County Championship: Tom Westley century helps Essex rally against Warwickshire
|Specsavers County Championship Division One, Edgbaston (day three):|
|Warwickshire 517: Lamb 173, Hain 82, Patel 51*, Sibley 51; Harmer 6-143|
|Essex 278-6: Westley 123*, Browne 65; Patel 3-60|
|Essex (4 pts) trail Warwickshire (5 pts) by 239 runs with 4 wickets remaining|
Essex's England batsman Tom Westley hit an unbeaten century at Edgbaston but his side ended day three still needing a further 90 runs to avoid a possible follow-on against Warwickshire.
After starting the day on 31-1, the County Championship title hopefuls progressed to 278-6, with Westley still there at the close on 123.
Earlier, Nick Browne made 65 in a stand of 106 with Westley.
Home skipper Jeetan Patel took 3-60 to take him to 58 wickets for the season.
Warwickshire went into the game still needing 31 points to be sure of avoiding the drop to Division Two - and they have so far picked up five of them in bonus points.
But, following Nottinghamshire's defeat by Kent, they now need only the five points from a draw on the final day to relegate Notts.
They are almost in a position in this game where they cannot lose - and might even win if Essex's final four first-innings wickets go down quickly in the morning.
Essex looked fairly comfortable after losing just two wickets in the first two sessions of the day, but from 233-3, they lost three late wickets
After helping Westley add 75, Dan Lawrence went for 28 when the Bears took the new ball and he sliced a swinging delivery from George Garrett to point.
Ravi Bopara was then bowled by Patel and Essex skipper Ryan ten Doeschate was adjudged lbw to Henry Brookes before bad light prevented the last nine overs of the day.
Essex now have 54 balls before the 110-over mark on the final morning to scramble the 22 runs needed for another batting bonus point.
If they can get that extra point and go on to draw the game, they would go into next week's penultimate round of fixtures seven points behind leaders Somerset.