Essex denied by Gloucestershire's Dent and Lewis
|LV County Championship Division Two, Bristol|
|Gloucestershire 255 & 310-8 drew with Essex 321|
|Essex 9pts, Gloucestershire 8pts|
An unbroken ninth-wicket partnership of 101 between Chris Dent and Jon Lewis guided Gloucestershire to a draw with Essex at Nevil Road.
After resuming on 37-2, the hosts were reduced to 209-7, a lead of 143, despite a stand of 70 between captain Alex Gidman (42) and Will Gidman (32).
But Dent (70 not out) and Lewis (50 not out) combined to take Gloucestershire to safety.
They had reached 310-8 when hands were shaken on the draw.
Essex were hampered when Ryan ten Doeschate, in his first Championship game of the season, was ordered out of the attack for bowling two beamers in an over.
Despite this setback, the visitors looked on course for a late-evening run chase when Ravi Bopara (2-84) trapped Ian Saxelby lbw.
But this was to be Essex's last success of the day, as Dent and Lewis survived the second new ball in their 19-over partnership to see the home side to safety.