DAY 3 Close: Essex 300 & 75-3 trail Gloucestershire 498 by 124 runs (PTS: Essex 5 Glos 7)
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A momentous day three for Gloucestershire has seen them take total control of this county championship match at Southend.
A career-best 156 not out from Steve Adshead brought the Shire up to 498 all out, as they extended their lead to a score many could only dream about.
Adshead will be extremely pleased to have taken his chance on an excellent batting pitch, he filled his boots with measured batting and led his side to what could be a match-winning lead.
198 ahead, Glos fired out three Essex wickets to leave the possibility of a day three finish, but skipper Mark Pettini again led the fightback and a stand of 44 has delayed the Glos charge. He managed the recovery on day two and could well extend the Essex resistance, the home side probably needing to bat until at least tea to make the game safe.
Richard Dawson sent down the most threatening spell since his return to Gloucestershire, and was extremely unlucky not to have Tom Westley LBW, but he bowled with not enough attacking fielders and for large parts of his spell with a deep point which appeared a wasted exercise.
Glos have plenty of time to take the remaining wickets, but if a partnership can develop, we have seen what can be achieved, however, tomorrow's day four pitch could pose different problems.
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Official report: www.gloscricket.co.uk