Tea: Lawrence ton gives Essex hope of draw

PUBLISHED: 15:56 10 April 2017

Daniel Lawrence in batting action for Essex (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Daniel Lawrence in batting action for Essex (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Youngster reaches three figures against Lancashire

Dan Lawrence hit the fifth first-class century of his career to provide hope for Essex’s attempt to bat through the final day and save the match against Lancashire.

Set an improbable 478 to win, Essex reached 246 for five at tea, with 19-year-old Lawrence still there on 105 alongside his captain, Ryan ten Doeschate (19).

Lawrence had come in at the fall of Varun Chopra’s wicket the previous evening when Essex had slumped to 52 for two, but an obdurate third-wicket partnership with Tom Westley gave Essex an outside chance of drawing their opening Specsavers County Championship match after being outplayed for much of the four days.

Westley’s tenacious 190-ball innings ended half-an-hour after lunch whenStephen Parry switched to the Hayes Close End and worked one through Westley’s defences and knocked off the bails for 61.

Westley hit six fours as the pair added 135 in 58 overs, but his departure heralded a mini-collapse.

Lancashire took the new ball straight afterwards and Kyle Jarvis struck twice in three overs, as his ninth ball accounted for Ravi Bopara, caught behind playing tentatively forward for four.

In his next over, Adam Wheater hammered a wide half-volley just inches off the ground straight to Haseeb Hameed at cover to fall for just one.

Fortunately for Essex, Lawrence was in imperious form as he found the gap through a packed on side for his 13th boundary and then hit Jordan Clark again in the same direction for three to move within touching distance of his century.

That duly arrived when he flicked Jimmy Anderson’s first ball of a new spell off his hip for two through square leg. It had taken him 216 balls to get there.

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