Specsavers County Championship Division One, Ageas Bowl (day three):Hampshire 254: Bailey 89; Porter 4-53Essex 76: Abbott 6-20 & 247-5: Lawrence 101, Bopara 57Essex lead by 69 runsHampshire 5 pts, Essex 3 ptsScorecardOnly 20 overs of play were possible on day three of the Division One match between Hampshire and county champions Essex because of rain.Essex moved from 208-3 to 226-3 in their second innings in the 30 minutes of action possible before lunch.After a delay of almost six hours, play resumed at 17:20 BST at the Ageas Bowl.
The visitors closed on 247-5, 69 ahead, as Ravi Bopara (57) and Dan Lawrence (101) were both dismissed by Fidel Edwards after a stand of 147.Lawrence, on 78 overnight, added the 22 runs he needed to bring up his third hundred of the season off 207 balls before edging the West Indies paceman behind.Essex, who are following on after being skittled for 76 in their first innings, are still unbeaten this season, while Hampshire’s battle to avoid relegation seems set to go into the final round of fixtures.Hampshire head coach Craig White:”Those 12 overs were a nice bonus. It was a long day waiting and we sensed a perfect opportunity there it was the perfect time to bowl and we got two crucial wickets.”Fidel Edwards has had a stop-start season with injuries and has never really got going. But he has got a good rhythm at the moment and he is still a class bowler.”It is a big first hour for us in the morning. If we can chip away with two or three in that hour and then bowl them out by lunchtime then we might be chasing 100-120 and that is ideal.”Essex assistant head coach Anthony McGrath:”After the first innings we were well below par but Ravi and Dan batted brilliantly. It was tough conditions, difficult for anyone but it was great for Dan to get his third Championship hundred.”It shows his growing maturity. Everyone questioned whether he could do it in Division One as a young player, but he has been at the forefront of why we have done well.”You wouldn’t write us off on the final day. We have been in tough situations all year and we have answered the questions all year. No-one bowls teams out as quickly as us – if we can sneak to 150 or 200 it will be a really good game of cricket.”
Source: BBC Dorset