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Essex wrap up innings win at Derbyshire

PUBLISHED: 13:51 16 August 2016 | UPDATED: 13:52 16 August 2016

Ravi Bopara in bowling action for Essex (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Ravi Bopara in bowling action for Essex (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Bopara’s early brace lifts leaders

Jamie Porter in bowling action for Essex (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Jamie Porter in bowling action for Essex (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Essex wrapped up an innings victory over Derbyshire to maintain their hold on top spot in Division Two of the Specsavers County Championship.

The home side began the final day on 213-5, still 152 runs behind Essex after following on.

And Ravi Bopara struck in the first over of the morning as Callum Parkinson picked out Essx captain Ryan ten Doeschate.

And Bopara claimed another scalp just two balls later as Alex Mellor edged to double centurion Nick Browne at slip to leave Derbyshire 213-7.

Matt Critchley and Charlie MacDonnell dug their heels in defiantly to frustrate the visitors and survived the first few overs with the new ball.

But Essex took another step closer to victory when former Oaks Park pupil Jamie Porter tempted Critchley to pick out Graham Napier at deep fine leg with the score on 285.

And Napier then got in on the act as he found the edge of Tom Milnes’ bat and saw Browne hold on to the catch at first slip to leave the hosts on the brink.

That made it 50 wickets in the championship this season for Napier, who is set to retire at the end of the summer.

And he celebrated by wrapping up the Derbyshire innings on 303, trapping former Essex seamer Tony Palladino leg before to finish with 4-50 in the innings and match figures of 8-78.

Essex players took to social media to celebrate their innings and 62-run victory, with Jaik Mickleburgh posting: “Great performance men @EssexCricket Awesome from @NickBrowne4 @Graham_Napier MOM.”

Napier added: “It’s taken 19 seasons and finally I’ve got past the 50 @CountyChamp wickets for @EssexCricket in my last season.”

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