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Summary

  1. Cook makes 193 off 280 balls
  2. Browne hits 221 off 384 deliveries
  3. Cook & Browne break Essex highest opening stand with 373
  4. Day three washed out at Headingley & Durham

Live Reporting

By Gary Smee

All times stated are UK

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Nick Browne Alastair Cook
Rex Features

And so a day of rain, more rain, record partnerships, broken champions and hugs, is over.

I'll be back tomorrow with Felix Keith from 13:45 BST.

See you then.

Close of play at Northants

Northants 261 & 289-7 dec v Leicestershire 157 & 44-0 (target 394)

At 9.57pm play ends for the day at Northants. We didn't quite make it past 10pm!

Leicestershire need another 350 for victory - a tough ask, but not impossible in this day and age.

Northants 261 & 289-7 dec v Leicestershire 157 & 32-0 (target 394)

As the clock ticks round to 9.50pm - we're down to one match.

Leicestershire openers Paul Horton and Arun Harinath are batting for the close at Northants.

Two overs remain.

Stumps at Trent Bridge

Notts 371 v Kent 180 & 214-7

Adam Rouse and Adam Milne have done a fine job of batting out the final 30 minutes or so in Nottingham, but you feel it is only delaying the inevitable for Kent.

They lead by 18 heading into the final day.

WICKET Rudolph (lbw b Mendis) 0

Glamorgan 237 & 0-1 (target 212) v Derbyshire 288 & 166

Oh my word, Jacques Rudolph is out to the final ball of the day.

The Glamorgan skipper is pinned lbw by spinner Jeevan Mendis.

That's a huge blow to the home side as they chase 212.

Three games left

With day three rapidly coming to a close, we're down to a final trio of matches still going on in Division Two.

It looks like Notts will have to wait until tomorrow to wrap up victory against Kent - Adam Rouse and Adam Milne have taken them to 209-7 and a lead of 18 with just a couple of overs to go at Trent Bridge.

Glamorgan are in full survival mode against Derbyshire. Jacques Rudolph and Timm van der Gugten have played out five straight maidens. Their chase of 212 will not start until tomorrow it seems.

Leicestershire have started well in pursuit of an unlikely 394 to win at Northants. They're 31-0 with five overs left tonight.

Stumps at Chelmsford

Essex 542-3 dec v Middlesex 246 & 27-0

Nick Gubbins and Nick Compton will be hugely relived to have seen out those last 13 overs of the day unscathed.

It gives Middlesex a much better chance of earning a draw tomorrow.

The day has belonged to Essex though - in particular Alastair Cook and Nick Browne who share a record opening partnership for Essex of 373.

The Division One leaders will have to bowl well for victory tomorrow.

Nick Browne Alastair Cook
Rex Features

Close of play at Hove

Sussex 358-9d v Gloucestershire 150-1

Adrian Harms

Sports reporter, BBC Sussex

Despite losing 56 overs in the day and considering play could carry on until 10pm, it is slightly odd that we are finishing just after 9.30pm.

Either way an excellent partnership of 82 between Cameron Bancroft and Will Tavare has made virtually certain that Gloucstershire will avoid any prospect of a follow on. Now the captains will need to negotiate a run-chase if this game is to end in anything but a draw.

Hove
BBC Sport
Close of play at Hove

Essex 542-3 dec v Middlesex 246 & 25-0

Essex lad
Rex Features

This chap has been in the crowd from start to finish I believe.

Talking of finish, we're into the final over at Chelmsford. Mohammad Amir is bowling it. Then the focus switches to Division Two...

Glamorgan using a 'floodlightwatchman'

Glamorgan 237 & 0-0 v Derbyshire 288 & 160

A novel new term has been brought to us by day/night cricket. With the pink ball difficult to face under the floodlights, we've seen the introduction to the cricket lexicon of 'floodlightwatchmen', as mentioned here by BBC Sport commentator Peter Miller.

Timm van der Gugten, who performed the role in the first innings too, is opening with Jacques Rudolph.

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Essex 542-3 dec v Middlesex 246 & 20-0

Essex turn to in-form spinner Simon Harmer in place of Mohammad Amir at the River End.

I'll get my wicket entry ready...

Kent have the lead

Notts 371 v Kent 180 & 193-7

Kent have a lead - the problem is it is only two runs at the moment. And they have just two wicket left after Darren Stevens retired hurt.

Adam Milne is looking good for now on 20 not out, though. Notts will at least have to bat again to earn their sixth win of the season.

Glamorgan need 212 to win

Glamorgan 237 v Derbyshire 288 & 160

Jeevan Mendis is caught at deep square leg by Jacques Rudolph on boundary off Timm van der Gugten for 27 and Derbyshire all are out.

It's positive stuff, meaning Glamorgan have the chaseable target of 212 to win. Derbyshire are still without a win in Division Two, but are also in with a shot if the weather behaves itself tomorrow in Cardiff.

Essex 542-3 dec v Middlesex 246 & 20-0

Essex
Rex Features

Essex are piling on the pressure but Middlesex openers Nick Gubbins and Nick Compton are holding firm.

Four overs to go tonight.

Essex 542-3 dec v Middlesex 246 & 14-0

Mohammad Amir
Rex Features

I wonder what this man's made of his first week at Essex?

He's seen records broken, a rare washout, and the county champions smashed all over the park.

The Pakistan left-armer has started his spell with three maidens this evening.

Notts to resume at 21:10 BST

Notts 371 v Kent 180 & 186-7

Nottinghamshire will have the opportunity to wrap things up against Kent at Trent Bridge. They will go back out again in a few minutes, with 12 overs left to play if the rain holds off.

Kent, who have Adam Rouse and Adam Milne at the wicket, still need five runs to make Notts bat again.

Close of play at Edgbaston

Warwickshire 321 v Lancashire 273 & 178-4

Goodness me, that caught me by surprise - they've finished (pretty much) on time at Warwickshire.

I'm in this for the long haul!

Shiv Chanderpaul and Dane Vilas' unbroken stand in the last hour or so may well have saved the game for Lancashire - who saw Jos Buttler and Haseeb Hameed go cheaply once again earlier.

But early wickets would most certainly change things tomorrow afternoon.

Haseeb Hameed
Getty Images

Essex 542-3 dec v Middlesex 246 & 10-0

Nick Gubbins and Nick Compton have seen out four overs of the 12 remaining this evening.

Mohammad Amir and Jamie Porter are racing in for Essex. They'll want a couple tonight.

Play to resume at 21:00 BST

Sussex 358-9 dec v Gloucestershire 120-1

Adrian Harms

Sports reporter, BBC Sussex

The groundsman must be exhausted as the outfield is dried again for another 10 overs to be bowled tonight

Hove
BBC Sport

Lancashire dig in

Warwickshire 321 v Lancashire 273 & 178-4

Following those two quick wickets from Boyd Rankin after dinner, it's been a frustrating last hour for Warwickshire.

Shiv Chanderpaul and Dane Vilas have dug their trenches and are in it for the long haul.

Lancashire lead by 130.

Andrew Umeed
Getty Images

Northants declare

Norhants 261 & 289-7 v Leicestershire 157

Northants captain Alex Wakely brings their second innings to a close at Wantage Road.

They've given Leicestershire a target of 394 with 16 overs still to be bowled tonight. 16 OVERS.

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Essex 542-3 dec v Middlesex 246 & 5-0

The floodlights are beginning to take full effect at the County Ground.

Trick conditions for the Middlesex openers. It's been a day the county champions will want to erase from their memory. Quickly.

Essex floodlights
Rex Features

Middlesex batsmen emerge

Essex 542-3 dec v Middlesex 246 & 0-0

Nick Gubbins and Nick Compton stroll to the middle for Middlesex, 12 overs to see out this evening.

Essex paceman Jamie Porter will open the bowling.

Gubbins has plenty of company around the bat!

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Dave: Three centuries in the top order! Majestic batting by Essex - well done to Messrs Cook, Browne & Chopra

Play abandoned at Hampshire

Hampshire 211-9 dec v Somerset 135-8

The heavy rain has returned in Southampton and that's your lot.

A very frustrating day all round weather wise, but Hampshire still managed to grab seven quick wickets.

The draw is still favourite heading into the final day though.

Essex declare

Essex 542-3 dec v Middlesex 246

And with Varun Chopra's century comes the Essex declaration.

Chopra is the eighth Essex batsman to hit a ton this season.

Middlesex will have 12 overs to bat this evening.

Century for Chopra

Essex 542-3 v Middlesex 246

Pink balls are great aren't they Essex fans?!

Varun Chopra has bludgeoned his way to a hundred off just 74 balls, including six sixes.

The lead is four shy of 300, strap on your bowling boots lads!

Varun Chopra
Rex Features

100 for Keogh

Northants 261 & 274-6 v Leicestershire 157

Rob Keogh has a first County Championship hundred of the season. It's come off 136 balls and has contained 11 fours.

Northants are well in control of this one, 380 runs ahead of Leicestershire.

Rain stops play

Hampshire 211-9 dec v Somerset 135-8

Right, I'm off.

It's raining again at the Ageas Bowl. No restart at 20:30 BST.

I just saw a sunshine on my weather app for Saturday - that's cheered me up a little bit!

It's raining at Trent Bridge

Notts 371 v Kent 180 & 186-7

They're off at Trent Bridge after drizzle returns. Kent, who have Adam Rouse and Adam Milne not out, still need another five runs to make Notts bat again.

Warwickshire 321 v Lancashire 273 & 172-4

Shivnarine Chanderpaul, centurion in the first innings, is away again.

The 42-year-old has plonked his way to 19, Dane Vilas has hit a couple of boundaries in his 13.

It's a finely balanced game at Edgbaston - one which could still go either way. Lancashire lead by 124.

Restart imminent at the Ageas Bowl

Hampshire 211-9 dec v Somerset 135-8

There is positive news from the south coast - play is restarting at 20:30 BST.

20.5 overs still to be bowled. Why the point five folks?!

WICKET Lawrence (b Higgins) 2

Essex 508-3 v Middlesex 246

Dan Lawrence was sent out with a bit of a licence and he's perished, but it doesn't really matter anymore.

Only one side can win this now.

The teenager is bowled by Ryan Higgins for just two. Ravi Bopara joins Varun Chopra in the middle.

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Paul Petto: Please don't take both our opening batsmen.

Dai Davies: Pink balls don't float but it lucky there are some canoeist on the river chelmer to get it back

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Inspection to come at Hove

Sussex 358-9 dec v Gloucstershire 120-1

Adrian Harms

Sports reporter, BBC Sussex

For the umpteenth time it's a mopping up operation at Hove with an pitch inspection due at 8.30pm.

Hove
BBC Sport
Further rain at Hove

WICKET Browne (c Malan b Rayner) 221

Essex 502-2 v Middlesex 246

Middlesex finally get rid of Nick Browne for 221 - but what an absolutely magnificent innings from the 26-year-old.

The Essex opener smacks Ollie Rayner to Dawid Malan at cover and the stand-in skipper grasps it.

Browne faced 384 balls, hit 22 fours and one six. Oh, and he also put on 373 with Alastair Cook for the first wicket.

Take a bow sir.

Nick Browne
Rex Features

Essex 500 up

Essex 502-1 v Middlesex 246

And another maximum off Ollie Rayner. Varun Chopra's fourth.

Essex go past 500, the lead is up to 256, surely a declaration is imminent?

Chopra on the charge

Essex 495-1 v Middlesex 246

Wave the white flag Middlesex, this is not a contest anymore.

Varun Chopra biffs him for the third six of his innings to go to 70 off 60 balls.

Essex are nearing 500. For One. Bonkers.

Notts nearing sixth win of the season

Notts 371 v Kent 180 & 173-7

Division Two leaders Nottinghamshire are all over Kent at Trent Bridge and a sixth win of the season is near.

Kent are effectively eight wickets down after Darren Stevens was forced to retire injured having been hit on the helmet and Matt Coles was caught behind off Harry Gurney.

Adam Rouse and Adam Milne are at the crease.

Fifty for Chopra

Essex 477-1 v Middlesex 246

Varun Chopra
Rex Features

This is absolute carnage from the Essex batsmen.

Varun Chopra has raced to his half-century off 51 balls and has put on more than 100 with Nick Browne in 15 overs.

Middlesex don't know who to turn to next.