|LV= County Championship Group One, The Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford (day two):|
|Essex 96 & 208-6: Lawrence 76, Walter 49*; Borthwick 2-31, Carse 2-47|
|Durham 259: Borthwick 100, Poynter 52*; Harmer 5-79|
|Essex (3 pts) lead Durham (5 pts) by 45 runs|
Essex hold a slender lead with just four second-innings wickets in hand as Durham took charge on day two.
Resuming on 148-8 at Chelmsford, Stuart Poynter (52 not out) and Matt Salisbury (41) helped Durham to 259 all out, a 163-run first-innings lead.
The hosts slipped to 19-2, but England batsman Dan Lawrence (76) and Tom Westley (38) put on 103 before both fell to Brydon Carse.
Paul Walter (49 not out) steered Essex to 208-6 at stumps, a lead of 45.
With just five batsmen reaching double figures on day one as 18 wickets fell, Essex would have been confident of limiting the Durham lead.
They were frustrated by Poynter and Salisbury’s patient ninth-wicket partnership of 94 – just two runs shy of the hosts’ entire first innings total.
Salisbury became Simon Harmer’s fifth victim, but Poynter brought up his half-century off 100 balls and Chris Rushworth’s quick cameo of 15 took Durham beyond 250 before he fell on the stroke of lunch.
The hosts were soon under pressure in reply when Rushworth removed Nick Browne’s middle stump in the third over before Alastair Cook flicked Salisbury straight to Jack Burnham at mid-wicket for 12.
Lawrence, who made his Test debut in Sri Lanka in January, top-scored for Essex in the first innings with 32, and exploited improved batting conditions with a half-century as he and Westley made the match’s biggest stand before both fell to Carse in the space of four overs.
With Essex reaching parity four wickets down, Scott Borthwick swiftly removed Ryan ten Doeschate and Adam Wheater, but Walter gave the hosts faint hope of setting a defendable target.