Essex completed a comprehensive victory over Derbyshire in the LV County Championship Division Two match by an innings and 188 runs to boost Chris Silverwood’s chances of landing the job as head coach.
Silverwood has made it clear he wants to succeed Paul Grayson who left the club two weeks ago and this professional performance at Derby can only help his application.
Essex were always likely to wrap up victory inside three days given the injuries to Tony Palladino and Shiv Thakor which prevented them batting and they sealed a maximum points haul ten minutes before lunch.
Ryan Ten Doeschate was the catalyst, taking three wickets for one run in nine balls, as Derbyshire subsided tamely to 182-8 after skipper Wayne Madsen and nightwatchman Ben Cotton had kept Essex waiting 47 minutes for a breakthrough.
But once Ravi Bopara had Cotton pouched at first slip, the end came swiftly leaving Silverwood to reflect on an impressive three days work.
“It was a fantastic team performance,” the acting head coach said.
“We are getting first innings runs and the bowling attack stuck at it.
“We did exactly what we said we were going to do and we got the rewards.
“I will be putting my hat in the ring and see what comes but first and foremost for me was to see us through the last games and do the best we can.
“We said next season starts now and we want to set the bar high .”
Derbyshire’s season is in danger of disintegrating after they were largely outplayed in this game and Madsen admitted: “We are not trying to make any excuses.
“This is just not good enough and we’ve got to find solutions to compete in games and stay in them longer.
“It’s very disappointing the way that we played.
“There’s no consistency to our play, you need everyone chipping in over the course of the season and we haven’t had that this year.”
Madsen and Cotton, who dug in for just short of an hour, at least showed some fight to raise hopes of Derbyshire taking the game deep into the day but Bopara tempted Cotton into a flash that was held above his head by Jesse Ryder.
James Foster’s decision to turn to ten Doeschate at the Racecourse End proved inspired as the South African all-rounder had Madsen caught behind down the leg side for 38 and then saw Scott Elstone edge a drive to second slip.
When Tom Poynton played back and was lbw, Essex sensed they could finish it before lunch and Footitt’s sliced drive left Wes Durston high and dry with Palladino and Thakor remaining in the pavilion.
Derbyshire now have one last chance to win a championship home game this season when they play Leicestershire the week after next and Madsen added: “We’ve got to perform well in the last game of the season.
“We don’t just owe it to ourselves, we owe it to the supporters and everyone at the club.”