LV COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION ONE, Old Trafford: Essex 307 & 212-5 dec drew with Lancashire 184 & 177-5 Essex 8 pts, Lancashire 6 pts Match scorecard
Lancashire survived a mini-crisis in mid-afternoon to maintain their unbeaten County Championship record heading into the weekend's Roses match.
After being set an unlikely 336 in 85 overs by Essex, who declared on 212-5, the hosts made it clear that they were intent only on saving the game.
When Lancashire, on 144-2, then lost three wickets in the space of two overs, Essex briefly sniffed victory.
But skipper Glen Chapple and ex-captain Mark Chilton secured the draw on 177-5.
Essex skipper Mark Pettini declared his side's second innings after Ryan ten Doeschate (56) and Matthew Walker (53no) had both completed half-centuries during the morning session.
But it was soon obvious from the way opening batsman Luke Sutton set about his innings, ultimately a painstaking 26 off 155 balls, that Lancashire were happy with six points.
After Danish Kaneria had removed Ashwell Prince, Chris Wright then had both Paul Horton and Steven Croft caught behind by James Foster within three balls and with the score still on 144, but it was too little, too late.
While Lancashire now face old rivals Yorkshire at Headingley on Saturday, Essex travel to Trent Bridge to take on Nottinghamshire the same day.
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