Essex thrash Northamptonshire to win Division Two title
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Essex thrashed Northamptonshire by an innings and 44 runs inside four sessions as they lifted the LV= Insurance County Championship Division Two title.
Essex only needed five wickets on the second day to complete a comprehensive victory, the third innings win in four Divisional matches, as Northamptonshire were bowled out for 45.
And they wrapped it up inside exactly half an hour with Shane Snater taking four for seven before Sam Cook completed his maiden ten-wicket haul and the match – returning ten for 41.
The trophy is the county’s fifth red ball crown in the last six years – going into the cabinet with two County Championships, the Bob Willis Trophy and another Division Two title.
It took just five-morning deliveries for Essex to continue their inevitable charge to victory.
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Shane Snater found the edge of a driving Saif Zaib when coming around the wicket before Nick Browne made a Horlicks of completing the catch at third slip; eventually holding the ball safely at the third parry.
Adam Rossington almost chipped his third ball to mid-off, as Snater found bounce on a length, he then lofted a boundary over the covers before narrowly avoiding edging behind.
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But with the fourth ball of the eventful over, Snater dinged the top of off-stump to leave Northamptonshire 30 for seven, still 59 runs behind.
Josh Cobb, on his first first-class outing for two years, attempted an audacious pull shot to a ball well outside off stump first delivery which went straight up and was safely pouched at cover by Michael Pepper.
Tom Taylor had survived the hat-trick ball but also showed intent with two boundaries off Cook but clubbed Snater straight to stand-in captain Dan Lawrence at mid-off.
The dismal Northamptonshire showing was completed in 18.2 overs as Luke Procter, who had manfully scored 53 per cent of the runs with his 23, edged Cook behind.
The 45 was Northamptonshire’s equal lowest total against Essex and 16th score of all-time.