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Ton-up Browne boosts Essex

PUBLISHED: 18:27 13 August 2016 | UPDATED: 18:27 13 August 2016

Nick Browne has been in fine form for Essex this season (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Nick Browne has been in fine form for Essex this season (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

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

Opener’s unbeaten century lifts leaders

Nick Browne’s unbeaten century helped Essex build a good score on the first day of their Specsavers County Championship match with Derbyshire.

Browne memorably hit unbeaten hundreds in both innings of a match at Derby in 2014 and finished on 116 not out as the Division Two leaders reached 291-4 at stumps.

Returning to the longer format after their Natwest T20 Blast quarter-final defeat at Nottinghamshire, Essex included Wanstead youngster Kishen Velani in their line-up, along with new loan signing Will Rhodes.

The 22-year-old Paul Walter, having played seven times in the T20 and also appeared several times fo the 2nd XI, was given his first-class debut, but after winning the toss and choosing to bat, the visitors lost Jaik Mickleburgh cheaply, with only 14 runs on the board in the 10th over.

Tom Westley dominated a 128-run stand for the second with South Woodford’s Browne, hitting six fours on his way to 72 before edging Matt Critchley to Alex Mellor.

And Browne, having reached his half-century off 141 balls, was unbeaten on 60 alongside Ravi Bopara as Essex reached tea on 167-2.

Bopara got to within six runs of a half-century after tea, when he edged Callum Parkinson behind to Mellor to end a 75-run partnership, and Velani settled quickly with three early boundaries as Browne moved towards three figures.

Velani was trapped leg before by Tom Milnes for 19 and with the score on 252, though, and captain Ryan ten Doeschate hit his second ball faced to the boundary.

Browne brought up his century with three runs off Milnes, having faced 266 balls and hit a six and six fours, and ended the over with another boundary as Essex moved to 273-4.

Two more boundaries followed for Browne, whose career-best innings of 255 also came against Derbyshire, before the close and Essex will be looking for a big total on day two.

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