ESSEX and Derbyshire were frustrated as rain prevented any play on the second day of the LV= County Championship Division Two match at Derby.

Steady rain throughout the morning ruled out any action before lunch and although the storms passed in the afternoon, it was too late for the match to resume.

Umpires Mark Benson and Jeff Evans held two inspections in the hope the outfield and square would dry out enough for some play to be possible - but despite sunshine and a stiff breeze after tea, play was abandoned at 5pm.

But despite the loss of the whole day, there is still a good chance of a positive result in the match after the fall of 13 wickets on the opening day.

The match is nicely poised with leaders Derbyshire 28 for three, trailing Essex by 217 runs, after the visitors fought back strongly in the final session yesterday.

The hosts still need another 68 runs to avoid the threat of the follow-on.