Essex's Jesse Ryder finds form in county cricket
Jesse Ryder has ended a lean run with the bat with his first century for English county Essex.
The destructive New Zealand batsman overnight hit 133 off 164 balls on day two of their county championship division two match against Gloucestershire at Chelmsford.
The left-hander clouted 15 fours and four sixes as he added 197 for the third wicket with England international Ravi Bopara (98 not out).
Ryder had been struggling to make an impact with the bat in county cricket, and had proved more successful with the ball, last month taking his first 10-wicket haul in first-class cricket when he was used at first change against Kent.
In his eight previous first-class innings for Essex Ryder had scored 152 runs, so he was certainly due a big score.
Ryder hit a huge six which nearly damaged a house and, although he required 90 deliveries to get to his half-century, his next 80 runs came from just 74 balls. He brought up three figures with a powerful drive.
''It's been a tough start for me over here,'' Ryder told Cricinfo.
''I've been here a month and am still trying to get used to the wickets but myself and Ravi just went out there to bat, we didn't chat about how to play and just relaxed - it paid off.
''I've been striking the ball well recently and that's helped me get back to what I know, keeping my head still and just keeping it simple."
His ton overnight was his 18th first-class century, allowing Essex to take control at 425-3 in reply to Gloucestershire's 224.
''The openers helped set the platform and helped us by giving me the opportunity to play like that,'' Ryder said.
''But from there, we've got a great chance of forcing a victory. If we can bat well tomorrow and get as many runs as we can and see what happens. Hopefully it starts turning a bit more, and we can bring Monty [Panesar] into play."