Specsavers County Championship Division One, Edgbaston (day four):
Warwickshire 517: Lamb 173, Hain 82, Patel 51*, Sibley 51; Harmer 6-143
Essex 324: Westley 141; Patel 6-73 & 158-2 (f/o): Westley 97, A Cook 57*
Warwickshire (10 pts) drew with Essex (9 pts)

Warwickshire drew with County Championship title hopefuls Essex to officially secure their Division One safety and relegate Nottinghamshire.

The 10 points that the Bears pick up from the draw mean that they now cannot be caught by Notts, who are doomed to the drop with two games to spare.

Essex’s nine points leaves them eight points adrift of leaders Somerset going into their penultimate game next week.

Alastair Cook and Tom Westley saw Essex to a draw on 158-2 after following on.

After both sides just failed to claim an extra bonus point from the first 54 balls of the day prior to the 110-over cut-off, Essex, 278-6 overnight, were then bowled out for 324, Westley eventually out for 141.

Following on prior to lunch, Essex wobbled when they lost Nick Browne, who edged young paceman George Garrett to second slip, but Cook and Westley steered their side to safety after tea.

Just when Westley looked set to notch a second century of the match, he fell three runs short when he slapped Matt Lamb straight to Bears captain Jeetan Patel at midwicket on 97.

Hands were then shaken shortly after, with former England captain Cook unbeaten on 57.

Patel took three of the morning’s four wickets to fall, finishing with 6-73, the 38th ‘five-fer’ of his first-class career – and his fourth this summer.

That takes him to 62 scalps for the season, bettered only by he country’s leading wicket taker Simon Harmer, who has 71.

Warwickshire will now no longer have to face a relegation crunch game when they head to Trent Bridge to play Notts on Monday, when Essex host out-of-form reigning county champions Surrey at Chelmsford.

Still to come in the title race

Mon 16-Thurs 19 Sept:

Essex v Surrey (Chelmsford)

Hampshire v Somerset (Southampton)

Mon 23-Thurs 26 Sept:

Somerset v Essex (Taunton)