Dan Lawrence delivered a message to England ahead of the fourth Ashes Test, bludgeoning nine sixes as he recorded a second successive LV= Insurance County Championship hundred for Essex.
After missing out at Headingley last week as England went with an extra bowler following Ollie Pope’s injury, Lawrence, celebrating his 26th birthday, took the attack to Lancashire to rescue Essex from nought for two at Blackpool.
He was out from the final ball of day three but his belligerent 135 off 125 deliveries was his third century of the season and lifted Essex to 292 for eight and a lead of 429 in the Division One clash.
Lawrence is in the squad for next week’s penultimate Test at Emirates Old Trafford and his recent form could give England something to think about as they mull over whether to change a winning XI.
Essex were also bolstered by Doug Bracewell’s unbeaten 61 off 35 balls after earlier bowling Lancashire out for 145, with Sam Cook taking four for 42 while Paul Walter chipped in with three wickets.
Half-centuries from Dom Sibley and Tom Latham carried Division One leaders Surrey to a lead of 156 against Nottinghamshire at the Kia Oval.
Nottinghamshire carved out a 44-run advantage on first innings, largely thanks to 145 from Will Young, whose time at the crease was ended by an excellent agile catch from England discard Ben Foakes.
Surrey captain Rory Burns bagged his second duck of the match but Sibley’s 87 and Latham’s 60, plus 25 from Foakes, carried the hosts to 200 for five at stumps.
Warwickshire recorded an innings-and-46-run win inside three days over Kent, who were all out for 332 second time around at Canterbury, where Oliver Hannon-Dalby collected four for 59.
Felix Organ (97) and Kyle Abbott (89) put on 177 for the ninth wicket for Hampshire, who were asked to follow-on after posting 330 in response to Somerset’s 500. Hampshire closed on 34 for two at Taunton.
Sam Whiteman’s 114 plus 85 not out from Emilio Gay ushered rock-bottom Northamptonshire to 372 for seven and a lead of 314 against fellow strugglers Middlesex at Merchant Taylors’ School.
Matthew Potts took four for 55 as Division Two leaders Durham completed a nine-wicket victory over Gloucestershire at Chester-le-Street.
Potts’ haul included bowling Gloucestershire’s top-three of Ben Charlesworth, Chris Dent and Oliver Price as the visitors were all out for 188, and Durham knocked off a 52-run target in 11.4 overs.
Ben Coad’s five for 33 led to Worcestershire being skittled for 242 in reply to Yorkshire’s 407 at New Road, where the hosts were grateful for nightwatchmen Ben Gibbon and Adam Finch as they ended the day on 22 without loss in their follow-on.
James Coles’ 101 not out steered Sussex from 72 for four to 193 for five and a lead of 188 against Derbyshire, who were earlier all out for 407 after Brooke Guest’s 105 at Hove.
Michael Neser, an outside bet for Australia in Manchester next week, thumped an unbeaten 176 as Glamorgan rallied from 93 for seven to post 403 for nine declared against Leicestershire, who closed on 28 without loss in their rain-hit clash.