Bowlers deliver big Lancashire win
Lancashire 312 and 38 for 2 beat Essex 176 and 173 by eight wickets
Lancashire thrashed Essex by eight wickets at Chelmsford to record their second County Championship win of the season.
The match finished with more than four sessions to spare as Essex were bowled out for 173 in their second innings, leaving their opponents requiring just 38 to win. Sajid Mahmood and James Anderson each picked up three wickets but it was captain Glen Chapple who claimed the most important scalp of the day.
Resuming at 46 for 2 and still 90 behind, Essex desperately needed a long and productive innings from Alastair Cook if they were going to make a real fight of it. For nearly an hour Cook and Jaik Mickleburgh kept Lancashire at bay while completing a half-century partnership. Soon after that landmark was reached, England opener Cook unleashed a superb cover drive off Chapple to complete his 50, an effort containing eight boundaries.
But Cook's downfall came in the same over when he touched an outswinger behind to wicketkeeper Luke Sutton. With Cook back in the pavilion, it was just a matter of time before the Lancashire bowlers worked their way through the remainder of the innings.
Mahmood then appeared on the scene and the fast bowler struck with his third delivery to end the resistance of Mickleburgh, who was caught down the leg side by Sutton for 22. And in a spell of eight deliveries just before the lunch interval, Essex's hopes of avoiding a heavy defeat disappeared with the loss of three wickets.
James Foster was caught behind to provide Tom Smith with his solitary success, while Ryan ten Doeschate and Tim Phillips were both dismissed for ducks in the next over from Mahmood.
Mark Pettini's resistance ended when he was bowled by Anderson but at least the tail provided a brief and entertaining flourish before left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan brought the innings to an end by having Chris Wright stumped.
That gave Sutton his fifth success of the innings, just reward for a highly competent performance during which he did not concede a bye. Anderson emerged with figures of three for 53 for a match return of nine for 97 and Chapple's five wickets in the match took his career first-class total for Lancashire to 699.
Left with their modest target, Lancashire lost Smith to Maurice Chambers with only three runs on the board while Stephen Moore also departed, this time falling to left-arm spinner Phillips, before the winning post was reached. Lancashire collected 22 points while Essex had to settle for just three.