Sajid Mahmood claimed three wickets as Lancashire put the finishing touches to their second LV=County Championship win on the bounce against Essex at Chelmsford.
The hosts were bowled out for 173 in their second innings, leaving Lancashire the simple task of scoring just 38 runs to win before tea.
Opener Tom Smith fell for one and Stephen Moore for 17, but Paul Horton and Ashwell Prince confirmed the eight-wicket victory with more than four sessions to spare. Lancashire claim 22 points.
Wicketkeeper Luke Sutton, who impressed with five victims in Essex’s second innings, said: “It was another three days of hard work. I think these games tend to unfold quite quickly, but they happen on the back of some hard work at the start.
“It’s very, very satisfying to get our second win of the season. We’re in good shape, but we’ve known that right the way through pre-season. To get a couple of wins in April, especially when the weather can be quite disruptive, is great.”
England bowler James Anderson also took three wickets in Essex’s second innings, including one in the afternoon session when he forced Mark Pettini to chop onto his stumps. Anderson will link up with England’s World Twenty20 squad having claimed second innings figures of 3-53 from 22 overs - and impressive match figures of 9-97.
Glen Chapple, who is now only one wicket away from reaching 700 first-class scalps for the county after his 2-60, Simon Kerrigan and Smith all struck second innings’ blows today, but Mahmood’s triple strike ensured he was the stand-out bowler on day three.
The quickie had Jaik Mickleburgh caught behind by Sutton with his third ball of the day - then had Ryan ten Doeschate out in the same manner and Tim Phillips lbw in the space of three balls in his final over before lunch. He finished with 3-18 from eleven overs.
Sutton continued: “In the first innings Saj took a bit of time to get into his rhythm.
“But, second innings, we encouraged him to really attack it and bowl as quick as he could because there was a bit of uneven bounce. He hit his straps. Hopefully he will take a lot from that because we’ll need him now that Jimmy’s gone.”
England opening batsman Alastair Cook top scored for Essex with 50, but he was Chapple’s first victim of the day when he fell caught behind.
Sutton, who had Chris Wright stumped off Kerrigan to complete Essex’s second innings, was in slick form behind the timbers. The best of handful of dismissals was a stunning one-handed catch down the leg-side to dismiss Mickleburgh.
“I felt great,” he said. “I was trying to explain it to Mark Chilton. Sometimes bowlers have good rhythm. Today was a bit like that with my wicketkeeping. I felt loose and everything felt easy.
“It was nice to make a contribution to what was a very good bowling performance.”
Horton finished 12 not out as the visitors knocked off the runs in the 13th over of their second innings. Smith was caught behind by Foster off Maurice Chambers and Moore caught at mid-off by David Masters off slow left-armer Phillips.
Anderson now links up with the England World Twenty20 squad tomorrow after playing an important role in both Lancashire’s wins against Warwickshire and Essex.
Sutton believes he one of the best two swing bowlers in the world alongside Dale Steyn. He added: “There are other quality bowlers around, but they’re all different to what Jimmy’s got. It’s a pleasure to keep to him.”
Lancashire Lightning face Surrey Lions in their Clydesdale Bank 40 opener at Whitgift School, Croydon on Sunday afternoon.