Needing 450 to win, it took Essex less than 29 overs to fold up Yorkshire’s challenge at the County Ground in Chelmsford on Wednesday (September 27).
Matthew Fisher, with his 25, was not only the highest run-getter in the last innings but also the only batsman to register double-digit scores. James Porter and Simon Harmer bagged a brace while Neil Wagner took the final wicket.
Essex, who resumed the day on 134 for 2, lost Daniel Lawrance early in the day. Apart from him, Nick Browne (83), Ryan ten Doeschate (57) and Simon Harmer (58) also added crucial runs before they declared their second innings on 334 for 7.
Essex have finished their campaign with 10 wins from 14 games, 248 points to their credit and the Championship title.
Middlesex found themselves in all sorts of trouble, tottering at 40 for 3, chasing a mammoth 349. Given the forecasts for rains all through the next two days, Somerset declared their innings at 250 for 9. They reached this stage thanks to James Hildreth, stroking a century. Ravi Patel had a fifer to his name as he inflicted damage upon the batting order.
The Middlesex openers did start off watchfully, but a collapse triggered by Jack Leach, saw them lose three wickets for a mere eight runs. Fortunately for them, the light dropped drastically to snatch almost 40 overs from the day’s play.
In yet another rain-affected contest in the last round, Lancashire were denied a formality of knocking another 44 runs to seal a victory. Liam Livingstone, after a six-wicket haul to close out the Surrey second innings, contributed with the bat as well, notching up an unbeaten half-century.
A lackluster Surrey threw away all the advantage, collapsing from a 154-run opening stand to lose all their ten wickets for 88 runs post that. Stephen Perry provided a perfect foil for Livingstone as the duo made quick work of the Surrey batsmen post lunch.
It sadly isn’t the ideal farewell Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lankan legend, who remained unbeaten on 35. Lancashire were eventually set 176 for victory and to seal the second spot in division one.