SCOTT Borthwick collected his first century since returning to Durham after Essex were skittled out for under 100 at the County Ground for the first time since 2014.

Prodigal son Borthwick returned to his home county this winter after four seasons at Surrey before scoring exactly 100 – his first hundred for the club since May 2016 – as Durham ended the day 148 for eight, with a 52-run lead.

Defending Bob Willis Trophy and LV= Insurance County Championship champions Essex were skittled for 96 - with the 94 scored against Derbyshire in 2014 the last time they had been routed for under three figures.

Chris Rushworth and Brydon Carse both claimed three wickets, while former Essex paceman Matt Salisbury and Ben Raine also took two apiece.

Essex had won the toss and elected to bat first, on pitch and in conditions not dissimilar to the one which saw 993 runs in a dull draw the week before, but they lost Nick Browne to the third ball of the match, as the opener chopped Rushworth on.

Tom Westley, on the back of a double century against Worcestershire last week, and Alastair Cook both departed in quick succession - the former caught behind while expansively driving at Salisbury and the latter lbw.

The hosts slumped to 36 for five as Carse claimed two wickets in an over when Paul Walter dragged on and Ryan ten Doeschate attempted to duck but periscoped the ball to third slip.

Carse provided more heat as he struck Adam Wheater on the hip and shoulder, as the wicketkeeper and Dan Lawrence battled to put on 38.

After lunch, Essex lost three wickets for two runs as the collapse returned, falling from 74 for five to 76 for eight.

Wheater tentatively prodded to second slip, Lawrence was bowled and Simon Harmer rocked onto the back foot and edged to a stooping first slip.

Rushworth and Carse cleared up the tail with Ben Allison caught behind and Sam Cook bounced out.

A similar wicket tumble was threatened by Durham when Alex Lees edged behind in the fourth over to hand Sam Cook his 100th first-class wicket for Essex, but Borthwick and Will Young raced past the home side’s score in 27 overs.

Whatever gremlins Essex had found evaded Borthwick has he stormed to a 64-ball half-century, brought up with a sweet sweep.

Harmer struck in consecutive overs as Young turned around the corner to Lawrence at leg slip and David Bedingham skied to mid-off.

Jack Burnham and Ned Eckersley also departed, before Borthwick raised his bat on a popular 118-ball hundred – after back-to-back boundaries off Allison.

Borthwick was bowled by a ball that barely bounced before Carse shouldered his arms at a sharp turner after Lawrence entered due to bad light.

Five overs were lost for a delay for bad light but in a 2.4 over return, Raine edged Harmer to first slip - the spinner ending the day with figures of four for 41.