|LV County Championship Division Two, Chelmsford|
|Close of play, day two: Essex 183 & 331-9 dec, Northants 99 & 37-1|
|Essex 3pts, Northants 3pts|
Adam Wheater and James Foster shared a new Essex record stand for the sixth wicket to give their side control after two days against Northants.
After Reece Topley (4-36) took the last three Northants wickets to dismiss them for 99, Wheater and Foster came together with Essex in trouble on 63-5.
But they put on 253, with Wheater making a career-best 164 and Foster 103 as Essex declared on 331-9.
Set 416 to win, Northants lost Stephen Peters as they closed on 37-1
However, the day belonged to Wheater and Foster as their partnership beat the joint-county record of 206 for the sixth wicket shared by Johnny Douglas and Jack O'Connor against Gloucestershire in 1923, and by Barry Knight and Roger Luckin against Middlesex in 1962.
Both eventually fell to Jack Brooks, but not before their stand had taken the game away from Northants.
CLOSE OF PLAY SUMMARY
BBC Essex's Nick Gledhill:
"After their desultory first innings performance, Northants had struck back with the ball to reduce Essex to 63-5, effectively one wicket away from breaking through the specialist batting and getting right back into the game.
"But Adam Wheater's positive approach from the start proved crucial as the visitors were overwhelmed by the sixth wicket onslaught.
"Wheater's 164 from 143 balls with four sixes and 18 fours confirmed the emergence of a considerable talent. James Foster now ranks alongside Graham Gooch, Paul Prichard, Nasser Hussain and Johnny Douglas in having a share of two all-time Essex partnership records."