County Championship: Essex hold out for draw with Lancashire

Nick Browne
Nick Browne has scored exactly 600 Championship runs in 2015
LV= County Championship Division Two, Emirates Old Trafford
Lancashire 402-8 dec: Croft 122, Faulkner 68; Topley 3-90
Essex 203 & 168-3: Browne 50; Lilley 3-63
Match drawn
Lancashire 13 pts, Essex 8 pts
Match scorecard

Essex held out for a comfortable draw with Division Two leaders Lancashire, after following on at Old Trafford.

Despite 105 from opener Nick Browne, Essex were all out for 203 in their first innings and were asked to bat again with 70 overs remaining.

Playing in his first game since being charged with drink-driving, Lancashire all-rounder James Faulkner followed up his 68 with the bat by taking 5-39.

Browne hit 50 in the second innings as Essex reached 168-3.

With no prospect of a positive result, the game ended at 17:20 BST.

Lancashire, who were relegated from Division One last season, collected 13 points to stand 30 clear of second-placed Surrey, who have a game in hand.

Browne, who was 78 not out overnight, recorded his fifth first-class century, but fell to spinner Arron Lilley, who wrapped up the visitors' first innings with two wickets in two balls.

Lilley dismissed Browne again in the second innings and picked up the other two wickets to fall, but Lancashire were unable to make any further inroads.

Lancashire opener Paul Horton:

"You can class it as a winning draw when you take more points from the game than the opposition.

"We missed a lot through rain, scored 400 and then made Essex follow on, so we did all we could in the time that was allowed to us.

"We had to enforce the follow-on, take early wickets and then keep on taking wickets. That was going to be difficult on what was not a day-four wicket but a day-two wicket.

"As it was, Essex batted quite well in the afternoon."