Essex v Surrey: Rain interrupts tightly-fought contest at Chelmsford
|Specsavers County Championship Division One, Cloudfm County Ground (day three):|
|Surrey 369 & 55-1: Stoneman 28|
|Essex 383: Lawrence 107, Ten Doeschate 53; Meaker 3-73, Virdi 3-82|
|Surrey lead Essex by 41 runs|
|Essex 6 pts, Surrey 6 pts|
Rain interrupted a tight contest between Essex and Surrey to leave the visitors leading by 41 on day three.
Resuming on 215-3, Dan Lawrence (107) completed his century for Essex before Stuart Meaker (3-73) pinned him lbw.
Surrey debutant Amar Virdi took 3-82, but Ryan ten Doeschate (53) and Neil Wagner (50) added lower-order runs to push the hosts to 383 - a lead of 14.
Mark Stoneman (28) helped Surrey re-take the lead when, at 55-1, play was halted by the weather at 17:00 BST.
Lawrence, 19, whose form this season has earned a call-up to the England Lions squad, moved on from 78 not out to bring up his second century of the season, which included 15 fours.
Off-spinner Virdi, playing in place of injured skipper Gareth Batty, then threatened to cut Essex's innings short, dismissing James Foster (21), Simon Harmer and Ten Doeschate in succession with a mixture of flight and sharp turn.
However, Wagner scored his eighth first-class half-century to help move the hosts past Surrey's first-innings total before he was caught by Kumar Sangakkara at slip off the bowling of Ravi Rampaul.
Stoneman and opening partner Rory Burns (21 not out) were both dropped off Jamie Porter's bowling before the former Durham man fell to a wonderful catch by former England Test captain Alastair Cook at slip.
Essex's Dan Lawrence told BBC Radio Essex:
"It wasn't my most fluent innings. It was quite scratchy, but it was nice to get another hundred. Both centuries I've scored this season have been fairly gritty.
"I'm in some decent form. We've got three one-dayers with the England Lions. I've got to get selected in that team first and then see what happens then. But I'm excited.
"I'll give it a go and hopefully I'll do OK. There are some four-day games after that, but I don't know if I've been selected for that yet. Hopefully I can make my presence felt and score some runs."
Surrey seamer Tom Curran told BBC Radio London:
"For a young lad to come in on his Championship debut and perform the way Amar Virdi did was fantastic. He wasn't bothered by the environment at all.
"He got turn, he got good players out and bowled a lot of overs. He didn't go for runs, and he must be very proud of that. It's the start of a very exciting career.
"There would have been nerves but, after those first couple of overs, he settled in. He showed what he is about, and a glimpse of what he can be.