Scott Borthwick and Brydon Carse took two wickets apiece for Durham to leave Essex facing a first home LV= Insurance County Championship defeat for almost three years.

Leg spinner Borthwick, who had handed the visitors the advantage with a first-innings 100, claimed Ryan ten Doeschate and Adam Wheater in quick succession, after quick Carse had broken a 103-run stand between half-century maker Dan Lawrence and Tom Westley.

Essex, who last lost at the Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford in June 2018, ended the day on 208 for six, with a slender lead of 45

Earlier, Stuart Poynton scored 52 not out, Matt Salisbury made his highest first-class score and Simon Harmer produced his 21st five-wicket haul for Essex as Durham boasted a 163 run first-innings lead.

After 18 wickets had fallen on an eccentric first day, Essex would have expected to take the final two Durham wickets quickly.

That wasn’t to happen as Poynter, Salisbury and Chris Rushworth batted throughout the morning session to score 111 runs, and take the lead to 163.

Poynter and Salisbury had serenely sailed through the majority of the session with a club-record ninth-wicket partnership against Essex of 94.

Salisbury, who started his career at Essex, had matched his more recognised partner as he passed his previous best first-class score of 37.

But on 41 he became Harmer’s fifth scalp of the innings when he guided the ball straight to Ryan ten Doeschate at short leg.

Rushworth arrived to help guide Poynter to an eighth red-ball half-century, from 100 balls, before the number 11 unfurled three boundaries including a beautiful cover drive off Harmer.

Sam Cook rounded off the innings two and a half overs into the second new ball, as Rushworth edged to Alastair Cook at first slip - Sam Cook returning three for 57, while Harmer’s final analysis was five for 79.

Essex’s nightmare first morning, where they slumped to 36 for five, looked in danger of being replicated when Nick Browne was bowled by Rushworth and Alastair Cook chipped to midwicket.

But from 19 for two, Lawrence and Westley recovered with a sublime 103-run stand to drag Essex back towards equality.

Lawrence, who made his Test debut over the winter, looked supreme scoring 12 boundaries in his 76 - his fifty coming up in 93 balls.

Westley was more stoic in his scoring, working almost exclusively with his favourable legside before he wafted outside his off stump to nick Carse to first slip to spark a flurry of wickets.

Carse then added Lawrence to his victims as he persuaded the batter to pick out Will Young on the deep midwicket boundary.

Essex edged themselves into the lead four down lost ten Doeschate with lead on one –Borthwick taking a stunning return catch from a low full toss, before the captain found Wheater’s outside edge.