Tom Westley led the way with 237 runs in the match as Essex batted out for a draw against Warwickshire in the Specsavers County Championship Division One at Edgbaston.
Having been bowled out for 324, 193 behind, Essex followed on and closed the final day on 158-2 as the match petered out in the Birmingham sunshine. Warwickshire vs Essex scorecard
Westley added a second-innings 97 (161 balls, 14 fours) to his first innings 141 (266 balls, 18 fours) as he and Alastair Cook (57 not out) added 157 in 54 overs to shepherd their side to safety.
The draw secured Warwickshire’s Division One status, condemning Nottinghamshire to relegation, but meant that Essex relinquished the initiative to Somerset in the race for the title.
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Northamptonshire have promotion from County Championship Division Two in their sights after completing a seven-wicket victory over Leicestershire at Grace Road. Leicestershire vs Northamptonshire scorecard
Chasing 141 to win, former skipper Alex Wakely struck an unbeaten 44 as his side moved second in the table.
Beginning the day on 22 without loss, openers Ben Curran and Rob Newton extended their partnership to 68 before the latter went leg-before to an Alex Evans delivery that came back in to the right-hander.
Curran, on 40, edged a flat-footed drive at Will Davis to Colin Ackermann at second slip and Ackermann then held a second catch when first-innings centurion Rob Keogh edged a drive at left-arm spinner Callum Parkinson.
The odd ball was beginning to turn for Parkinson, but by that stage Wakely was well established, and the right-hander saw his side across the line.
Sussex completed a comprehensive eight-wicket win over Gloucestershire on the final day to further boost their Specsavers County Championship Division Two promotion hopes. Gloucestershire vs Sussex scorecard
Phil Salt and Stiaan Van Zyl staged an unbroken third-wicket stand of 41 as Sussex successfully chased down a modest victory target of 74 with 52 overs to spare.
The Bristol success moves the visitors to within 11 points of the promotion places with two games to play.