Essex ended a rain-affected third day of their match against Gloucestershire at Chelmsford on 177-3 in their first innings, still trailing by 232 runs.
Play was not possible until 2.55pm because of persistent showers.
Tom Westley and Ravi Bopara, the two not-out batsmen overnight, put on 116 for the third wicket before Bopara (64) was dismissed lbw by Benny Howell.
Opener Westley (82no) was unbeaten at the close alongside Mark Pettini (18no) as the game drifts towards a draw.
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