|Bob Willis Trophy, Arundel Castle (day three)|
|Essex 249-3: Cook 129*, Walter 43, Lawrence 37*|
|Hampshire: Yet to bat|
|Hampshire 1 pt, Essex 1 pt|
Sir Alastair Cook moved past 24,000 first-class career runs and completed his 66th century on another rain-hit day at Arundel in the meeting of the South Group’s top two.
After resuming on 75 out of Essex’s 146-2, Cook reached lunch still unbeaten on 129 and his side on 249-3.
But heavy lunchtime rain in Sussex, at Hampshire’s temporary cross-border home, then ended play for the day.
Dan Lawrence was chief support with 37 not out in a stand of 78.
Nightwatchman Jamie Porter managed to survive 13 overs in the morning before he was lbw to Ryan Stevenson for eight.
After that it was a case of England past and potential England future as Lawrence came out to join Cook in the middle.
Lawrence, who was a reserve in the England Test bubble this summer, has returned to his county in fine form after hitting 60 against Sussex at Hove last week.
And he continued that form with a typically stylish innings which included a lovely straight six off Mason Crane, although he maybe rode his luck with his backing up at the non-striker’s end.
Cook, currently the active player with most runs in world cricket, used his perfected arsenal of shots, mostly square either side of the wicket.
He reached his 180-ball century with a push to mid-wicket, then moved to another milestone when a single on the cusp of lunch made him the 148th player to reach 24,000 runs.
But that left Essex still one short of a second batting point when torrential lunchtime rain made an already wet outfield absolutely sodden.
And, if the weather forecast proves as bad as is feared ahead of Tuesday’s final day, there may not be much more play in the game.
Match report supplied by PA Media.