LV County Championship - Division Two
Chelmsford, Day Four
Derbyshire 326 (D J Redfern 50, C J C Wright 4-86) & 179-6 dec (D J Pipe 64 no, G M Smith 59) v Essex 194 (I D Hunter 5-46) & 120-3 (V Chopra 56)
Essex (7pts) drew with Derbyshire (10pts)
Varun Chopra's entertaining half-century was in vain for Essex as they failed to force a victory against Derbyshire at Chelmsford.
After being set a target of 312 from a minimum of 45 overs, Essex never remotely threatened to get into a winning position as they finished on 120 for three.
The captains decided to call it a day at the start of the final hour with 16 overs still remaining.
The home side started encouragingly enough through the efforts of Chopra who survived two early appeals for catches behind before going on to make an entertaining 56 from 74 balls, 10 of which he despatched for four.
But once he was caught at deep backward point cutting Ian Hunter, there was very little aggressive intent from the batsmen.
Jaik Mickleburgh spent 13 deliveries gathering his solitary run while opener Jason Gallian, who featured in a partnership of 88 in 19 overs with Chopra, was content to play his way carefully to finish unbeaten on 44.
Derbyshire claimed 10 points from the draw while Essex picked up seven for their efforts.
Derbyshire opening bowler Ian Hunter returned career-best figures of 5-46 to help dismiss Essex for 194 at Chelmsford.
The five-wicket haul from 23 overs saw Derbyshire earn a first-innings lead of 132, however a mixture of bad light and rain ensures a draw still remains the most likely result.
Resuming the day on 29-0, Hunter removed Jason Gallian and Jaik Mickleburgh in a nine-over spell, before ending James Foster and Mark Pettini's 47-run partnership for the fifth-wicket.
Varun Chopra (39), Pettini (28) and Foster (40) helped Essex reach the 177 needed to avoid the follow-on, however had Derbyshire not squandered numerous opportunities in the field, the visitors would have been dismissed much sooner.
After dropping Foster earlier in the day, Steve Stubbings' day took another turn for the worse when he was caught at first slip by Gallian off the bowling of David Masters to leave Derbyshire on 4-1 at stumps.
Poor weather restricted Essex and Derbyshire to less than 23 overs on the second day of play in their Division Two fixture at Chelmsford.
Derbyshire's last three wickets added 20 runs to their overnight total, with David Masters and Chris Wright mopping up the tail either side of a four-and-a-half hour rain delay.
Jon Clare (2) was caught behind off the bowling of Masters in a morning session that yielded only 7.4 overs and one run.
Wright then took the final two wickets, breaching the defences of Tom Lungley (0) and Ian Hunter (2) to finish with excellent figures of 4-86.
Varun Chopra and Jason Gallian were unbeaten on 16 and 7 respectively as the hosts closed the day 297 runs behind on 29 without loss.
Promising teenager Daniel Redfern crafted a half-century to help Derbyshire finish day one of their LV County Championship match against Essex on 306-7 at Chelmsford.
Three days short of his 19th birthday, Redfern batted for nearly three hours for his 50 after Steve Stubbings (28) and debutants Garry Park (41) and Stuart Law (29) made starts.
Essex paceman Chris White accounted for both debutants before all-rounder Ryan Ten Doeschate joined White on two wickets with the scalp of Wavell Hinds (24).
Redfern struck eight fours in his 133-ball stay, however Essex rallied in the final session when David Masters, James Middlebrook and Maurice Chambers all struck to leave the visitors seven wickets down at stumps.