Warwickshire secure safety as Essex’s title bid stalls
Tom Westley led the way with 238 runs in the match as Essex batted out for a draw against Warwickshire in 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 for two as the contest petered out in the Birmingham sunshine.
Westley added a second-innings 97 to his first-innings 141 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.
In Division Two, Sussex completed a comprehensive eight-wicket win over Gloucestershire to further boost their promotion hopes.
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.
Northamptonshire also have promotion in their sights after completing a seven-wicket victory over Leicestershire at Grace Road.
Chasing 141 to win, former skipper Alex Wakely struck an unbeaten 44 as his side moved second in the table.