|County Championship Division Two, Chelmsford|
|Close, day two: Gloucestershire 409-5dec, Essex 177-3|
|Gloucestershire 5pts, Essex 1pt|
Essex ended a rain-affected third day of their match against Gloucestershire at Chelmsford on 177-3 in their first innings, still trailing by 232 runs.
Play was not possible until 14:55 BST because of persistent showers.
Tom Westley and Ravi Bopara, the two not-out batsmen overnight, put on 116 for the third wicket before Bopara (64) was dismissed by Benny Howell.
Opener Westley (82no) was unbeaten at the close alongside Mark Pettini (18no) as the game drifts towards a draw.
VIEW FROM THE COMMENTARY BOX
BBC Radio Gloucestershire's Bob Hunt:
"Gloucestershire will be disappointed they didn't make further inroads into the Essex batting, especially after claiming two early wickets in the evening of the second day.
"There were too many wasted deliveries from their attack, with only David Payne proving difficult to handle .
"It is a shame the match looks destined to peter out to a draw as both teams have shown their batting line-ups will be a force in Division Two."