County Championship: Dan Lawrence ton helps Essex make up lost time v Hampshire

Essex batsman Dan Lawrence
Dan Lawrence had only managed one County Championship half-century in 2018 before the game
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Cloudfm County Ground (day two):
Essex 363-6: Lawrence 114*, Chopra 61, Ten Doeschate 55; Abbott 3-58
Hampshire: Yet to bat
Essex 4 pts, Hampshire 2 pts

Dan Lawrence hit an unbeaten 114 as Essex made up for lost time against Hampshire to reach 363-6 on day two.

After the first day was abandoned due to a wet outfield, the hosts and defending champions chose to bat first.

Right-hander Lawrence struck his first Championship ton in almost a year, also against Hampshire last September, off 173 balls and including 14 fours.

Varun Chopra (61) and Adam Wheater (52) also found form with their first Division One half-centuries in 2018.

Lawrence shared in century partnerships with captain Ryan ten Doeschate (55) and former Hampshire wicketkeeper Wheater.

Both proved vital after Hampshire fast bowler Kyle Abbott had reduced Essex to 124-4 with a spell of 3-10 in seven overs after lunch.

Essex clarify first day outfield problems

No play was possible on Wednesday's first day as both sides sought vital points to pull themselves away from the relegation zone.

In a statement,external-link Essex explained the poor drainage of the outfield, and the subsequent abandonment, had been an after-effect of the summer's heatwave.

It claimed no rain had fallen at the County Ground for 10 weeks earlier this season, leading to dead roots underfoot in a number of areas of the playing surface.

"As a result, it is retaining a lot of moisture, making it very slippery and potentially hazardous," the club said.

Hampshire head coach Craig While told BBC Radio Solent:

"It was quite a disappointing day really. It was quite a low, slow pitch with a little bit of nibble.

"I think they scored too many on that surface as I don't think you should be letting a team get above three-an-over if you bowl well.

"When we did do that, we picked up wickets. But, we just weren't with it today as a bowling unit.

"Over the whole day, I don't think we put as many balls as we should've in the right areas. We didn't string a whole session together."

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