Browne and Walter shine for Essex

PUBLISHED: 18:42 14 August 2016 | UPDATED: 19:12 14 August 2016

Essex opener Nick Browne celebrates (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Essex opener Nick Browne celebrates (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

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Division Two leaders on top at Derbyshire

Nick Browne in batting action for Essex against Derbyshire (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Nick Browne in batting action for Essex against Derbyshire (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Nick Browne hit an unbeaten double century and Paul Walter shone with bat and ball on his first-class debut for Essex as they took a firm grip on their Specsavers County Championship match at Derbyshire.

Browne’s 229 not out and an entertaining cameo from Walter saw the Division Two leaders declare at 530-9, with Walter taking three wickets as the home side struggled in reply to reach 116-6 at the close.

Essex resumed on 291-4 and Ryan ten Doeschate hit the first boundary of the morning off Tom Milnes to bring up their 300.

The captain hit Matt Critchley for a straight six to move to within two runs of his half-century and bring up a fourth batting point for the visitors, then brought up his fifty from 61 balls soon after.

Nick Browne takes a drink (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Nick Browne takes a drink (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Browne moved to 150 with a four through the covers off Critchley, reaching the landmark from 325 balls, but ten Doeschate then fell for 60, playing a delivery from Milnes on to his own stumps to end a 140-run stand and make it 392-5.

James Foster helped Browne bring up Essex’s 400, with the left-handed opener striking two more fours to make it 19 in total as he moved to 191 at lunch, with Essex on 427-5.

Foster fell to Milnes soon after the restart, with Essex having only added nine runs to their total, but Browne brought up his double century from 385 balls, before debutant Will Rhodes was dismissed by the same bowler to leave Essex 441-7.

Having hit a century in the last four-day match against Sussex at his home club Colchester, Graham Napier scored just four runs before edging Milnes behind to Alex Mellor.

Paul Walter made his first-class debut for Essex at Derbyshire (pic; Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Paul Walter made his first-class debut for Essex at Derbyshire (pic; Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

But that brought first-class debutant Walter to the crease and he shared an entertaining 83-run stand for the ninth wicket with Browne.

The tall left-hander got off the mark with two runs from his first ball faced, before Browne hit successive fours off Parkinson.

And Walter also hit successive boundaries off Parkinson, before striking three fours in a row four overs later to bring up the half-century partnership and Essex’s 500.

Browne lofted former Essex seamer Tony Palladino for six and Walter hit the same bowler for the eighth four of his innings as he moved to within three runs of a half-century, before being bowled as Essex declared.

Paul Walter celebrates taking a wicket (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Paul Walter celebrates taking a wicket (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

That saw Browne finish unbeaten on 229, having faced 417 balls in a marathon 562-minute stay at the crease, hitting two sixes and 22 fours.

And former Oaks Park pupil Jamie Porter struck with only the second ball of the Derbyshire innings to trap Ben Slater leg before.

Former Essex batsman Billy Godleman hit Porter for a pair of boundaries, but then had his leg stump uprooted by Walter, who had been given the new ball by ten Doeschate and responded with a wicket maiden, to leave Derbyshire 16-2 after only four overs.

And Walter struck again with the last ball of his third over to trap Wayne Madsen leg before with the hosts having failed to add to their total.

Porter was replaced after four overs by Napier, who struck with his eighth ball to have Alex Hughes caught behind down the leg side by Foster’s one-handed take to leave Derbyshire 34-4 just before tea.

And Napier broke a defiant 40-run stand to get rid of Neil Broom in the final session, before Walter returned to the attack and claimed his third victim as Charlie MacDonell edged behind to Foster to make it 79-6.

Walter finished with 3-23 from his nine overs, before Mellor and Critchley took the home side into three figures in the closing overs, but there was no doubt it had been Essex’s day.

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