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Summary

  1. Essex's Lawrence makes 141* to save game
  2. Lawrence shares century stands with Westley & Ten Doeschate
  3. Jarvis takes three wickets for Lancs
  4. Surrey beat Warwickshire by innings & one run
  5. Wins for Notts, Kent, Hants & Northants

Live Reporting

By Gary Smee

All times stated are UK

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Stumps - round one

Dan Lawrence Ryan ten Doeschate
Rex Features

That's your lot for the opening round of the 2017 County Championship season.

It's certainly been four days of drama with brilliant centuries, superb bowling spells and fantastic run chases.

Adam Williams and Kalika Mehta will be here on Good Friday (14 April) for the next round of fixtures, when a few more sides including Middlesex and Durham get their season under way.

Until then, goodbye.

Next up...

Here's a reminder of what's coming up on Good Friday when reigning champions Middlesex start their 2017 campaign at Hampshire...

Division One:

Hampshire v Middlesex

Somerset v Essex

Surrey v Lancashire

Warwickshire v Yorkshire

Division Two:

Derbyshire v Northants

Durham v Notts

Glamorgan v Worcestershire

Gloucestershire v Leicestershire

Sussex v Kent

Lawrence saves the day for Essex

Essex draw with Lancashire

Dan Lawrence
Rex Features

Dan Lawrence strides off to a standing ovation from the Chelmsford crowd.

The 19-year-old batted for 333 balls, and more than seven hours for his unbeaten 141.

Essex batted for more than four sessions to save the game with Tom Westley and captain Ryan ten Doeschate also making useful contributions.

BreakingESSEX DRAW WITH LANCASHIRE

Essex 159 & 316-6 draw with Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec

That's it, both sets of players are shaking hands. Essex have batted out the day to secure the draw.

Into the last over

Essex 159 & 316-6 v Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec

This should be the last over now.

All the praise will be rightly heaped on Dan Lawrence, but don't forget Tom Westley and Ryan ten Doeschate who both shared hundred partnerships with him.

Two overs to go

Essex 159 & 312-6 v Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec

Easy as you like for Essex.

Just the single off Kyle Jarvis' over to move Dan Lawrence up to 140.

A simply sensational innings from the 19-year-old.

Three overs to go

Essex 159 & 311-6 v Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec

Another over played out without too much trouble by Simon Harmer off Liam Livingstone, including a second boundary for the South African.

A minimum of three overs to go, or about 10 minutes. It's all feeling fairly academic at the moment.

Simon Harmer
Rex Features

Essex 159 & 307-6 v Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec

Simon Harmer is okay and sees out the remaining couple of balls from Kyle Jarvis.

Four overs left.

Essex 159 & 306-6 v Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec

Simon Harmer is hit on the hand by Kyle Jarvis, after hitting him for four, and out comes the physio. I'm not sure it's all that serious, but crucially wasting a few more seconds for Essex.

There are a minimum of 4.2 overs to go, or about 15 minutes if they get through those.

Five overs left

Essex 159 & 302-6 v Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec

Liam Livingstone replaces Stephen Parry and ALMOST gets through.

The ball keeps low and skids just past Dan Lawrence's stumps.

Was that Lancashire's last chance?

Essex 159 & 302-6 v Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec

Chelmsford floodlights
Rex Features

Yep, it's pretty gloomy out there at the moment. 

Simon Harmer does the job for Essex though, seeing out an over from Kyle Jarvis. He's faced 15 balls without scoring, not that it matters.

Six to go.

42 balls remaining

Essex 159 & 302-6 v Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec

Dan Lawrence plays out a maiden to the spin of Stephen Parry.

The floodlights are on at Chelmsford, conditions aren't easy for batting, but Lancashire are running out of time.

Essex 159 & 301-6 v Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec

Ryan ten Doeschate
Rex Features

Ryan ten Doeschate appeared furious when he got out, but I think it was more disappointment than a bad decision.

It's all down to young Dan Lawrence and the lower order.

Lancashire celebrate
Rex Features

Nine overs to go

Essex 159 & 301-6 v Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec

Dan Lawrence still looks like he's having a net out there. 

54 more balls for Essex to survive, Lancashire need four wickets.

Essex 159 & 300-6 v Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec

Simon Harmer, who has a first-class hundred, is the new man in at eight for Essex.

Lancashire are buoyant. The oohs and aahhs after every delivery can be heard once again.

WICKET Ten Doeschate (lbw b Jarvis) 41

Essex 159 & 300-6 v Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec

I told you Kyle Jarvis never gives up!

Ryan ten Doeschate is pinned bang in front and up goes the finger.

Lancashire still have a glimmer of hope.

Essex 159 & 298-5 v Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec

Kyle Jarvis
Rex Features

Kyle Jarvis is still giving it his all for Lancashire. 

The skiddy seamer always will, he's a determined fella.

But still no way through with about 40 minutes to go.

100 partnership

Essex 159 & 298-5 v Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec

That Dan Lawrence cover drive also brought up the 100 partnership with Essex captain Ryan ten Doeschate.

You won't see many better under the pressure to save a game.

Essex 159 & 298-5 v Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec

Another glorious shot from Dan Lawrence. He strokes Stephen Parry through the covers for his 18th boundary and moves to 136.

It's an absolute masterclass from the Essex batsman who has now faced exactly 300 balls.

Essex 159 & 294-5 v Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec

Dan Lawrence
Rex Features

It's thirsty work for Dan Lawrence.

The 19-year-old has been in the middle for more than six hours playing the innings of his life.

Fifty more minutes to survive my friend.

Into the last hour (ish)

Essex 159 & 290-5 v Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec

They're now into the last hour at Chelmsford.

Still no sign of a wicket for Lancashire.

They may well shake hands before 6pm.

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Ron Clark: Do we know when Alistair Cook will return for Essex?

It's my understanding that his hip injury wasn't that serious Ron, so he could well be back for Friday's game at Somerset. Don't hold me to that though!

The determined skipper

Essex 159 & 284-5 v Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec

A face of pure concentration from Ryan ten Doeschate who has now seen out 89 balls and more than likely saved the game for his side.

Lancashire are going through the motions.

Ryan ten Doeschate
Rex Features

Essex 159 & 284-5 v Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec

It's become rather sleepy in the middle. 

Dan Lawrence and Ryan ten Doeschate have blunted Lancashire's attack.

Hello, that livens things up a bit. Ten Doeschate plays a beautiful cover drive off Jordan Clark to the rope.

The skipper has player a super innings so far - arguably just as important as Lawrence's.

Game heading towards draw

Essex 159 & 278-5 v Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec

Tick. 20 overs to go.

It's all going wrong for Lancashire. Jordan Clark launches the ball at the stumps, thinking Ryan ten Doeschate is out of his crease, but it goes through everyone and down to the boundary.

Runs don't matter, but it sums up Lancashire's last hour or so.

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Charles Fairs: Dan Lawrence is putting in the kind of disciplined knock that could be useful to @englandcricket in a few years. Just saying.

Struggle for stand-in skipper

Essex 159 & 273-5 v Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec

James Anderson
Rex Features

Jimmy's body language says it all really. It's been a tough day for the bowlers.

Dan Lawrence whips Jordan Clark for another couple of boundaries and is up to 125.

It's getting towards make or break time for the Red Rose county.

Essex 159 & 265-5 v Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec

Apart from that clatter of wickets after lunch, Essex have looked relatively at ease all day.

Lancashire need some inspiration from somewhere, but it's difficult to see where they'll get it from.

The pitch is pretty flat and Dan Lawrence and Ryan ten Doeschate are both settled.

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Brett Sanders: Come on @EssexCricket  #digin great stuff from  @Lawrenc28Daniel@rtendo27  #bbccricket

Essex 159 & 256-5 v Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec

I did say yesterday to drink in the blue sky photos. It's now well and truly April again!

Lancashire's bowlers haven't really troubled Dan Lawrence or Ryan ten Doeschate since tea.

25 overs remain.

Chelmsford
Rex Features

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Ralph Brooker:@EssexCricket deserve the draw. @LancsCCC deserve the win. Another good game.

250 balls faced by Lawrence

Essex 159 & 254-5 v Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec

Dan Lawrence
Rex Features

Essex batsman Dan Lawrence has now faced 250 balls in this innings and been at the crease for almost five and a half hours.

They'll be talking about this knock for years to come if the 19-year-old manages to save the game for his side.

At the moment, there's no reason why he won't. He's a class act.

Essex 159 & 252-5 v Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec

Another milestone ticked off for Essex - they've got a minimum of 30 overs left to survive. Or until 6pm.

After Ravi Bopara and Adam Wheater both looked scratchy and got out quickly, captain Ryan ten Doeschate has been a much more calming presence.

James Anderson completes his 23rd wicketless over with another maiden. I'd expect plenty more maidens to come.

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There's still time for you to get in touch.

Who do you fancy for the title?

Get involved using #bbccricket on Twitter.

Evening session under way

Essex 159 & 250-5 v Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec

Here we go then. The final session of this opening round of the 2017 County Championship season and we're in for a thrilling finish.

James Anderson comes charging in and is immediately driven by Ryan ten Doeschate to the boundary.

That's the Essex 250 up.

Round two fixtures

Middlesex champions
Rex Features

Here's a reminder of what's coming up on Good Friday when reigning champions Middlesex get their campaign under way at Hampshire...

Division One:

Hampshire v Middlesex

Somerset v Essex

Surrey v Lancashire

Warwickshire v Yorkshire

Division Two:

Derbyshire v Northants

Durham v Notts

Glamorgan v Worcestershire

Gloucestershire v Leicestershire

Sussex v Kent

'Essex fans have optimism'

Essex 159 & 246-5 v Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec - Tea

Scott Read

BBC Radio Manchester Sport

The game will go into the final session still with two results possible thanks to a wonderful innings from Dan Lawrence and his 135 partnership with Tom Westley.

Essex supporters greeted the tea interval with increased optimism as the pitch appears to be getting flatter and wickets increasingly harder to come.

Should Essex survive 33 more overs, the least likely of the two results will be achieved after because of an impeccable performance by their young batsman.

Opening round recap

James Pattinson
Rex Features
  • Hampshire chase 320 to beat Yorkshire at Headingley
  • Kent skittle Gloucestershire for 61 in 334-run victory
  • Mark Stoneman scores 165 on Surrey debut in innings win over Warwickshire
  • Notts beat Leicestershire by 10 wickets as James Pattinson stars
  • Northants thump Glamorgan inside two days

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Time for tea

Essex 159 & 246-5 v Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec

Two sessions down, one to go for Essex. Five wickets needed for Lancashire.

The players go off for tea with Dan Lawrence unbeaten on 105.

It's been a magnificent innings from the youngster, one that drew applause from the visiting players.

Essex will have 33 overs to survive after the interval.