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Chelmsford, September 22 - 25, 2015, LV= County Championship Division Two
394 & 138/3

Match drawn


Bopara stars but Cook fails again

Alastair Cook was dismissed cheaply for the second time in the match as Essex and Lancashire settled for a draw at Chelmsford

Essex 396 (Ryder 116, Bopara 99, ten Doeschate 59, Anderson 7-77) and 138 for 3 (Bopara 52*) drew with Lancashire 310 (Reece 82, Hameed 63)
Alastair Cook was dismissed cheaply for the second time in the match as Essex and Lancashire settled for a draw at Chelmsford in their final LV= County Championship Division Two clash of the summer.
After Essex had earned a first-innings lead of 84, they resisted the temptation to set Lancashire a target, instead shaking hands on a stalemate with the score at 138 for 3.
Cook made only 1 in the first innings and his hopes of an extensive "net" before embarking on the series against Pakistan ended when he was dismissed for 6 in his second trip to the middle. He had been trapped leg before wicket by Anderson first time around and the England fast bowler again had a hand in Cook's demise, completing a catch in the slips when Glenn Chapple found the edge of the opener's bat.
Cook had faced just 16 balls and only 23 in the match. Anderson had already got rid of Nick Browne with the help of a Karl Brown slip catch to give the bowler his eighth wicket in the match and leave the home side 10 for 2 in the sixth over.
Tom Westley fell for 34 but this paved the way for Ravi Bopara to record a half-century for the second time in the match. This time, he needed only 63 balls to reach the milestone as he went on to finish with 52 not out from 65 balls that included five fours and two sixes.
Jesse Ryder also provided an entertaining cameo striking 38 from 23 balls with the assistance of two sixes and four fours to reach 38 not out when the captains shook hands on the draw.
Lancashire had reached lunch on 274 for 4 before the innings disintegrated. The last six wickets crashed for 29 in the space of 11 overs and it was the medium-paced Bopara who was chiefly responsible as he wrapped up the visitors reply on 310 to finish with 3 for 40.
Before then Luis Reece and Ashwell Prince provided the cornerstone of the Lancashire response to Essex's total of 394. Prince, in his final appearance, lit up the stage with a powerfully struck 51 from 38 deliveries, an effort containing eight boundaries, before he drove Graham Napier into the hands of Bopara in the covers.
Reece went on to make 82, containing eight fours and one six, Jamie Porter removing him when he was caught behind attempting to paddle the ball down the leg side. This wicket gave the fast bowler his 50th Championship wicket for the season, a day after he had been awarded his county cap.
Lancashire take 11 points from the match and finish runners-up in Division Two while Essex take 12 points and complete the season in third place.