|LV= County Championship Division Two, Chelmsford|
|Essex 360 & 216-5: Ten Doeschate 43 not out; Chambers 2-47|
|Northants 275 & 92-4: Duckett 34 not out; Porter 2-27|
|Essex 12pts, Northants 9pts|
Bad light foiled Essex's attempt to clinch a final day victory at Chelmsford having reduced Northants to 92-4 after setting them 302 to win.
Ryan ten Doeschate's unbeaten 43 and Mark Pettini's quickfire 37 off 42 balls propelled the hosts to 216-5 as they declared just after lunch.
Jamie Porter bowled Northants' opener David Murphy and captain Alex Wakely cheaply before Rob Keogh was run out.
After Josh Cobb fell to Aron Nijjar, play was halted at 16:35 BST.
Ben Duckett, who is now just seven runs away from reaching 1,000 first-class runs this season, finished unbeaten on 34.
Essex, who have now failed to secure a win in three matches sit sixth in the Division Two table, while Northants have overtaken Glamorgan in third with three matches remaining.