County Championship: Essex take charge and force Hampshire to follow on
|Specsavers County Championship Division One, Cloudfm County Ground (day three):|
|Essex 435: Lawrence 124, Chopra 61, Ten Doeschate 55; Abbott 5-90|
|Hampshire 172: Weatherley 32, Dawson 32; S Cook 3-27 & 17-2: Siddle 2-10|
|Hampshire (2 pts) trail Essex (8 pts) by 246 runs|
Hampshire will have to fight to avoid an innings defeat going into the final day against Essex after they were made to follow on by the hosts.
After Essex pushed their first innings on from 363-6 overnight to 435, Hampshire were dismissed for just 172.
It got worse before the close as Peter Siddle's brace of early wickets reduced the visitors to 17-2 following on.
Hampshire are still 246 runs behind with eight wickets remaining in their second innings.
They could have been further adrift had they not shown some resistance by adding 62 runs for the last two wickets of their first innings, thanks to Liam Dawson (32) and Kyle Abbott (28 not out) standing firm.
Earlier, Essex second-day centurion Dan Lawrence added 10 runs to his overnight unbeaten 114 to be out for 124 as his side collected maximum batting points.
Abbott picked up 5-90 for Hampshire for his first five-wicket haul of the Championship season.
Despite Essex's dominance in the field, there was an injury concern to wicketkeeper Adam Wheater, who played no part after lunch when he was hit on the shoulder.
It meant Essex used three different keepers on the same day as first Will Buttleman deputised in the afternoon session before handing the gloves to Michael Pepper at tea.
Hampshire have fitness concerns of their own after captain James Vince was forced off the field in the morning through illness and batted down the order in their first innings, making 26 off 96 balls.
After taking those two late wickets, Australian Test paceman Siddle confirmed that this was his penultimate game before returning down under to play for Victoria in the JLT One-Day Cup and Sheffield Shield. His last game will be next week against Surrey, also at Chelmsford.
Essex and Australia fast bowler Peter Siddle:
"We've given ourselves every chance now. We probably would have liked to bowl a few more overs in the second innings this evening, but credit to those guys, they dug in.
"The ball got very soft and the wicket flattened out in the afternoon, and we had to wait for those last couple of wickets. But to get a couple late on was great.
"I've loved my time here, I've had a ball. There was a chance I might have been able to play more but we've got injuries to some key players back home and it means I need to get back and start our one-day tournament. The first game starts on September 16th. It'll be a quick turn-around getting back home, but hopefully it won't be the last time I'm playing here."
Hampshire fast bowler Kyle Abbott told BBC Radio Solent:
"It's not been the best couple of days for us. We've been really behind the 8-ball unfortunately.
"We had a really good opportunity yesterday afternoon to rein them in and bowl them out cheaply. But, we let it slip and we've put ourselves in this position unfortunately.
"Batting-wise, I think it's a confidence thing in this competition. It hasn't just been this match, I get a feeling we're not backing ourselves and that's showing with our scores."