Essex 538-7 (Browne 255, Lawrence 116, Thakor 4-107)
Derbyshire 124-2 (Godleman 43, Hughes 37, Rutherford 28 not)
Derbyshire trail by 414 runs
Like old man river, Nick Browne kept rollin' along today and became the second batsman in consecutive games to score 250 from our attack. Once again it is neither a game nor a wicket that bowlers will look back on with fondness, but that has been par for the course this summer.
Again, Shiv Thakor was the pick of the bowlers and at this stage vies with Chesney Hughes as the player of the season, albeit at an early juncture. He has obviously worked hard at both his batting and bowling over the winter months and is starting to reap the rewards. Good luck to the lad, he has earned it.
There was little else to cheer today, but both Tom Taylor and Ben Cotton went for under three an over and I will take that from a young bowler on a pitch that offers little help.
That was evidenced by our reply, which progressed serenely along until perhaps a loss of concentration did for both openers, sadly at the point when they were well-set and should have been cashing in like Browne did earlier.
We need Rutherford and Madsen, the two not out batsmen, to dig in and bat long tomorrow, while runs from Neil Broom would be most welcome. Both Kiwis will be ready to welcome Jimmy Neesham, who arrived in Derby today, ahead of the T20 competition.
The forecast for day four is not especially good, so once again we can only salvage a draw from this game. Yet salvage it we must. It is all about professionalism and doing exactly the job that you are paid for.
This time tomorrow, I hope to report on a solid and efficient Derbyshire batting display.
There is absolutely no reason not to, the way this wicket has played.