Fidel Edwards produced a brutal evening spell of fast bowling to take two vital wickets at the end of a rain-affected third day against Essex. 

The former West Indies star took 2-15 from six overs, while Dan Lawrence reached his third century of the season for the county champions.

The truncated day ended with Essex leading by 69 with five second innings wickets still in hand to set up an intriguing final day.

After beginning the day on 208-3, Essex added 18 from eight overs before rain arrived this morning.

Play resumed at 5:20pm for an additional 12 overs.

With the new ball two overs old, Edwards struck with the third delivery after the re-start.

Ravi Bopara had battled hard to help Lawrence put on 147 before edging a beautifully shaped away swinger to James Vince at second slip.

Lawrence rode his luck on day two, playing and missing on 45 occasions according to Hampshire's analysts.

Two balls after completing his seventh first-class century from 207 balls with a firm push down the ground, he gloved a ferocious Edwards bouncer to Tom Alsop.

Nightwatchman Jamie Porter helped Essex captain Ryan ten Doeschate bat out the last  six overs with no further loss