|LV County Championship Division Two, Northampton|
|Close, day two: Essex 433, Northants 256-4|
|Essex 5pts, Northants 3pts|
Stephen Peters hit a century against his old county as Northants fought back against Essex at Wantage Road.
Resuming on 345-6, the visitors were bowled out for 433, James Foster hitting 64 and Chaminda Vaas ending with figures of 5-89.
Northants lost Mal Loye to Lonwabo Tsotsobe before Peters added 114 with Rob White (36) for the second wicket.
Peters (105) fell to Reece Topley (2-48), but Alex Wakely (54 no) took Northants to 256-4 at the close.
Vaas enticed Mark Pettini to play on and had Tim Phillips caught behind to complete the 29th five-wicket haul of his career, before James Middlebrook accounted for Foster and Tsotsobe.
Loye gave Tsotsobe his first Essex wicket when he found Topley at fine leg but, from there, Peters and White were untroubled.
That was until both men fell to Topley, White lbw and Peters caught at mid-on.
David Sales then edged Ravi Bopara to Alastair Cook at slip, but Wakely and Andrew Hall saw Northants to the close without any further alarm.
DAY TWO REACTION
BBC Essex's Dick Davies:
"A skipper's knock from James Foster gave Essex every reason to be optimistic about the eventual outcome of this match.
"Two Essex-born players, Stephen Peters from Hornchurch and Rob White (born in Chelmsford), laid the foundations of a strong reply, with Peters' century a masterclass.
"Reece Topley again bowled well, while their new overseas player, the South African Lonwabo Tsotsobe, had a harsh initiation into English county cricket on the unforgiving Wantage Road wicket."