Batsmen prosper on Day One

Saturday 13th August 2016
Written by Danny Painter

A determined century by Nick Browne frustrated Derbyshire’s bowlers on Day One of their Specsavers County Championship match with Essex.

Essex won the toss and decided to bat, on a turgid-looking pitch and despite slow progress early in the day, they made it tough for the Derbyshire bowlers to take wickets.

Tom Milnes (2-48) made the early breakthrough when he had Jaik Mickleburgh caught for seven. But Tom Westley (72) and Browne (116*) put on 128 for the second wicket partnership before Westley was caught behind by Alex Mellor off the bowling of Matt Critchley (1-79).

Ravi Bopara (44) fell to Callum Parkinson (1-75) and Kishen Velani (19) was given LBW to Milnes, but not after both had provided support for Browne, who eventually reached an 11th first-class century off 266 balls, before finishing at the close on 116 not out.

Essex made a slow but steady start to their innings, before Milnes struck in the 10th over with Mickleburgh clipping to Alex Hughes at mid-wicket for seven.

Browne and Westley then frustrated the Derbyshire bowlers, reaching 67-1 at the lunch interval, despite the tight bowling by Palladino and Milnes in particular.

Westley, and then Browne, went past 50 shortly after the lunch break, but then Westley succumbed to Critchley, who spun one and found the outside edge, with on-loan wicketkeeper Mellor taking a sharp catch stood up to the stumps.

Bopara joined Browne at the crease and dispatched Critchley for a six from just his second ball, and continued to play positively until the tea interval where Essex reached 167-2, with Browne still there on 60.

The theme continued after tea until Parkinson had the former England man caught behind by Mellor for 44. Shortly after, Milnes struck with the new ball to have Velani lbw for 19.

Browne then reached his hundred off 266 balls, providing a similar bane to the Derbyshire attack as he did earlier in the season when he scored a career best 255.

The Derbyshire bowlers continued to press into the evening but Browne finished the day unbeaten on 116 and Essex finished on 291-4, with Milnes being the pick of the bowlers with 2-48.

Click HERE to view scorecard.

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