Adam Rossington hits century for Essex against Hampshire
While Rossington came into the game with only 188 runs in a season marred by injury and poor form, he pushed through to reach 104 runs – his best for Essex.
On his way to his own half-century, Tom Westley reached 1,000 runs for the campaign, adding a ninth Championship fifty to Matt Critchley’s impressive season.
Critchley was still going strong after a 177-run stand with Rossington as Essex ended the day on 310-6.
A final challenger to Surrey’s hunt for back-to-back titles, Essex began this penultimate round of fixtures 18 points behind the leaders. Third-placed Hampshire will have a strong say in deciding the trophy’s fate as they face Surrey in the final.
Alastair Cook’s two-year contract at Chelmsford ends at the end of this season, and his future is uncertain as he approaches his 39th birthday.
He was bowled around the wicket by a textbook Mohammad Abbas beauty without scoring if this is his finale.
As Essex slumped to 18-2, opening partner Nick Browne fell behind, but Westley and Dan Lawrence rallied the hosts.
It took Westley 15 runs to reach 1,000, an accomplishment he had only achieved once before.
Since the Championship split into two in 2000, only three Essex players have scored 1,000 runs in Division One – Stuart Law, Paul Grayson, and Andy Flower.