Essex cruise to victory over Lancashire in three days

Essex batsman Ravi Bopara helped guide his side to victory over Lancashire Photo: PA

Essex batsman Ravi Bopara helped guide his side to victory over Lancashire Photo: PA - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Essex 302 and 105 for 5 bt Lancs 301 and 105

A magnificent late morning and afternoon bowling display led Essex to a third Specsavers County Championship win of the season, inside three days against Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford.

The champions completed the double over the Red Rose, who are now hovering just above the bottom two following a third defeat.

An eventful day on and off the field saw an Air Ambulance land on the outfield during the morning to attend to a medical emergency in the Pavilion, delaying play for 30 minutes.

Essex were bowled out for 302 - a first-innings lead of one - shortly before lunch having started on 221 for six, with Neil Wagner and Sam Cook sharing a crucial 42 for the 10th wicket.

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Lancashire were then bowled out for 105 second time around, leaving the visitors a target of 105 after tea, which they achieved with for the loss of five wickets.

Ravi Bopara top-scored with 36 not out. Nineteen wickets fell in the day.

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Essex claimed 22 points from their sixth match and Lancashire six.

New ball seamer Jamie Porter and Simon Harmer shared nine wickets. Porter finished with five for 30 from 12.4 overs and off-spinner Harmer four for 34 from eleven.

Only Joe Mennie (32) made it beyond 20 for a Lancashire side undone by accurate bowling on a pitch offering uneven bounce and turn. The most obvious example of the former was Liam Livingstone trapped lbw by a Porter shooter for 17 as they slipped to 41 for seven. Lancashire’s demise was more down to good bowling than bad batting.

England Test opener Keaton Jennings, Alex Davies and Jordan Clark all fell for ducks, while Haseeb Hameed’s worrying poor form continued with four.

Jennings pushed forward and edged Porter to second slip before lunch, where the hosts reached at six for two. Hameed was later caught behind off the same bowler as he feathered a ball he maybe could have left.

The Red Rose quickly slipped to seven down and were in danger of a new low score against Essex. Their previous low was 70. But Mennie and Tom Bailey (16) avoided that.

Mennie later struck with the ball as Essex’s top order stumbled against more good bowling, although it was Graham Onions who impressed the most with three wickets, including Alastair Cook caught at third slip at the second attempt by Hameed.

The visitors slipped to 41 for four before captain Ryan ten Doeschate (19) and Bopara all but saw them home with a stand of 52.

The day started with the aforementioned delay from 11.15am as a male spectator was taken ill in the Pavilion at the James Anderson End.

An Ambulance, two Rapid Response vehicles and an Air Ambulance arrived, with the Helicopter landing on the outfield. The delay accounted for the loss of nine overs from the allotted 104, with lunch delayed until 1.30pm.

Essex now have an extra day to prepare for Thursday’s home Royal London one-day Cup eliminator clash with Yorkshire.

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