Batsman of the Day
Essex, bowled out for 20 by Lancashire 10 days ago, would have suffered many more embarrassments this season if their lower-order batting was not so reliable. Opener Tom Westley is having a respectable season but otherwise most of their runs have come from James Foster and Graham Napier, respectively their numbers seven and eight, who came to their aid again at Leicester, where a scorecard that once read 28 for 4 was transformed to 356 all out, largely due to Foster's 143, but with Napier chipping in with 52, his fifth half-century of the season. It is a remarkable and telling statistic that of 20 partnerships of 77 or more between Essex batsmen this season, half have come after five wickets have gone down. The 114 that Foster and Napier put on for the seventh wicket at Grace Road was the fourth of 100-plus in which wicketkeeper Foster has been involved this season.
Bowler of the Day
Derbyshire always accepted that they were unlikely to win many matches in the First Division of the Championship, such is the widening gulf between the Second Division and the top section, and if they were to win any they would need a full complement of bowlers. It was with some relief, then, that Tony Palladino announced his recovery from a side-strain that had kept him out for seven weeks. Back in harness against Somerset at Derby, the former Essex seamer, who has been Derbyshire's leading wicket-taker for the last two seasons, took 5 for 97 as Somerset were dismissed for 216, with England's Nick Compton among his victims. Palladino's presence undoubtedly helped strike partner Tim Groenewald, who finished with even more impressive figures of 5 for 30. It gave Derbyshire the rare pleasure of a handy first-innings lead, although with considerable time lost to the weather, it might be difficult to find a way to a result. They lead by 86 overnight with two wickets down.
Display of the day
Northamptonshire had threatened to run away with the Second Division title at one stage but Lancashire and now Worcestershire are cutting into their lead, the latter making sure that Moeen Ali's brilliant 250 did not go to waste as they completed an eight-wicket win over Glamorgan at New Road, their third victory of the season. Australian Jim Allenby continued his fine season for the Welsh county with an unbeaten 74 to go with his first-innings 82 and 46 off 32 balls from his compatriot, Michael Hogan, at least obliged Worcestershire to bat again, but after Glamorgan's dismissal for 278, following on, the home side needed only 51 to win. Jack Shantry, their right-arm seamer, finished with 4 for 77 and a match haul of 8 for 142.
Ed Joyce, who was out for 98 when Sussex visited Trent Bridge last season, went one better with his first Championship century of the season, his fifth against Nottinghamshire, as Sussex took the upper hand in their encounter with the Midlands county.
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