ESESX'S bowlers took just 21 balls to wrap up their innings and 56-run victory over Lancashire on the final morning of their LV= Insurance County Championship match at Emirates Old Trafford.

Needing just one wicket to complete their comprehensive win, Tom Westley’s bowlers achieved their goal in the fourth over of the morning when Luke Wood was caught behind by Adam Rossington off the bowling of Jamie Porter for 27, thus leaving Lancashire 232 all out in their second innings.

Essex skipper Tom Westley said: "I’m so pleased for the boys. We’ve played some good cricket this year but to nowhere near the standard we’ve played in the past.

"We’ve batted well in one game and bowled well in another, but we haven’t been able to piece it together but that was one of the complete Essex performances.

"Getting just under 400 on that wicket was a great effort and then to bowl them out twice was outstanding.

"Surrey and Hampshire are about 30 points ahead but things do change quickly in this division and when we start winning, we can go on an extended run.

"We still have to play Surrey and Hampshire and there’s a lot of cricket still to be played this year.

"We have started worse than this and finished strongly. We know it’s a competitive division but we know that when we start winning, the momentum can carry us on forward. 

"Dan Lawrence has had his scan [on his hamstring injury] but he’s still waiting on the results.

"It looks fairly similar to what he did a few weeks back and that’s bitterly disappointing because I thought he batted superbly."

In the 14 minutes’ cricket that was watched by 45 spectators at Old Trafford, Wood hit three boundaries off Sam Cook and Simon Harmer before a good ball outside off stump from Wood induced him to fence fatally.

Harmer ended the innings with figures of five for 89 and Cook returned a match analysis of six for 62.

Essex earned 22 points for their victory and move into the top half of the division one table.

Lancashire took two points from the game and seem certain to end this first tranche of County Championship matches in fourth place, 18 points behind leaders Surrey with all the teams in the top tier having played six matches.

It is only Lancashire’s fifth innings defeat this century and their first since they lost to Yorkshire, also at Old Trafford, in August 2014.

It is also the Red Rose’s first home defeat since 2018 when they lost the Roses match in July.