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Page last updated at 16:57 GMT, Saturday, 26 September 2009 17:57 UK

Essex pip Northants to promotion

Essex 356-9 dec & 359-5 beat Derbyshire 474 & 240-4 dec by five wickets
(Essex 20 pts, Derbys 8pts)
23-26 September

Ryan ten Doeschate
Ryan ten Doeschate played for Holland earlier this year in the World Cup

Ryan ten Doeschate smashed a stunning 108 off just 59 balls as Essex snatched a shock five-wicket win at Derby to earn promotion back to Division One.

Essex were set 358 to win from 65 overs after Derbyshire obligingly declared on 240-4 just before lunch.

But Ten Doeschate's eight sixes in an unbroken stand of 156 with Mark Pettini (85) won it with five overs to spare.

That secured Essex top flight cricket again for the first time since 2003, pipping Northants by a mere point.

Derbyshire skipper Chris Rogers, ironically a Northants old boy who spent a season at Wantage Road in 2006, was pushing for the victory that would have seen his side finish third in Division Two.

And the home side looked the most likely winners when they had reduced Essex to 203-5 shortly after tea.

But ten Doeschate, who reached his 15th first-class century just before Essex reached the target, and Pettini turned things round in dynamic fashion.

And, six years on from relegation, they will now accompany Division Two champions Kent back to the top flight.

Derbyshire, 103-3 overnight, had earlier raised eyebrows when they declared on 240-4, with Garry Park unbeaten on 103.

It seemed a generous declaration by the home side and that proved to be the case as Essex skipper Pettini and ten Doeschate roared home, adding 156 in only 17 overs, to leave their fastest finisher Graham Napier unused in the pavilion.

Fittingly, it was Pettini who hit the winning run to spark wild scenes of celebration in front of the Essex dressing room.

Northants are bound to be unhappy about Derbyshire's declaration but there can be no arguing with the quality of ten Doeschate's batting.

But Derbyshire skipper Chris Rogers, whose own team's promotion hopes ended when Northants beat Leicestershire, defended his declaration.

"We thought they would have struggled to get that if we bowled well," he said. "But, all credit to them, they batted fantastically.

"We wanted to come third and we needed some time to bowl them out."

Essex all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate told BBC Essex:

"The belief in the camp is very strong and it was a must- win game, so there wasn't really any other choice.

"Whatever Derby had set us we would have given it our best try.

"At the stage that I came, in as long as we kept close to the rate there was always a chance of winning."

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