JAKE Libby carried his bat to labour to the second-longest LV= Insurance County Championship innings in terms of minutes as Worcestershire drew with champions Essex, writes ALEX SMITH.

Libby was the first Worcestershire player to bat throughout an innings since Daryl Mitchell in 2015, having stayed at the crease for 11 hours and 21 minutes.

Only Jason Gallian’s vigil for Lancashire in 1996 was longer.

The opening batsman ended unbeaten on 180, with Ed Barnard and Dillon Pennington recording personal first-class bests of 128 and 56 as the visitors piled on 475 to kill off a positive result.

Essex, who ended an 11-game winning run at the Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford, take 13 points to Worcestershire’s 12 from the draw as hands were shaken between the two captains at 4.23pm.

Essex captain Tom Westley said: “It is disappointing to lose the winning streak but we are a very hard team to beat at home and fundamentally that is what we want to achieve. Hopefully that gives us the opportunity to start another winning streak!

“It is nice scoring runs. I had a lean period last year, which was frustrating after taking over the captaincy, but from a personal note it has been nice to start the season well and score some runs.

“It does mean a lot more when it contributes to a win so hopefully I can continue this form and we can win a few games.

“We’ve had a huge amount of success at Chelmsford over the last five years so we don’t come across too many of those wickets.

“We got ourselves into positions to push for a result like having them three down on the second day, four down for 70-odd and six down for 140, that is the blueprint for what we have been doing for a few years.”

Libby continued his epic innings on 141 but if he had an eye on a double century, his approach didn’t show it.

He only scored 24 runs in the morning session as run-making ground to an almost stand-still – with one particularly tedious spell seeing 37 dot balls sent down in a row.

Although amongst the blocking, he did hoist Simon Harmer over mid-on for six to take him to 149, with his 150 brought up with a single into the legside soon after – the milestone reached in 392 balls.

Barnard, who had rustled up his maiden first-class century on day three, ticked along carefully to 125 before he was bowled by a sharp turning off-break by Dan Lawrence.

That ended a 244-run stand for the seventh wicket, only 12 runs shy of Worcestershire’s all-time best.

Joe Leach was strangled down legside to give academy graduate Ben Allisson his maiden first-class wicket for Essex.

Dillon Pennington then joined Libby as the pair added another 75 runs, with the tailender scoring 56 of them – beating his previous best of 37.

He was stumped off Harmer before Charlie Morris was lbw to Harmer to end the innings – Libby had scored 39 runs in the 127 balls he faced on the final day.

Essex’s bowlers were forced into long shifts, none more so than Harmer who sent down 61.3 overs, the second most he has bowled in a single innings during his red-ball career – he returned three for 126, with Sam Cook trumping him with four for 100.

Worcestershire’s 475 meant a first-innings deficit of 15, and Essex added a further 28 to their lead for the loss of the bowled Alastair Cook before bad light ended the match.

It meant a happier trip to Chelmsford for Worcestershire than their previous two efforts, which on each occasion they had lost by an innings.