Essex thrash Lancashire to remain top of the table

Brian Jeeves

Essex v Lancashire – LV= Insurance County Championship Division One – Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford – Report

Lancashire 146 and 107

Essex 377 

Essex won the toss and elected to bowl

Essex won by an innings and 124 runs

Essex produced a sensational all-round performance to thrash Lancashire by an innings and 124 runs at the Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford, reaffirming their position at the LV= Insurance County Championship Division One summit.

Three-wicket hauls from Shane Snater and Jamie Porter saw the visitors skittled for just 107 on day three – Snater took his match figures to an impressive seven for 59.

Essex’s Shane Snater finished with match figures of seven forn59 (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

Earlier in the contest, Lancashire were bowled in forty-two overs for 146. Snater led the way for the Essex attack, returning figures of four for 42, while Sam Cook had 3/18. An eighth-wicket partnership of 53 between Jack Blatherwick (18) and Will Williams (32*) briefly held up the hosts’ progress.

Responding, Essex established a sizable advantage. Feroze Khushi hit 53, while Dean Elgar continued his exceptional form with the bat, scoring 79 off 137 balls during a 221-minute stint in the middle.

A half-century for Essex’s Feroze Khushi (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

Tom Westley compounded Lanacshire’s problems by contributing 81 off 138 before he was trapped lbw by Nathan Lyon. The Australian right-arm offspinner finished with two for 65, while George Balderston had 3/75.

Essex captain, Tom Westley, scored 81 off 138 balls (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

Wrapping the match up within three days extended Essex’s healthy advantage at the top of the table. Speaking to Martin Smith of the ECB Reporters Network, Essex skipper, Westley, said: “We have started the season fantastically well. Even that last game against Kent we were a bit unlucky with the weather so potentially, it could have been three wins from three.

 “We’ve been successful for a while now as a club so every game is a big game and we look to win every single game. We’ve just played some fantastic cricket and I think this is one of our better, most complete performances.

 “I thought the bowlers bowled amazingly well and I think our challenge is to maintain this momentum and keep the standards as high as they currently are.

 “The bowling display from the seamers in this game was outstanding. I don’t know what the run-rate would have been across both innings but it would have been hovering around two or just above. That is a big fundamental for us, if we can be relentless with our line and length and control the rate, we know we can take wickets.

  “I think the fact we didn’t lose wickets in clusters meant that they never really got back into the game which was key for us.

 “We know what a good side Lancashire are, they are always identified at the start of the year as contenders to win the division. So to control the game and win every session is a huge pat on the back for Essex.”

Essex returns to LV= Insurance County Championship Division One action on Friday, April 26-29, when they face Durham at the Seat Unique Riverside (11am).

Essex: D Elgar, FIN Khushi, T Westley (Capt), JM Cox, MJJ Critchley, MS Pepper (WK), SR Harmer, S Snater, JA Porter, NRM Thain, SJ Cook

Lancashire: KK Jennings (Capt), LWP Wells, JJ Bohannon, GP Balderson, TC Bruce, GJ Bell, MF Hurst (WK), TE Bailey, JM Blatherwick, WSA Williams, NM Lyon

Umpires: JD Middlebrook and AG Wharf

Scorers: P Parkinson and C Rimmer

Match Referee: J Whitaker

Elsewhere in LV= Insurance County Championship Division One,

Kent are trailing Surrey by 179 runs with five second-innings wickets standing.

Surrey amassed 543 for seven (dec), responding to Kent’s first innings total of 244, with Dom Sibley hitting 150, and Dan Lawrence 112.

In Division Two, Middlesex wrapped up a six-wicket victory over Yorkshire at Lord’s. Ryan Higgins finished with match figures of seven for 72 for the hosts. 

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk