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Last Updated: Friday, 19 August 2005, 17:14 GMT 18:14 UK
Irani guides Essex to superb win
County Championship D2, Derby, day four (close): Essex 306 & 337-5 bt Derbyshire 426 & 216 by five wickets
Essex 19pts, Derbyshire 6pts

Essex captain Ronnie Irani's unbeaten 88 guided his team to a memorable five-wicket victory over Derbyshire, lifting them to second in Division Two.

The home side, without a home win in the Championship since 2002, resumed on 194-8 and added 22 to set Essex 337.

Will Jefferson hit 14 fours and a six in his 83 but Grant Flower fell for a duck, before brother Andy compiled his fifth Championship century of the year.

Irani, who made 99 in the first innings, smashed 12 fours and a six.

Teenage off-spinner Jake Needham was the first Derbyshire wicket of the day to fall, giving Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria a five-wicket haul.

Flower and Irani then shared a partnership of 177 to secure a stunning victory with 18 balls remaining, leaving Derbyshire firmly rooted to the foot of the table without a win.

A jubilant Irani said: "With our batting line-up we will chase any target and we certainly thought that was a realistic challenge.

"We were always going to chase because we desperately needed a win and there's a great spirit in our team, it's like playing with 12 men."

Battling Essex hit back at Derby
18 Aug 05 |  Counties
Essex struggling despite Kaneria
17 Aug 05 |  Counties
Kaneria key in Derbyshire slide
16 Aug 05 |  Counties

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