ECB/PA

Steven Croft drives through the off side

Lancashire v Essex, LV= County Championship Div Two, Old Trafford, 2nd day

Croft leads professional Lancashire on second day of rain

Although rain has already taken 122 overs out of this game, two full days remain and the 2015 season has already provided many examples of games being completed inside three days' playing time.

Tom Smith lofts down the ground during his 57

Lancashire v Essex, LV= County Championship Div Two, Old Trafford, 1st day

News on Smith lifts a bleak Manchester day

The only optimistic note on a grey day at Old Trafford was that Tom Smith's back operation had been a success. Smith, appointed Lancashire captain in February, has led them in just one championship game

David Warner cracked 94 during the morning session

Essex v Australians, Tour match, Chelmsford, 1st day

Red-hot Marsh turns up heat on Watson

On the hottest July day in England since records began, it was hard to know what was at a higher temperature - a sweltering Chelmsford crowd or the scything blade of Mitchell Marsh

Jesse Ryder's six drew the scores level

Essex v Hampshire, NatWest T20 Blast, South Group, Chelmsford

Ryder hundred brings Hampshire to their knees

Jesse Ryder's first century in the competition paved the way a 78-run victory for Essex over Hampshire in their NatWest Twenty20 Blast at Chelmsford

ECB/PA

Tom Westley struck his first hundred of the season

Gloucestershire v Essex, LV= County Championship Division Two, Bristol, 3rd day

Westley steers Essex home after Klinger ton

Alastair Cook suffered the indignity of a first ball duck as Essex completed a five-wicket win over Gloucestershire inside three days at Bristol.