Ollie Stone underlined his all-round credentials with an unbeaten century to boost Northamptonshire on the second day of their Second XI Championship match against Essex at Stowe School.
The 19-year-old hit 101 not out off 127 balls with a six and nine fours, sharing an unbroken eighth-wicket stand worth 146 with Lee Daggett (49no) as the County reached 308-7 at the close.
Resuming on 5-0 following Wednesday's near-washout, Northamptonshire looked in good shape at 136-3 thanks to handy runs from Rob Keogh (63) and Christian Davis (31).
But a middle-order collapse saw three wickets tumble for the addition of a single run, and when wicketkeeper Gary Knight also departed it was 162-7.
That proved to be the final success of the day for the Essex attack - led by Maurice Chambers (5-50) - as Stone and Daggett took charge, the former reaching his hundred just before the close.