Warwickshire v Essex: Fine batting display puts Essex close to title
|Specsavers County Championship Division One, Edgbaston (day two):|
|Warwickshire 201 & 7-0|
|Essex 369-9 dec: Chopra 98, Lawrence 78, Foster 68|
|Warwickshire trail by 162 runs|
|Essex 7 pts, Warwickshire 3 pts|
Essex put themselves on the brink of the County Championship title and edged Warwickshire closer to relegation with a dogged batting display at Edgbaston.
If Lancashire lose at Somerset, Essex will be crowned champions for the first time since 1992 with victory.
Essex moved from their overnight 69-0 to 369-9 declared, a lead of 168.
Opener Varun Chopra fell for 98, Dan Lawrence hit 78 and James Foster struck 68, before the Bears closed on 7-0 in their second innings.
With second-placed Lancashire heading towards defeat after being made to follow-on, unbeaten Essex are all-but certain to win the County Championship the season after promotion from Division Two.
Veteran wicketkeeper Foster’s innings was invaluable, as the 37-year-old rescued his side from 271-6 in a seventh-wicket stand of 76 with Simon Harmer (24) to give Essex a healthy first-innings lead.
Most of the visiting batsmen contributed, though England number three Tom Westley was out for 28, edging international team-mate Chris Woakes behind.
Former Bears captain Chopra looked certain to reach his second hundred of the season, but was trapped lbw by medium-pacer Matthew Lamb.
If bottom side Warwickshire lose, they will be relying on other results to avoid being relegated this week.