Nottinghamshire have been handed an eight-wicket defeat by Essex thanks to hundreds from Murali Vijay and Tom Westley in thier penultimate Specsavers County Championship game of the season.

The Indian Test opener, who played in the first two matches of the recent series against England, followed up his first innings score of 56 with a match-winning contribution of exactly 100.

Vijay scored his runs from 181 balls and shared in a second wicket stand of 204 with Tom Westley, who finished with an unbeaten 110.

Set to score 282 for the win, the visitors reached their target just before lunch to complete a comfortable eight-wicket victory.

Essex began the final day in a strong position, on 147 for one, requiring only 135 more. Vijay, who resumed on 73, was watchful for half an hour before picking off Luke Fletcher for a trio of leg-side pulled boundaries to burst into the 90s.

A scampered single from Luke Wood’s bowling took the 34-year old to his 25th first class hundred, made from 173 balls.

With only 61 runs required Samit Patel eventually made the breakthrough, bowling Vijay off an inside edge.

Westley’s 50 had come from 101 deliveries and his only alarm had come when Dan Lawrence called him for a risky single to get off the pair; Lyndon James’ throw narrowly missing, with Westley not in the frame.

Lawrence accelerated his side towards the finishing line but left it to his partner to stroke the winning runs through the off-side to seal Essex’s first championship win at Trent Bridge since 2003.

Westley faced 193 balls and added 61 with Lawrence, who closed on 29 not out.

Essex, the 2017 county champions, picked up 20 points from their victory and return to third spot in the Division One table, with fixtures against Worcestershire (at home) and Surrey (away) to come.

Nottinghamshire collected only three bonus points, leaving them in fifth spot, with just a home match against Somerset to follow.


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