full report follows soon
Essex 159 & 89-2 trail Lancashire 319 & 317-3 dec by 388 runs
Alex Davies posted his maiden first-class century to help Lancashire set Essex 478 to win – or four full sessions to save the game – in a decidedly one-sided opening match of the Specsavers County Championship season.
Essex knocked off 89 of the runs in 38 overs before the close. They lost both openers in the process as Lancashire closed in on their first Championship win in 12 attempts.
The day, though, belonged to Davies. He had been within one run of a century against Kent at Old Trafford almost two years ago, but batted throughout the 94.3 overs of Lancashire’s second innings at Chelmsford to finish unbeaten on 140.
Essex were made to pay dearly for dropping the wicketkeeper-rookie opener twice on the second afternoon when he had just 10 and 26. Neil Wagner floored a third chance on the long-leg boundary off Tom Westley, but by then the 22 year old had 132 to his name.