrift, with the partnership of Owais Shah and Mark Pettini – which stood at 43 overnight – crucial to the hosts’ chances of readdressing the balance in the match.

However Shah’s stubborn resistance was not matched by Pettini (27) or Ben Foakes (3) as Derbyshire doubled their wicket tally with Essex still in arrears; the experienced England all-rounder carrying the home side’s hopes.

With free-scoring Shah, joined by a similarly aggressive James Foster, saw the arrears soon begin to reduce, the pair putting on 50 for the fifth wicket.

A potentially match-changing moment arrived shortly before the end of the session, Shah bowled by Wes Durston for 75 to send the visitors to Lunch with their tails up; Essex 133-5 at the break, still eight runs behind.

Post Lunch, Foster – who was soon passing 50 - and Greg Smith briefly looked to impose themselves on the game, taking the Essex score to 170 and a lead of 29, before the latter fell LBW to Tony Palladino for 19.

From that moment on, Essex were a one man band and were indebted to their captain as the hosts began to nudge the lead close to the 100 mark.

The former England wicketkeeper began entertaining the crowd with an array of shots as David Masters (8), Tom Craddock (0) and Tymal Mills (0) quickly fell around him to leave Essex in a perilous position.

Looking to move the score on, it was Foster himself who was the last wicket to fall, LBW to Palladino four short of what would have been a well-deserved century; Essex 234 all out, Derbyshire set 94 to win.

Tim Groenewald (3-26), David Wainwright (3-83) and Tony Palladino (2-44) all contributing for the visitors.

Any thoughts of a nervous chase were soon put to bed as Martin Guptill and Paul Borrington - the former in particular – began chasing down the target with confidence; Derbyshire reaching 45-0 after 12 overs.

Derbyshire were not messing around with Guptill in imperious form, hitting Mills for 18 off one over to pass a less than a run-a-ball 50 comprising of six fours and three sixes.

The win was secured shortly after through a Borrington boundary, Derbyshire chasing down the target with ease, Guptill (66*) and Borrington (30*) seeing the side home; Derbyshire's lead extended at the summit of the division with a day to spare.

Inside Edge: 'Fantastic effort today from all the bowlers, wickets being spread out amongst them! Despite Essex' resistance, 94 was never enough as Guptill and Borrington sealed a very professional victory for the Derbyshire Falcons!' - Wes Durston

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