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County Championship Division 2
David Masters produced an extraordinary burst of seam bowling as Leicestershire were skittled out for just 34 by Essex at Southend.
Masters returned the amazing figures of 8-10 from 7.4 overs as the visitors suffered a humiliating 280-run defeat in their LV= County Championship Division Two clash.
Having been set a victory target of 315, Leicestershire's innings lasted just 72 minutes as Masters was left celebrating the best figures of his long career.
The 33-year-old embarked on his destructive spell by bowling Will Jefferson in his opening over, and in his fourth he picked up three more victims.
He had Matt Boyce caught in the slips and trapped James Taylor lbw before knocking back the off stump of Wayne White.
By this time the visitors were left shell-shocked and never looked like putting up much of a fight, and fittingly Masters was to seal victory by bowling Tom New.
Earlier in the day, he had also played a significant part with the bat. Essex had
resumed on 168-4 in their second innings, just 110 runs ahead, and quickly lost two wickets while a further 17 runs were added.
That heralded the arrival of Masters, who walked out to join his skipper Ravi
Bopara and share in a partnership of 111 for the seventh wicket, the highest of
the match. Masters contributed was 48.
The deeds of Masters rather overshadowed a magnificent innings from Bopara, who was leading Essex in a Championship game for the first time.
Starting the day on 55, Bopara advanced to 178 before he was the ninth man out. He drove and pulled with great authority during an innings that spanned nearly seven-and-a-half hours and contained 18 fours.
His vigil ended when a mistimed sweep against left-arm spinner Claude Henderson looped up in the air for Jefferson to run round from slip and take an easy catch behind the wicketkeeper.
But by then Essex were over 300 ahead and the stage was set for Masters to
destroy Leicestershire's challenge.
Ravi Bopara led Essex's fight-back the second day of their Division Two clash against bottom-of-the-table Leicestershire at Southend.
The skipper put on an unbeaten half-century after the hosts had started their second innings 58 runs adrift of Leicestershire's modest total of 202
Bopara (55 not out) shared batting honours with opener Billy Godleman, who made 77 before he was dismissed driving an easy catch to mid-on off seamer Nadeem Malik.
Leicestershire had resumed the day on 100-3 but managed to add just 102 for the remaining seven wickets, thanks in no small part to the bowling of Tom Craddock.
The 21-year-old leg-spinner claimed the visitors' last four wickets for the addition of just 14 runs finishing the day with figures 4-59 from 20.4 overs.
In reply Essex moved to 168-4 - a lead of 110 - thanks largely to Goodman and Bopara's partnership that yielded 104 runs in 27 overs and begin day three with the tie nicely balanced.
Bottom-of-the-table Leicestershire gained the upper hand on the opening day of their LV= County Championship Division Two battle against Essex at Southend.
After bowling out their opponents for a modest 144 - Essex's second-lowest score of the season - they responded with 100-3 at the close to complete a rewarding day for James Taylor, who was leading Leicestershire for the first time in a Championship match in place of the injured Matthew Hoggard.
Taylor's decision to insert Essex after winning the toss did not look an inspired one as the home side reached lunch on 82-3. But they then lost their remaining wickets for just 62 runs in 30 overs, with left-arm spinner Claude Henderson removing Owais Shah (24), Jaik Mickleburgh (4) and Ryan ten Doeschate (0) in just 19 balls on his way to figures of 4-43.
Ravi Bopara, also skippering Essex for the first time in a four-day game, was the only batsman to offer real resistance, making 37 from 115 balls before falling lbw to medium-pacer Wayne White.
Will Jefferson and Matt Boyce ensured a sound start to Leicestershire's reply by putting on 54 - the best partnership of the day - before the former was caught superbly by wicketkeeper Adam Wheater off Maurice Chambers having made 39.
Chambers removed Greg Smith (1) in his next over before left-arm paceman Tymal Mills combined with Wheater to remove Boyce (30).England v India. Click here to bet.
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