|County Championship Division Two, Cheltenham|
|Close, day two: Gloucestershire 284-4 v Essex|
|Glos 2pts, Essex 1pt|
A century from Australian Ed Cowan on his Championship debut helped Gloucestershire take charge of their match with Essex.
Cowan (103) will lead Australia A against England Lions next month and hit 13 boundaries in his five-and-a-half hour innings.
The visitors, who began day two on 147-2, closed on 284-4 with New Zealander Hamish Marshall making 72 not out.
Reece Topley took 3-70 but India spinner Harbhajan Singh is wicketless.