LV County Championship - Division Two
Essex 427-6 dec (H M Amla 118, M J Walker 116 no, J S Foster 85, J K Maunders 56) v Leicestershire 238 (J W A Taylor 88, J Allenby 71, A P Palladino 4-68) & 123-3
Leicestershire (7pts) drew with Essex (12pts)
Leicestershire held out for a draw after being asked to follow-on by Essex on the final day at Grace Road.
The Foxes were bowled out for 238 after resuming on the fourth morning at 61-3 in reply to Essex's 427-6 declared.
Jim Allenby (73) and James Taylor resisted with half-centuries but the visiting bowlers, led by Tony Palladino's 4-68, made regular inroads.
When Taylor was last out, caught in the deep off Ryan ten Doeschate's medium pace for 88, Leicestershire were still 189 runs behind with 42 overs remaining in the match.
Essex skipper Mark Pettini sent the hosts straight back in - but they easily batted out for a draw, closing on 123-3 with opener Matthew Boyce 45 not out.
Matt Walker's century allowed Essex to claim maximum batting points on a rain-shortened third day against Leicestershire at Grace Road.
The left-hander, who joined from Kent last winter, had advanced from his overnight position of 67 to 116 not out when Essex declared their first innings on 427-6 at lunch.
Walker's 236-ball contribution featured 15 fours and was his first hundred in the LV County Championship for two years.
Tony Palladino (2-24) then struck twice and David Masters (1-25) once as Leicestershire reached 61-3 in reply when heavy rain forced the players off in mid-afternoon.
That represented something of a recovery from the Foxes, who had been 27-3 before HD Ackerman (8no) and Jim Allenby (26no) steadied the ship with an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 34.
After three inspections umpires Steve Garratt and John Holder abandoned play for the day meaning that another 50 overs had been lost to the weather.
In the three days so far a total of 155 overs have been lopped off the match and, with another unsettled forecast for the final day, a draw is looking likely.
Hashim Amla hit the second County Championship century of his short spell with Essex as they made a strong start to their delayed match against Leicestershire.
After losing the first day to the rain Essex made the most of the slightly better conditions, three rain delays took ten overs off the day's play, to reach 294-4 by the close of the first day, with South African star Amla hitting 118 from 166 balls.
Essex started poorly as Varun Chopra was trapped lbw by Iain O'Brien for just five to leave the visitors on 10-1, but Amla and John Maunders put on 133 for the second wicket until the latter was caught behind for 56.
Amla's elegant three-hour, 19-minute innings ended disappointingly when he edged a wide one from James Allenby through to the keeper - ending a 69-run partnership with Matt Walker.
Skipper Mark Pettini was bowled for 24, but Walker continued and went on to make an unbeaten 67 by the time play was ended early due to bad light.
Rain prevented any play on day one of Leicestershire's LV County Championship game against Essex at Grace Road on Tuesday.
The outfield was left saturated and the square completely covered as heavy rain throughout the morning made the conditions unplayable.
With little option, umpires Steve Garratt and John Holder made the decision at lunchtime without a ball bowled.
Leicestershire are currently eighth in Division Two while Essex are in fifth.