Essex v Lancashire, Chelmsford, 3rd day June 14, 2013

Chapple, Hogg dismantle Essex for 20

Les Smith at Chelmsford

Lancashire 398 (Katich 122, Prince 56) beat Essex 273 (Foster 82, ten Doeschate 77) and 20 (Chapple 5-9, Hogg 4-11) by an innings and 105 runs

Essex were bowled out for 20, registering the lowest score in their history in falling to a heavy, three-day defeat on an astonishing afternoon at Chelmsford. Kyle Hogg and Glen Chapple ripped through them in the space of 14 overs and 68 minutes on a flat pitch, as the procession of batsmen entering and leaving the field became almost bewildering.

It was as if a collective panic possessed Essex, and the sense of shock in the crowd was palpable, reawakening tensions that had threatened to erupt earlier in the season after an innings defeat to Northamptonshire that the coach, Paul Grayson, afterwards described as "shambolic" in issuing a public apology. He may now have to quell further unrest.

"I don't know what to say to be honest because I'm still in a state of shock," Grayson said. "Nothing has been said in the dressing room because now is not the right time but we are all coming in tomorrow for a chat and we'll reflect and analyse then what happened.

"Emotions are running very high at the moment as you can imagine, there's not a lot of singing and dancing going on. As I say, I'm lost for words. It was a good wicket probably one of the best all year that we could have batted on at Chelmsford but 20 all out, it's amazing.''

Although there have been 29 first-class innings that have ended on a lower note, the majority occurred in the days of uncovered pitches. The most recent example in the Championship came exactly 30 years ago, when Essex were the tormentors, bowling out Surrey for 14. Last year, Durham dismissed Durham MCCU for 18, leading to questions about the first-class status of university matches.

Only one batsman, Jaik Mickleburgh, achieved double figures and although three of the wickets were due to errors by batsmen, the rest were the result of dead straight bowling. The whole business was particularly puzzling as Hogg and Chapple had themselves scored 58 and 50 respectively earlier in the day.

"We've been involved in a piece of history," said Hogg, who described the action as "unreal". Chapple, who has been playing for more than 20 years, said: "It's definitely one of the best days of cricket I've had in my career because things just don't happen like that. In terms of it being memorable, it's right up there."

In retrospect it's surprising that it took Lancashire eleven balls to take their first wicket. The first two to fall, both taken by Hogg, were preventable - top-order batsmen playing loose shots. Tom Westley drove to extra cover, where Simon Katich dived forward to hold an excellent catch. Hamish Rutherford played a similar shot and Chapple didn't have to move at mid-off.

The next dismissal was the first three of six lbws in the innings. Owais Shah played across the line to Hogg, then Ryan ten Doeschate was so plum that he walked before the umpire had time to raise his finger, and Chapple had the first of his four. Next Hogg trapped Ben Foakes, and at that stage had figures of 4 for 3.

What Essex needed least in the midst of such carnage was a run out, but that's what they managed to contrive. Mickleburgh called James Foster for a quick single and Chapple, fielding off his own bowling, threw down Foster's stumps. It was turning into pandemonium.

Chapple mopped up the remaining four wickets. He had Graham Napier - Essex's beacon of light in a season fast becoming shrouded in darkness - leg-before first ball, then castled Sajid Mahmood.

Mickleburgh had observed all the mayhem from the non-striker's end, and there was speculation about the lowest score for a batsman carrying his bat until he was ninth out for 10, comfortably the highest score of the innings. The end came one ball later when Chapple rapped Reece Topley on the pads. Six batsmen had failed to score.

In the morning session the Lancashire tail had shown what could be done on this pitch. They resumed seven runs behind with three wickets in hand and looking to Katich to extend his overnight century. He did so, but only by two, and a narrow lead appeared likely.

But there can be few better No. 9s in the County Championship than Hogg, and Chapple can hold a bat as well. Together they put on 69 for the ninth wicket before David Masters knocked back Hogg's middle stump. Even then the scoring wasn't over as Simon Kerrigan joined his captain and helped him add 52 more.

There was no indication of the stunning stuff to come. Lunch was taken late as Lancashire were nine wickets down at 1pm, so the Essex innings began at around 2.20pm. By 3.30pm it was all over.

Essex scored 30 against Yorkshire at Leyton in 1901, their previous lowest score. What's more, this was the lowest-ever total by any team against Lancashire, dipping under the 22 scored by Glamorgan at Liverpool in 1924.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • David on June 16, 2013, 2:15 GMT

    Amused by the comment in the report that 'only one player made double figures'. Written by Sybil Fawlty was it? I mean, how many players can make double figures in a score of 20? Interesting to note 6 lbws - you would have to question the Essex players' technique generally.

  • Samuel on June 15, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    Ravi Bopara outscored Essex in one over against Sri Lanka! An absolute humiliation, must be a horrible feeling for the Essex fan, so sorry if any of our amazement at this comes across as gloating or anything - it isn't meant to, it's just so unusual to see! Glen Chapple was magnificent as always - really is the unluckiest bowler in England, a victim of Fletcher's obsession with pace, probably the reason he never got a Test cap. Promotion now is Northants and Lancashire's to lose you feel.

  • Ray on June 15, 2013, 11:13 GMT

    Thank you Essex. Finally, another county manages to make Surrey's performance look OK.

    Re Chapple: When you think of all the bowlers who were given a go by England in the late 90s/ 00s, it's almost criminal that he wasn't given a chance. Still got it by the looks of things.

  • Dummy4 on June 15, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    Horrible defeat I am an Essex fan and follower and was a member for many seasons back in the 80,s and early 90s I cant understand what happened. Ravi scored more in the last over of the ODI.

  • Mark on June 15, 2013, 9:01 GMT

    @TomBowler et al. Curious one this! Got a single ODI cap and only bowled 4 overs before going off injured. Called up for the 3rd Test in 2003, but James Krtley got the not on the morning and took 6-34 to win the match and level the series. Played for the precursor of the Lions in 1995, but missed out on the Test series to his new ball partner, Peter Martin, who played 3 Tests and took 5-241 as Cork, Fraser and Watkinson pulled off an amazing heist to share the series 2-2. Not the luckiest layer around!

  • Mark on June 15, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    @DesPlatt Kyle Hogg is an interesting one, isn't he? When he did so well at U19 level I was convinced that he would go on to Test honours, but he never really developed any further: his pace is too gentle to be a Test strike bowler. In fact, he seems to have have disappeared in the last few seasons: I was not even aware that he was still a key part of the Lancashire attack, but he's had a good game here.

    I can see Lancashire going up as champions of Division 2, especially if some hot weather later brings Simon Kerrigan to the fore with his spin and some pitches that give him some help.

  • yuvraj on June 15, 2013, 3:26 GMT

    His 1st class record itself shows, he is a good bowler. I am quite surprised why he did not get a chance to play for England.

  • Nicholas on June 15, 2013, 0:56 GMT

    The Lancashire No. 11, Simon Kerrigan, scored more (and considerably more) runs than the whole of the Essex team; and he got them on the same pitch, on the same day.

  • Dummy4 on June 14, 2013, 23:04 GMT

    It will remain a complete Mystery to me that Chapple never got à go for england in the 90's. He certainly could have done a better job than many selected. Even more strange when you consider Athers and Bubble where captain and coach during that time. Odd.

  • Des on June 14, 2013, 22:18 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer; good comment. Chappie still looks to himself all the time as the go to bowler. He is my second favourite Lancs cricketer ever and Kyle Hogg is well down the list but Hogg was actually the better bowler in this match; forget figures. He has to be told to assume more responsibility . He doesn't rely on pace and can be there in five years time and looks completely the part batting.

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