Essex clinch title and promotion
PUBLISHED: 18:30 13 September 2016 | UPDATED: 19:00 13 September 2016
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Captain ten Doeschate’s unbeaten century helps seal the deal
Essex clinched the Division Two title and promotion on day two of their Specsavers County Championship clash with Glamorgan thanks to a superb unbeaten century from captain Ryan ten Doeschate at Chelmsford.
Having seen his side dismiss the visitors for 286 in the morning, to claim three batting points, the skipper rescued his side from a perilous 85-5 in reply to claim a second batting point in the final session of play.
And that ensured they could not be caught at the top of the table, following title rivals Sussex’s failure to secure maximum bonus points against Worcestershire.
Glamorgan resumed on 256-7, after a dogged century stand the previous evening, but soon lost Owen Morgan for 55 as his middle stump was removed by Jamie Porter.
Kiran Carlson moved to 119, having become the youngest first-class centurion in the Welsh county’s history, before edging David Masters to James Foster, which saw Essex claim their third bowling point.
And Masters wrapped up the innings on 286 with the very next ball as last man Michael Hogan was caught at slip by Varun Chopra.
That left Essex targetting three batting points at the start of their reply, but although they scored 16 from Timm van der Gugten’s first over, they saw former Ilford youngster Chopra trapped leg before by Craig Meschade to fall for just a single on his return to the top of the order.
Tom Westley followed soon after, caught down the leg side by Mark Wallace, to make it 21-2, with South Woodford’s Nick Browne also edging Meschede behind to fall for 22 with the total on 34.
Former Trinity High School pupil Dan Lawrence and Hainault & Clayhall old boy Ravi Bopara saw Essex reach lunch on 46-3, but a fourth wicket fell on 67 when Lawrence edged van der Gugten to Aneurin Donald in the slips.
News then came through that Sussex had been dismissed for 229 in reply to Worcestershire’s 306, which meant Essex only needed two batting points to achieve promotion, but the 250-run target seemed a long way off when Bopara went down the pitch to Morgan and was stumped by Wallace for 25 to leave the hosts 85-5.
Ten Doeschate joined the returning Adam Wheater in the middle, though, and the sixth-wicket pair set about rebuilding the innings as they inched the score along.
Wheater reached his half-century from 83 balls on his return to the side from Hampshire and the partnership had reached 85 as Essex got to tea on 170-5.
Captain ten Doeschate brought up his own half-century soon after the restart, from 130 balls, having hit nine fours, but then saw Wheater caught at point by Nick Selman off Morgan to fall for 59 with the score on 185.
The first batting point was secured when ten Doeschate nudged a single into the off side to bring up the 200 and the experienced pair kept their composure as the target was further reduced over the next few overs.
The moment of truth came when ten Doeschate cut Morgan for a single to bring up the 250 in the 70th over and the skipper then moved to his hundred off 137 balls with the 11th four of his innings, off van der Gugten three overs later.
The pair safely navigated the final six overs of the day after that to see Essex close on 275-6, just 11 runs behind their rivals and with ten Doeschate unbeaten on 109 and Wanstead old boy Foster 33 not out from 86 balls, having hit a six and a four.
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