County Championship: Essex avoid follow on against Yorkshire
|Specsavers County Championship Division One, Emerald Headingley (day three)|
|Yorkshire 390: Lyth 95, Bess 91*; Porter 3-84|
|Essex 252-9: Westley 77; Bess 3-39|
|Essex (4 pts) trail Yorkshire (6 pts) by 138 runs|
Essex managed to avoid following on against Yorkshire meaning a draw is the likeliest result at Headingley.
The visitors were nicely placed at 190-3, in reply to Yorkshire's first-innings 390, but then fell to 213-8.
Essex struggled to score a run either side of tea, with debutant wicketkeeper Will Buttleman making a 37-ball duck.
However, Peter Siddle (39 not out) took Essex past the follow-on target of 241 with a six off Steven Patterson and they closed on 252-9.
With a large chunk of day two lost to rain, Yorkshire are now likely to run out of time to force a final-day victory against the 2017 champions with a lead of just 138.
Essex resumed day three on 18-1 and Yorkshire had to wait most of the morning session to pick up their first wicket when Dom Bess (3-39) pinned Nick Browne lbw.
Tom Westley's 77 and Dan Lawrence's 44 looked set to take Essex to a decent first-innings score. Once Lawrence was removed by Duanne Olivier, Essex lost five wickets for 23.
Jamie Porter's dismissal left Essex nine down and still needing another 18 to avoid the follow on, but Australia bowler Siddle went on the charge to make the game all but safe for his side.
Essex fast bowler Peter Siddle:
"Coming off at tea-time, we weren't in a great position. There were still a fair few runs to get. So it was nice to firstly pass the follow-on target, then get an extra batting point.
"I was half asleep on the bench watching the Indian World Cup game (when the umpires decided the light was fit to resume). I didn't think we'd get back on, but we did.
"It was about trying to hold an end up. It was about surviving first. But I was lucky enough to get a few away. As we got closer, they gave me a few opportunities to score. Thankfully it came off."
Yorkshire all-rounder David Willey:
"It's frustrating, but despite that it was a brilliant effort by all the bowlers. It's a good pitch, but we managed to get the ball moving sideways and went at less than two and a half an over for the day.
"The ball reverse swung a bit, which helped massively. Dom Bess got hit for a six into the stand, and it came back rough on one side and started reversing.
"There's always a way you can win the game, but it's going to be a big challenge to try and post a score. There's still a bit there with the new ball, so we can't just go out and try and blaze 150 in the morning."