|County Championship Division Two, Old Trafford|
|Close, day three: Essex 226 & 203-3, Lancashire 177|
|Essex 4pts, Lancashire 3pts|
Jaik Mickleburgh's unbeaten half century helped Essex stretch their lead over Lancashire to 252 runs on a rain-curtailed day three at Old Trafford.
Essex resumed on 120-2 but suffered an early setback when Kyle Hogg got rid of England captain Alastair Cook (60).
But Mickleburgh (53 not out) scored his first Championship half century this season from 100 balls, and was aided by a patient Mark Pettini (36 not out),
However, no play was possible after lunch as the visitors closed on 203-3.