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Essex, Gloucestershire set up intriguing final day

Chris Dent
Chris Dent made 72 as Gloucestershire set Essex 213 to win
©REUTERS / Action Images

Gloucestershire 255 & 290 (Roderick 102) v
Essex 333 (Lawrence 127) & 16-1
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Cheltenham, day three

An intriguing final day is in store at the Cheltenham College ground after Essex closed day three of their Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash with Gloucestershire on 16 for one having been set 213 to win.

After Essex were bowled out for 333 in reply to Gloucestershire's 255 late on day two, the home side began proceedings with their second innings and were back in the overall lead before losing a wicket.

Openers Gareth Roderick and Chris Dent helped them get to an early lunch due to rain on 89 without loss.

Dent fell for 72 in the afternoon as Ravi Bopara dismissed both him and Roderick, who struck 102 in 140 balls before being dismissed on the stroke of tea, taken with Gloucestershire on 231 for three having also lost Graeme van Buuren for 25.

The afternoon session belonged to Essex as they snaffled the remaining seven wickets for 59 runs, with Graham Napier (4-70) and Matt Quinn (4-62) leading the charge.

Only Michael Klinger (53) offered much resistance and bowled out for 290 in 83.4 overs, Gloucestershire set Essex a target of 213.

With seven overs of play remaining in the day, Essex's first target would have been to get through to the close unscathed but they couldn't manage it, David Payne bowling Jaik Mickleburgh for one.

Nick Browne was unbeaten on eight alongside nightwatchman Jamie Porter (6 not out) when stumps were drawn, with Essex needing a further 197 to win the game and Gloucestershire nine wickets.

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