Essex wrap up innings win over Worcestershire
PUBLISHED: 17:37 02 September 2016 | UPDATED: 17:37 02 September 2016
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Five-star Napier shines for leaders
Essex completed an emphatic innings win over Worcestershire to take another step towards promotion in the Specsavers County Championships.
Captain Ryan ten Doeschate hit an unbeaten century, after Tom Westley had recorded the first double hundred of his career, to set up a declaration on the third morning of their Division Two contest.
And Graham Napier led the way with a five-wicket haul as the visitors, 371 runs behind on first innings, were dismissed for 210 at the second time of asking.
Essex resumed on 512-4, having scored 401 runs on day two, and Westley hit his first ball of the day to the boundary before bringing up his 250 from 375 balls, including 38 fours.
His superb innings was finally brought to an end, though, by a direct hit from Brett D’Oliveira as he was run out for 254, having spent 506 minutes at the crease and significantly strengthened his claim for a place in the England Test squad for their tour of Bangladesh this winter.
James Foster helped captain Ryan ten Doeschate bring up Essex’s 550, as the lead grew to 328, and the skipper moved to 1,000 championship runs for the season soon after.
Ten Doeschate brought up his century from 114 balls, with 11 boundaries, and was unbeaten on 109, with Foster 37 not out, as the home side finally declared on 601-5, a lead of 371.
Essex went close to a wicket in the first over of Worcestershire’s second innings as Jamie Porter had a big leg before wicket shout turned down from his first delivery, before Nick Browne missed a catching chance at third slip three balls later.
D’Oliveira and Daryl Mitchell survived that early storm to move the score along to 40 without loss, as the lunch interval drew closer.
But Napier came into the attack in place of David Masters, who had taken seven wickets in Worcestershire’s first innings of 230, and bowled a maiden first up.
And Masters then replaced Porter at the Hayes Close End and made the breakthrough as he bowled Mitchell with the score on 44 to give Essex a boost heading into lunch.
The afternoon session was only there balls old when Napier produced a stunning, lifting delivery that D’Oliveira could only steer behind to Foster to leave the visitors 45-2.
And after a brief period of consolidation by Worcestershire, Napier struck again as Joe Clarke dragged the ball onto his own stumps to make it 76-3.
And Will Rhodes got in on the act soon after, as Tom Fell was caught by Browne at backward point to make it 85-4, before the visitors dug in thanks to fifth-wicket pair Ross Whiteley and George Rhodes.
They put on 51, before Essex batting hero Westley came into the attack and trapped Whiteley leg before, then had Rhodes stumped by Foster in his next over to leave Worcestershire 141-6.
Napier bowled Leach to claim his third scalp of the innings and leave the visitors in deep trouble at tea on 158-7, as Essex closed in on another innings triumph.
And Napier had Ed Barnard caught at second slip by Westley after the restart, with the visitors total on 178.
Ben Cox then fell to Masters, driving the ball to Porter at mid-on, to make it 200-9 and Napier (5-59) completed victory by an innings and 161 runs with his fifth victim of the innings as Jack Shantry was caught by ten Doeschate.
Essex remain 24 points clear of Kent, who beat Sussex by an innings and 127 runs, with two matches remaining and host Glamorgan in their next match, starting on September 12.
Kent then entertain Essex in the final match of the season at Canterbury, which begins on September 20.
An Essex XI take on Upminster in their annual benefit match at Upminster Park on Sunday.
Fund raised will go to the Essex Cricket Foundation and the 30-over contest starts at 1.30pm.
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