|Specsavers County Championship Division One, Emirates Old Trafford (day three):|
|Lancashire 301: Harmer 3-35 & 105: Porter 5-30, Harmer 4-34|
|Essex 302: Bailey 4-54, Mennie 3-83, Onions 2-74 & 108-5: Bopara 36*;Onions 3-29|
|Essex (22 pts) beat Lancashire (6 pts) by five wickets|
Essex fast bowler Jamie Porter claimed figures of 5-30 in Lancashire’s second innings to help set up a huge victory.
The visitors resumed day three on 221-6, 80 adrift of Lancashire’s first innings total.
104 overs were due to be bowled on day three following rain yesterday, but a brief stop in play due to an air ambulance landing on the ground to visit an ill spectator.
Following the thirty minute delay it was later announced that time in the day had been lost – nine overs to be exact.
Lancashire’s bowlers bowled with great discipline and were rewarded with four wickets for 49 runs in 83 balls -including three wickets for seven runs in 23 balls.
Despite taking four wickets, Liam Livingstone’s fielding tactics seemed rather odd for the 10th wicket pairing of Sam Cook and Neil Wagner as he had the field spread, thus allowing Essex to take single after single and surpass the Lancashire total of 301.
Having conceded a first innings lead, Lancashire had to negotiate a tricky period before lunch. In this time they lost two wickets – those of firstly Jennings, who edged to Simon Harmer at slip for 0 and secondly Alex Davies who was caught by Alastair Cook at the same place.
Resuming on 6-2 after lunch, Lancashire lost 9-99 with Australian Joe Mennie making the only meaningful contribution with his 32.
Essex paceman Porter shone with the ball, bowling with great accuracy and pace, regularly posing problems for the opposition batsmen and questioning their technique. South African spinner Simon Harmer bowled well too and claimed four scalps for 34 runs.
Leaving Essex with 105 runs to win, many would have thought it was going to be a canter, but Essex managed to make life difficult for themselves after being reduced to 41-4.
Dutchman Ryan ten Doeschate gave his wicket away as he lobbed a ball to Alex Davies at cover to give Lancashire a hope that they could win the game.
It was left for Ravi Bopara and wicketkeeper Adam Wheater to bring the win home and they did just that.
At the close of play, Lancashire captain Liam Livingstone reflected on the performance and said: “I don’t think we’ve played enough good cricket over the three days to warrant winning the game.
“You can’t be 40 for 4 and 40 for 7 and expect to win.
“I think we’ve been out-batted and out-bowled.
“We’re obviously disappointed and it hurts to lose. But we’re not halfway through the season yet and there’s still a lot of cricket to be played. It’s up to us as players to start winning games. We haven’t been good enough, especially in this game.
“We’ve got to learn quickly and come back better against Worcestershire.”