Derbyshire hold on to draw with Essex
|County Championship Division Two, Derby|
|Essex 245 & 294-5 drew with Derbyshire 266 & 173-7|
|Derbys 8pts, Essex 7pts|
Division Two leaders Derbyshire survived a middle-order collapse to hold on and draw their game with Essex.
Essex, 85-1 overnight, declared on 294-5 after Tom Westley (82), Mark Pettini (50), Ryan ten Doeschate (52) and James Foster (58) all hit half-centuries.
Derbyshire, set 274 to win, were up against it after slipping to 51-3.
Wes Durston (60) and Dan Redfern (46) appeared to have steered them to safety but they slumped from 158-3 to 163-7 before rain ended the game at 173-7.
Tony Palladino and Ross Whiteley had dug in for 18 minutes before the rain arrived with six overs still to bowl.
The draw means Derbyshire go into the final two games of the season with a 19-point lead over second-placed Yorkshire, and are a further four points clear of Kent, who they face at Canterbury on Tuesday.