County Championship - day three (close)

Essex 159 & 158-4 v Somerset 164

PERSISTENT rain in Chelmsford meant just 13 overs were possible on day three of the County Championship match between Essex and Somerset.

The hosts built their lead to 153 runs before the weather intervened, with Nick Browne the only batsman to fall as he was clean bowled by Tim Groenewald for 83.

Adam Wheater remains at the crease on 58 alongside new batsman Ryan ten Doeschate, who is yet to score, as both sides go into the final day knowing all results are still possible.

Essex hold a comfortable lead at the top of the division so are unlikely to risk a defeat to try and win the game, while Somerset may take a draw given the kinder fixtures which are to come in September.

Given Somerset's batting problems against the red ball this season, however, a run chase of any kind against Essex's strong bowling attack is likely to prove a tough proposition.