This is going to be more about the photos than words – Before that I’m going back to the first match of the season at the County Ground in Chelmsford. Kent were the visitors between April 7th and 10th. Essex batted for 159.5 overs and scored 514 runs, 3 batters, Nick Browne, Alastair Cook and Matt Critchley started their season with centuries. In reply Kent batted for 187.3 overs, scoring 581 for 9, with both Ben Compton and Jordan Cox scoring centuries. Nice batting practice but, a nailed on draw! Essex batted for a further 22 overs before that draw was declared.

Fast forward to today, September 20th and a grand total of 89 overs were bowled. 26 wickets fell and the top score for Lancashire was the 24 that Tom Bailey made from the 23 balls he faced. Keaton Jennings who has had an excellent season with the bat faced 36 balls, scoring just 18 runs. Steven Croft faced 54 balls, scoring 23. Shane Snater took a wicket with his first ball bowling Luke Wells for 15. Simon Harmer back from his time with South Africa too 5 for 41 in his 11.5 overs.

Photos from Lancashire’s innings – they scored 131 in 39.5 Overs

Of course both teams had to bat on the same wicket and Essex stalwart Alastair Cook faced a massive 98 balls, batting for over 2 hours he scored 40 of Essex’s 107 runs. Feroze Khiuhi batting at 6 faced 35 balls, scoring 17. Simon Harmer faced 32 balls and scored 10. All of the other Essex batters were out in single figures. Essex were out in just 39.1 overs with Tom Bailey taking 5 for 36 in his 11.1 overs.

Photos from the Essex innings

20 overs fell and we still had time for more; the craziness hadn’t finished! Sam Cook bowled Luke Wells with the first ball of the Lancashire innings. Shane Snater then took 3 wickets in 4 balls in the 4th over. They were 2 for 4, that 2 for 4 became 4 for 5 then 7 for 6! Wells, Josh Bohannon, Steven Croft and Dane Vilas were all out for a Duck, Keaton Jennings 2 and George Balderson 3. With the light fading Essex chose to stay on and bowl Simon Harmer and Matt Critchley, 19 year old George Bell scored 18 from 17 balls. The day finished with Lancashire on 25 for 6 from 10 overs; they lead by 49 runs. I can’t see the match going beyond tomorrow! Which will have big financial implications for Essex, with the lost revenue. Whether they’re penalised by a pitch that saw 26 wickets fall in a day, remains to be seen, Lancashire’s Head Coach has gone on the record to complain about the conditions.

Photos from Lancashire’s second innings

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