County Championship: Hampshire and Essex battle for bonus points as match drawn

Sam Cook of Essex (right) hands Hampshire's Rilee Rossouw (left) part of his broken bat
The bat of Rilee Rossouw (left) was broken in two by a delivery from Peter Siddle, but Essex's Sam Cook was on hand to pick up the other piece
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Ageas Bowl (day four):
Hampshire 351-7 dec: Adams 87, Amla 52; Siddle 3-62
Essex 300-6 dec: Bopara 84*, Cook 84; Wheal 2-63
Hampshire (11 pts) drew with Essex (10 pts)

Hampshire and Essex vied for bonus points as their weather-affected match at Southampton ended in a draw.

Resuming on 241-4, Liam Dawson (34 not out) and Kyle Abbott (43) helped Hampshire secure a fourth batting bonus point as they declared on 351-7.

Brad Wheal (2-63) helped reduce Essex to 61-3 in reply before Alastair Cook (84) anchored the visitors' recovery.

Ravi Bopara (84 not out) helped guide the defending champions to 300-6 with help from James Foster (46).

Essex seamer Peter Siddle bowls
Essex's Australia seamer Peter Siddle needed a bobble hat to ward off the cold on day four in Southampton

Cold conditions on the south coast forced Peter Siddle to bowl in a bobble hat, but the Australian started the day aggressively, breaking Rilee Rossouw's bat with his second delivery and tempting the South African to edge to second slip Simon Harmer two balls later.

Sam Cook picked up the wickets of Lewis McManus (16) and Abbott, but Dawson and Chris Wood (10 not out) guided the hosts past 350.

Wheal struck twice inside an over to remove Nick Browne (26) and Tom Westley for a three-ball duck as Essex slumped to 54-2, but England opener Cook and the Essex middle order provided resistance as they eventually claimed a third batting point.

Hampshire, who were denied a third bowling point, move up to third in the table while Essex remain unbeaten at the start of their title defence and leapfrog Yorkshire to go fourth.

Hampshire skipper James Vince told BBC Radio Solent:

"To come away with 11 points from a game when we didn't get a huge amount of cricket is a decent effort.

"We started the game really well with the bat. Had we got more cricket in we might have been in a good position to put them under pressure.

"It was very cold, not ideal conditions for cricket, but we got out there and got on with it.

"It was a bit different to the Oval last week when it was actually quite warm. Hopefully there's some good weather round the corner and we can get some full matches in."

Essex head coach Anthony McGrath:

"The whole game we will take some big positives. Peter Siddle was brilliant, if you look at the runs he conceded, and Sam Cook was having his first bowl of the season, he'll be better for that.

"Alastair Cook looked like he had never been away and continued his form from last year. And it is nice for Ravi to get a score, not just for us but for him and his confidence.

"You've seen how cold and miserable it has been the last four days. The lads were bowling in beanies and Alastair Cook had seven layers on at one point!"

Essex and England batsman Alastair Cook:

"It has been a long four days here but you can't do much about the weather. It was nice to get a couple of points and nice to score a few runs.

"I would have liked to have scored a hundred but you can't always have your way.

"You mark yourself on hundreds so it would have been nice to get one but it was a decent ball. I felt comfortable."

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