Basildon

England, United Kingdom

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  1. Nothing much to celebrate, say Essex

    Essex (171) beat Northants (81 and 45) by an innings and 44 runs

    Speculation persists among cricket statisticians all over England as to where exactly Northamptonshire's embarrassing capitulation this morning at Chelmsford ranks in the history of shortest County Championship matches.

    Their lowest Championship score in 75 years: Bowled out for just 45 half an hour into the fourth session to lose by an innings to an Essex side who had only made 170!

    The only thing for sure is that it ensured that Essex finished top of Division Two - and they were even given the Division Two trophy (last won by them when thy got promoted in 2016) to mark it. And that didn't mean much to their stand-in skipper, England batman Dan Lawrence after two County Championship wins in 2017 and 2019 (when they also won the T20 Blast) and the Bob Willis Trophy in 2020.

    Essex with the Division Two trophy

    “We didn’t feel great taking a photo next to the Division Two winners board," he told BBC Radio Essex. "It's not something we’re going to celebrate. We’re a club that wants to be winning Division One.”

    “We’ve lost two games of cricket this season and yet we’re finishing seventh. We feel we’re in the top three teams in the country but that’s fine.

    "The boys need to stay hungry and understand we’re disappointed even though we’ve finished nicely. We want to be up there trying to win Division One.”