Essex survive with nine down
Final pair Craig Wright and Danish Kaneria survived 2.2 overs as Essex just managed to hold on for a draw against Glamorgan at Cardiff to lift them to third in the table, 12 points behind Northamptonshire. In the penultimate round of matches, Essex play Northamptonshire and Glamorgan take on fourth-placed Gloucestershire in the tightest ever promotion race. The two teams in this contest ideally needed victory and Glamorgan came within one wicket of giving their campaign a major boost. After being set 320, Essex - who slipped to 38 for 3 - appeared to be safe at 164 for 4 with James Foster and Alastair Cook, batting at No. 6 after food poisoning kept him off the field yesterday, holding firm in the middle order. The pair added 58 in 32 overs before Cook was caught at short leg. However, it was Foster's demise for 78 from 228 balls, lbw to Robert Croft, that sparked Essex panic, as they lost 4 for 2 in eight overs against Croft and Dean Cosker, who claimed a career-best 11 for 126 in the match. When Tim Phillips was leg before to Croft it left Glamorgan minutes to claim the final wicket, but Wright and Kaneria managed to block out time although Croft thought he had won it with a bat-pad appeal off the penultimate ball.