By some distance, Derbyshire’s 22-year-old Chesney Hughes, who built magnificently on his career-best 171 against Yorkshire overnight to come within touching distance of the county’s 117-year-old record for an individual innings and would have beaten it, surely, had he not run out of partners. Hughes finished on 270 not out, left high and dry when Jack Brooks bowled Tony Palladino for 18 and Adil Rashid trapped Tony Groenewald leg before for a duck. Four more runs would have equalled George Davidson’s score against Lancashire in 1896 as the highest in Derbyshire history. It is the highest score by a batsman carrying the bat in a completed innings since 1935, when Kent’s Bill Ashdown scored 305 not out… against Derbyshire.
Bowler of the day
Benny Howell, the Gloucestershire all-rounder, is a product of the Hampshire academy but has been based in Bristol for the last two seasons. He has one of the more cosmopolitan backgrounds among Championship cricketers. Howell was born in Bordeaux, educated at the Oratory School in Berkshire – where his father was the real tennis professional – and holds an Australian passport as well as a British one. His mother is Australian and his parents live near Melbourne. He is a middle-order batsman and a handy medium-pace bowler and he took five wickets in an innings for the first time in a first-class match as Gloucestershire bowled out Leicestershire for 250.
Alastair Cook eased himself back into competitive action with a half-century that Essex appreciated more than usual as the others in their top order fell by the wayside. Essex were five down for 72 overnight and quickly suffered another setback as Ben Foakes was caught behind off James Tomlinson. But the England captain helped James Foster add 43 and Graham Napier put on 39 before he was leg before to Tomlinson. Napier (74) and Tim Phillips built on the platform with a stand of 87 for the ninth wicket to give Essex a lead of 57 over Hampshire. David Masters then removed both Hampshire openers for 21.