Essex extend their lead at the top despite Northants draw

Essex v Gloucestershire, County Ground, Chelmsford. The first match of the 2013 season. Essex bowle

Essex v Gloucestershire, County Ground, Chelmsford. The first match of the 2013 season. Essex bowler Ravi Bopara. - Credit: Andrew Partridge

Essex were denied the chance to push for a third win in the County Championship this season as the weather only allowed six overs to be bowled on the final day against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.

But the 12 points Essex took from the draw did extend their lead at the top of Division Two, while Northants - after a fourth-straight draw at home this season and sixth stalemate in seven matches - took 11 points.

The final day began on time under leaden skies and a howling wind with Northamptonshire resuming 56 for four in their second innings, still trailing by 140.

They lost nightwatchman Ben Sanderson cheaply in the fifth over of the morning – giving Ravi Bopara a seventh wicket in the match, one scalp short of a first-class best match haul.

But only one more over was possible to leave the hosts 75 for five and forcing a draw before heavy rain arrived and conditions did not improve throughout the afternoon.


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