Essex dig in for draw with Glamorgan

Nick Browne in batting action for Essex (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Nick Browne in batting action for Essex (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Honours finish even in Wales

Essex made it six games unbeaten in the county championship as their match with Glamorgan ended in a draw at Sophia Gardens.

The Division Two pacesetters were set 334 for victory on the final day, after the home side had extended their overnight lead by another 91 runs in the first session.

But they were never in the hunt after losing three early wickets and focused on survival first before closing on 160-5.

Glamorgan resumed on 295-3 and took five runs off the first over of the day from former Oaks Park pupil Jamie Porter, who was celebrating his 23rd birtday.

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Aneurin Donald moved to his half-century from 117 balls and his century partnership with Will Bragg followed soon after.

But Graham Napier then made the breakthrough as Donald skied one to Wanstead old boy James Foster, who took an excellent catch after running 20 yards to make it 332-4.

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David Lloyd egded David Masters to Browne at first slip, but Bragg moved to his 150 from 287 balls and the home side’s lead moved past 300 moments later.

Napier bowled Graham Wagg for 25, then Tom Westley saw Craig Meschede pick out Jaik Mickleburgh at cover and Andrew Salter hole out to Browne in the deep.

Glamorgan declared at 386-8, with Bragg unbeaten on 161, which left Essex with a minimum of 70 overs to chase 334 for victory.

Mickleburgh fell before lunch, though, as he edged Timm van der Gugten to Michael Hogan in the slips and Westley edged the Dutchman to Donald at second slip soon after the restart to leave the visitors 30-2.

Donald pouched another slip catch off the bowling of Hogan to send Ravi Bopara packing for just six, making it 46-3, but former Trinity High School pupil Dan Lawrence helped Browne take the score to 77-3 at tea.

Lawrence got an inside edge onto his own stumps from a Hogan delivery at the start of the final session, but Browne hit successive boundaries off Salter to move to within a run of his half-century, then found the deep square leg boundary off the same bowler to reach the landmark as Essex reached 103-4 with a minimum of 24 overs still to be bowled.

Browne was eventually trapped leg before by left-arm spinner Wagg having reached 71, leaving Essex 122-5 just before the start of the last hour of play.

But any hopes Glamorgan might have had of forcing an unexpected victory against the leaders were ended by Jesse Ryder and captain Ryan ten Doeschate as they combined to lift the total to 160, before a draw was agreed upon with seven overs remaining in the day.

Essex, with two wins and four draws to date, return to county championship action with a trip to Northamptonshire on Saturday.

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