LV COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION ONE, Old Trafford:
CLOSE OF PLAY, DAY THREE: Essex 307 & 155-4, Lancs 184
Essex 6 pts, Lancashire 3 pts
Essex's bid for a second Championship win of the season was hampered by dodgy Manchester weather at Old Trafford.
In attempting to avenge an early season defeat at Chelmsford by Lancashire, the visitors had gained a 278-run lead when rain forced the players off.
After starting the day on 26-1, Essex moved on to 155-4, Jaik Mickleburgh hitting 64 before being run out.
Matthew Walker (36) and Ryan ten Doeschate (31) put on 49 for the fifth wicket before an early close.
After initially going off in mid-afternoon (1500 BST), Essex had hoped to get in an hour's bowling at Lancashire before the close. But there is still time to force a win and, instead, the visiting batsmen will resume on Thursday morning needing to look for quick runs.
The home side only claimed three wickets in the 49.2 overs possible, but Essex added just 129 runs.
Opener Mickleburgh led the way, until run out by Steven Croft from cover during the shortened afternoon session.
But England hopeful Ravi Bopara, playing in his first Championship match of the summer, looked completely out of sorts, taking 53 balls to make just 5.
Meanwhile, England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff batted in the nets at Old Trafford for around half an hour as he continues his recovery from knee surgery.