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    Essex continues the rampant start to the season with Porter and Snater sharing a six-wicket haul
Essex continues the rampant start to the season with Porter and Snater sharing a six-wicket haul
Jamie Porter helped wrap up Lancashire's second innings. Source: Getty Images

Essex continues the rampant start to the season with Porter and Snater sharing a six-wicket haul

Jamie Porter and Shane Snater gave Essex an innings victory in three days at Chelmsford as they tore through a fragile Lancashire batting line-up. Essex's pace bowlers took advantage of a low-set pitch to take three wickets apiece as Lancashire capitulated for the second time in the match in just 41 overs.

Porter got the ball rolling with the first of nine Lancashire wickets to fall in the session, finishing with 3 for 24, before Snater took 3 for 17 in the second innings to take his match figures to 7 for 59. Essex's second win of the season, worth 22 points, moved them further clear at the top of the Vitality County Championship with just three games to play.

Essex captain Tom Westley stated:

"We have started the season fantastically well. Even that last game against Kent we were a bit unlucky with the weather so potentially, it could have been three wins from three.”

Lancashire started the third day on 10 for 1 and needed another 221 runs to make Essex bat again. They lost five wickets in the first hour and never recovered, with the match ending in extra time before the scheduled lunch break.

Essex were forced to bring in 19-year-old Ronnie McKenna as a replacement behind the stumps when Michael Pepper was ruled out with a finger injury sustained the night before. The Basildon-born 2nd XI wicketkeeper, who is only the third player to do the job for Essex in three Championship matches this season, had four leg-sweeps sail past him down the leg-side in Cook's first over.

But 11 balls into his first spell, he made his first significant contribution when nightwatchman Will Williams edged Porter into his gloves after 36 balls.

That sparked a catastrophic collapse that saw four wickets fall in 16 balls. Josh Bohannon lasted 25 balls before he walked across a Cook delivery and was lbw, while Snater bowled Luke Wells for a 54-ball 21. In the same Snater over, George Balderson saw the umpire's finger go up for playing down the wrong line before Tom Bruce had his off stump cartwheeled by Porter.

There was a 10-over break during which Matty Hurst and George Bell put on 30 runs before the wicketkeeper had Snater caught at square leg.

Offspinner Simon Harmer, who has rarely bowled at the seamers' haven, saw Tom Bailey run down the wicket in the fourth over of the innings and pat the ball back for a simple catch and bowl. In the next over, Jack Blatherwick followed Bailey's lead and gave Harmer more catching practice by chipping the ball back to the bowler.

Bell had lasted 40 balls and looked on course for a third fifty in four innings at Chelmsford when he edged Cook to Dean Elgar at first slip to end the match.

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