Derbyshire v Essex: Opener Nick Browne carries his bat
LV= County Championship Division Two, Chesterfield
Close, day three: Derbyshire 275 & 237-5, Essex 277
Derbys 5pts, Essex 5pts
Opener Nick Browne became only the 14th Essex player to carry his bat through a County Championship innings in an evenly-poised match with Derbyshire.
He took his overnight 86 to 132 not out as the visitors made 277 in their first innings, Tony Palladino taking 4-65.
After Ben Slater (60) and Wayne Madsen (59) shared 125 for the second wicket, Derbyshire were then reduced to 182-5.
But Shiv Chanderpaul (62 no) and David Wainwright (30 no) dug in as the hosts led by 235 runs on 237-5 at the close.
Browne's impressive 322-ball knock was his maiden first-class century in his seventh match and contained 19 boundaries.
It followed a score of 65 in his previous four-day game with Gloucestershire, the first time the 23-year-old had passed fifty.
Even so, the day just about belonged to Derbyshire, who twice fought back well from precarious positions, with Palladino backed up in the bowling department by Tom Taylor (3-62) and Mark Footitt (2-91).
Derbyshire seam bowler Tony Palladino:
"We knew we had to come hard this morning and really be disciplined and not let them get too much of a lead.
"We bowled pretty well and the wickets came for us, so we were pretty pleased with the morning's work."
Essex batsman Nick Browne:
"It means a massive amount (to score a hundred). My parents and family were down yesterday and stayed on to watch me get it today and that was very nice.
"I walked off at tea and saw my mum and dad in tears and how proud they were, so to see how much it meant to them was really good."