Would there be any batting miracles on Day 2 of this ridiculous game of cricket? Well, no! George Bell who has his 20th birthday on Saturday had been in at the end of Day 1 alongside Tom Hartley. Bell impressed, facing 28 balls for his 24 runs and deserved to be on the winning side. Hartley too, he saw off 35 balls for his 23. Lancashire went from 7 for 6 to 73 All Out. Shane Snater took 6 for 10 in his 8 overs. The innings lasted for just 23.4 overs.

Photos of Lancashire’s innings today

Essex required just 98 to win this match, did they get them – NO! They we’re bowled out in 22.2 overs for just 59. Captain Tom Westley faced 41 balls, scoring just 13 balls. Alastair Cook had the ‘top score’ of 14. He, Dan Lawrence and Matt Critchley formed a trio that became a hat-trick for George Balderson. I am an Essex fan through and through but I along with pretty much everyone there was happy for the 21 year old. I make no apology for so many celebration photos. Balderson took 5 for 14 in his 7 overs and Will Williams 4 for 24 in his 8.2 overs.

Photos from Essex 22.2 over innings

Essex now wait to see whether they face consequences for this wicket, the ground staff seem to have struggled to get things right this season, from that first game with 1,095 runs in 2 innings that lasted over 346 overs to this match that saw 370 runs and 40 wickets in 4 innings, with just 125 overs bowled. That, by anyone’s standards is woeful. I spoke to several sets of Lancashire fans who are in Chelmsford until Friday, how incredibly disappointing in spite of the win for their team. Essex have not only lost the game but also the revenue from the next 2 days. We now watch this space for possible points deductions that could see Essex start with a negative balance in 2023.

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