There were wins for Durham, Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Glamorgan and Middlesex in the evening's Friends Life t20 matches. Meanwhile, at Cheltenham, Kent and Gloucestershire set up a last day run chase in their LV= County Championship Division Two match.
The LV= County Championship made a return as the Friends Life t20 takes a break before its return in earnest at the weekend. There were good performances today from Mark Footitt, Michael Yardy, Varun Chopra and James Vince
Members of the University of East London's as yet unbeaten cricket team were invited to an exhilarating training session with nine of Essex County Cricket Club's first team players.
The team, along with their coaches and three of UELâ€™s elite cricketers went through various activities designed to develop essential bowling and fielding skills.
An exciting opportunity is on the horizon for some Essex's leading Under-19 female cricketers with a trip to Dubai in February 2013 to take part in the MCC U19 Women's Arch Trophy tournament.
The trip will consist of eight days in Dubai playing against a variety of other teams and an MCC side. This will be a very competitive tournament giving the players the best preparation for their season ahead.
Essex's Graham Napier joined the Royal British Legion this week in Chelmsford High Street where he collected money for the 2012 Poppy Appeal.
The 2012 season has marked Graham's Benefit Year at Essex County Cricket Club, which has given him the opportunity to work closely with the Royal British Legion during the year as one of his main supported charities.
On Thursday 30th August the Ford County Ground Chelmsford hosted the final Essex disability club festival of the summer.
The festival saw teams from Springfield CC, Harold wood CC and Merstham Cricket club from Surrey who also made the drive up for the day.
Cricket stars who suffer an injury at Essex Cricket's Ford County Ground WILL have a leg to stand on - thanks to a unique new sponsorship by a team of top legal eagles.
The deal between Essex Cricket and Lloyd Green Solicitors will see the personal injury and medical negligence specialist's website www.forthepeople.co.uk become exclusive sponsor of the County Championship side's physiotherapy team.
Former Essex fast bowler Mervyn Westfield has been sentenced to four months in prison after pleading guilty to charges relating to spot fixing elements of a domestic cricket game.
Westfield had pleaded guilty in January to a charge of accepting corrupt payments to bowl badly during a game against Durham on 5th September 2009. Previously, he had denied any involvement when questioned by the police.
Tiptree (Wilkin and Sons) and Essex Cricket Staff will take centre stage this Friday (12th August), when they take part in a Twenty20 Charity Match raising money for the Essex Cricket and Community Trust.
England One-Day International captain Alastair Cook has signed a new two-year contract with Essex which keeps him contracted to his club until the end of the 2013 season.
Cook, who first played for Essex 2003, is currently centrally contracted but retains close links with Essex.
The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has decided to fine Essex Â£5000 after a number of players were found guilty of breaches of its Code of Conduct over a 12-month period.
Furthermore, captain James Foster has been handed a two-game ban by the ECB.
Colchester Zoo is pleased to announce a new partnership with another leading name in Essex - Essex Cricket. They are exploring joint marketing opportunities and the collaboration includes two exciting new events for this summer.
Colchester Zoo will also be the launch venue for Shepherd Neame Colchester Cricket Festival on Tuesday 16th August when members of the Essex First Team will visit the zoo.
Essex captain James Foster has been handed a reprimand and a fine by his club for a serious breach of discipline during the Friends Life t20 match against Surrey on 13th June.
Foster questioned the decision of the umpire to give him out during the match, which Essex went on to lose by 43 runs.
Powerful Essex all-rounder Graham Napier has signed a new one-year contract which will keep him at the club that will see him stay at Chelmsford until the end of the 2012 season.
Napier is currently injured and missed a large chunk of the 2010 season through injury but is pleased that the club have decided to give him a new deal.
Essex wicket-keeper James Foster has been penalised under the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Discipline Code, the board have confirmed.
Foster was reported by umpires David Mills and Trevor Jesty for a Level Two breach of the code, which relates to showing serious dissent at an umpire's decision by word or action.
Essex have handed 21-year-old leg-spinner Tom Craddock the chance to impress with a two-month trial from 8th June to 8th August.
Craddock has already featured for the Unicorns this summer, playing against Essex both at Bury St. Edmunds and Chelmsford, taking one for 32 and then nought for 32.
Essex have confirmed that 17-year-old pace bowler Reece Topley has signed a new one-year contract with the club following an outstanding start to the season.
At the same time, South African quick bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe has been released from his contract early, with coach Paul Grayson unimpressed with his performance.
New Zealand and Chennai Super Kings fast bowler Tim Southee has signed to play for Essex in the Friends Life T20 competition later this summer.
Southee helped New Zealand's progress to the 2011 World Cup semi-finals and has also played a role in helping the Chennai Super Kings begin the defence of their IPL title in style.