Essex v Lancashire: Dan Lawrence hits unbeaten 141 to salvage draw for Essex

Dan Lawrence
Dan Lawrence batted for 333 balls and more than seven hours to save the game for Essex
Specsavers County Championship Division One, The Cloudfm County Ground:
Lancashire 319 and 317-3 dec: Davies 140*
Essex 159 and 316-6: Lawrence 141*, Westley 61, ten Doeschate 41; Jarvis 3-58
Essex (8 pts) drew with Lancashire (11 pts)

Teenager Dan Lawrence hit an unbeaten 141 as he batted all day to earn promoted Essex a County Championship Division One draw against Lancashire.

Set an improbable 478 to win, Essex resumed on 89-2 looking as if saving the game was the only realistic target.

Lawrence shared two century stands to help get the job done for the hosts.

He extended his overnight partnership with Tom Westley (61) to 135 before adding a further 102 with Ryan ten Doeschate (41) as Essex reached 316-6.

Lancashire were made to rue the two opportunities they squandered to remove Westley the previous day, on 10 and 11, when he was dropped twice.

Acting captain James Anderson was miserly, his first six overs going for just two runs. But, by the time spinner Stephen Parry knocked back Westley's off stump in mid-afternoon, he had used up 58 overs with Lawrence.

There then suddenly followed some hope for the visitors as it proved to be the first of three wickets in eight overs.

Ravi Bopara was caught behind with the new ball off Kyle Jarvis, who then tempted Adam Wheater to hole out to Haseeb Hameed in the covers in his next over.

Kyle Jarvis celebrates taking the wicket of Adam Wheater, caught by Haseeb Hameed in the covers
Lancashire only briefly thought they might close out victory when three Essex wickets went down in inside eight overs, including Adam Wheater

But Lawrence, who now has five first-class hundreds to his name at 19, found another partner in captain ten Doeschate to thwart Lancashire's hopes of a first win in 12 County Championship matches.

Seamer Jarvis added a third wicket when he trapped ten Doeschate with half an hour's play still to go, but there was no further Red Rose breakthrough.

Lancashire now head to The Oval on Good Friday to face Surrey, when Essex will be at Taunton to face Somerset.

Essex batsman Dan Lawrence told BBC Essex:

"This is my favourite hundred because I've managed to bat all day and get the team out of a bit of a hole.

"It's important not to celebrate a draw. We had our backs against the wall and had a really tough first three days, and it took a lot of character from a lot of the boys today to fight through and get a draw.

"It's nice to know we're not going to fall down whenever someone puts a lot of pressure on us. We really want to thrive in Division One."

Lancashire head coach Glen Chapple told BBC Radio Lancashire:

"We feel that we dominated the game, played good cricket and had a good chance to win at the start of the day, in the knowledge, though, that the pitch was getting a bit easier.

"Getting them six down we can look at things we could have done a little bit better but on the whole we have to be fairly pleased with our efforts.

"I thought there was some good quality cricket and the team played as a unit how we want them to play."

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