MATT Renshaw mimicked Nick Browne’s run accumulation as Somerset and Essex headed towards an inevitable LV= Insurance County Championship draw.

Australian Renshaw compiled 146, his highest score in the Championship, having spent six hours and 34 minutes at the crease.

He put on an unbroken 193 with Tom Abell for the second wicket before the Somerset captain was forced to retire hurt on 90 after appearing to damage his hamstring.

Somerset ended the day on 359 for three in reply to Essex’s equally massive 505, still 146 behind heading into a final day unlikely to inspire a result.

Renshaw and Abell had begun their partnership the previous evening with a free-flowing and breezy half-century together. The same adjectives could not be used again on day three, where turgidity and gritty were better suited.

The morning session in particular was a practice in patience and copied the rhythm of much of the earlier portion of the match. Only 87 runs were scored, as Renshaw and then Abell moved past 50 – in 139 and 105 balls respectively.

Both appeared completely untroubled, with only balls offering width or shortness sniffed at on a slow, used pitch.

On his 100th first-class appearance, Adam Rossington was absent having taken a blow to his finger when dropping Renshaw in the first over of the innings. Will Buttleman stood in, tidily, behind the stumps throughout the day.

Abell joined him in withdrawing from the action after a quickly run two saw him pull up and limp off. The injury will be of notable worry for Somerset, and Birmingham Phoenix, after he sat out two months of last year with a hamstring problem.

Meanwhile, Renshaw remained unflinching to bring up his 15th first-class century, and fifth for Somerset over two spells at the county.

Much of what was written and said about Browne’s 234 not out the previous two days could be also aimed at Renshaw. Both showed off deep levels of concentration and stubbornness to take the opportunity of registering a high score for their team.

He was dropped in consecutive overs by Sir Alastair Cook at first slip when on 106 and 108 but they were the only false moments.

George Bartlett had arrived to replace Abell and pinged a straight six before he was adjudged to have gloved to short-leg, giving Simon Harmer his second wicket in the 48 overs sent down in the innings.

Renshaw gloved a pull off Aaron Beard behind before Lewis Goldsworthy and James Rew took the game slowly past the 356 follow-on target and to the end of the day, adding an unbroken 35.


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