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Cricket: Essex suffer day two wash-out at Cambridge

PUBLISHED: 15:15 08 April 2018

Covers on the pitch as rain falls at Fenner's (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Covers on the pitch as rain falls at Fenner's (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Essex’s final warm-up match before the Specsavers County Championship season starts on Friday, was reduced to just 66 and a half overs across the weekend.

Ducks on the outfield as rain falls at Fenner's (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Ducks on the outfield as rain falls at Fenner's (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Play was abandoned at 1pm on Sunday without a ball being bowled on the second day.

Umpires David Millns and Paul Pollard made the inevitable decision after taking an early lunch at a damp, overcast and grey Fenner’s.

They will take a look early on Monday morning to decide whether play is possible on the final day.

The first day on Saturday was shorn of 30 overs by a wet outfield at one end and bad light at the other.

Nick Browne made the most of the 66 and a half overs that were possible, batting between the 1.55pm start and tea by scoring the fifth of seven career centuries against student teams in pre-season matches.

The left-hander reached three-figures from 122 balls on the stroke of the interval at which point he promptly retired on exactly 100. He had hit 14 fours and a six.

But the most notable aspect of his 38-over innings was the comparative lightning speed at which he scored his runs. Browne had posted a strike-rate of 50.61 throughout his first-class career, but rattled along at 81.97 on Saturday.

One of the 27-year-old’s main strengths has always been his almost obdurate defensive play but he did discuss improving his scoring rate with former South African Test opener Gary Kirsten when he visited Cape Town during the winter.

Browne shared a first-wicket stand of 122 with Adam Wheater, who hit 50. Tom Westley (44) and Dan Lawrence (37) chipped in before Ravi Bopara and Ryan ten Doeschate combined to add 39 runs in nearly 8.4 overs in the gathering gloom.

Essex head to Headingley where they begin their Championship fixtures against Yorkshire.

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