Alan Gardner at Essex 159 & 89-2 v Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec
It feels a little early in the season to be talking about Great Escapes - but that is pretty much the size of the task if Essex are going to get out of this one. The Lancashire fans who have traveled down for this match look more confident than their Essex counterparts, although Chris Silverwood has encouraged the dreamers to dream in his time here.
"You see Yorkshire lost to Hampshire yesterday?" said one Essex fan by the pavilion. "Astonishing." They will hope to see more wondrous feats today. Tom Westley and Dan Lawrence - future heirs to Gooch, Cook and Hussain, perhaps? - survived until the close last night and, with only five wickets falling on Sunday, there might be a suspicion the pitch has gone flat. Then again, it is not often that any team bats out more than 100 overs to save a match in the fourth innings, particularly with Jimmy Anderson bearing down in the opposition attack.
There's no Billy the Trumpet, but Essex know the tune. Another 96 overs (possibly more) of dead-batted defiance, to go with the 38 they survived yesterday. Don't go anywhere. Seconds out; heeeeeeeeeere's Jimmy...