Essex coach McGrath hails 'great win' at Lancashire
PUBLISHED: 08:10 12 June 2018 | UPDATED: 08:10 12 June 2018
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Essex head coach Anthony McGrath was delighted to see the defending champions earn a five-wicket win over Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford on Monday.
Having claimed a one-run lead on first innings, thanks to some late fireworks from Neil Wagner, they skittled the home side for just 105 thanks largely to Jamie Porter (5-30) and Simon Harmer (4-34).
But Essex then slipped to 41-4, before captain Ryan ten Doechate and Ravi Bopara took them to the brink with a 52-run stand.
Ten Doeschate fell with 12 still needed but Bopara (36 not out) and Adam Wheater clinched victory and McGrath said: “That’s a great win. Every time we come to Lancashire, we know it’s going to be very difficult.
“We were the two best teams in the leagues last year. It went back and forth all the way through until the third innings.
“I thought that bowling by Jamie Porter, in particular, was absolutely outstanding and backed up by Simon Harmer.
“To leave us with 105, even though there were a few nervy minutes, it was brilliant.
“Our bowling was incredible. We were a bowler down in the second innings. Sam Cook’s bowled a quarter fit there (shins). Someone always finds a way. Sam’s done it, Simon’s done, Peter Siddle, Neil Wagner last year. Today it was Jamie. We just have a knack, and long may it continue.”
Lancashire captain Liam Livingstone added: “It’s not ideal. I just don’t think we played enough good cricket over three days to warrant winning the game. You can’t be 40-5 in both innings and expect to win. I think we’ve been out-batted and out-bowled by Essex.
“We’re obviously disappointed, and it hurts to lose. But we’re not even halfway through the season, so there’s still a lot of cricket to be played.
“The pitch wasn’t great today, but both teams had to bat on it. We’re making no excuses. We were just beaten by a better team.”