Dent and Lewis deny Essex
Chris Dent and Jon Lewis put on an unbroken 101 for the ninth wicket to ensure Gloucestershire drew their LV= County Championship Division Two match against Essex at Bristol.
The home side looked in danger of defeat when they slipped to 209 for eight in mid-afternoon - only 143 ahead.
But 20-year-old batsman Dent, who made 70 not out, and long-serving seamer Lewis, with a run-a-ball unbeaten 50, frustrated Essex with a partnership that spanned 19 overs.
Essex’s cause was hampered from the 46th over onwards by the absence of Ryan ten Doeschate, who was forced out of the attack for bowling two beamers in an over.
Gloucestershire began the final day on 37 for two and Essex struck twice in the first 10 overs to raise their hopes of victory.
New Zealander Kane Williamson was caught behind off Chris Wright for 31 and Chris Taylor edged David Masters to Matt Walker at second slip.
The Gidman brothers, Alex and Will, revived the innings with a fifth-wicket stand of 70 in 15 overs, which ended when the former was lbw to ten Doeschate for 42.
The Netherlands all-rounder was withdrawn in his next over, but it was still looking good for Essex when Will Gidman played across a delivery from Reece Topley just after lunch and was lbw for 32.
Dent and Ed Young frustrated the visitors for 15 overs before Young’s attempt to cut Ravi Bopara resulted in an edge to James Foster behind the stumps.
It became 209 for eight when Walker took a one-handed, low catch at second slip off Bopara to dismiss Ian Saxelby for six.
But that was Essex’s last success of the day as Dent and Lewis played some fine attacking strokes to stave off the threat of defeat.
The second new ball was taken just after tea, but there were few alarms for either batsman.
Dent, in his first championship outing since he fractured a finger against Glamorgan in mid-April, reached a 110-ball half-century by cutting Topley to the cover boundary.
Topley conceded three fours in his next over and Lewis drove Masters for a straight six shortly before bringing up his third fifty of the season, at which point Alex Gidman declared the Gloucestershire innings and the players shook hands on a draw.