Lancs skipper’s praise for new champs Essex
STEVEN Croft admits Essex are deserving winners of the Specsavers County Championship after Lancashire’s title hopes died with defeat at Somerset.
The Chelmsford-based side have wrapped up the Division One crown with two matches to spare, having won eight of their 12 games.
Two of the four they have drawn came against Lancashire home and away, and in both the Red Rose had the upper hand.
But with Lancashire having won just four games and drawing six, Emirates Old Trafford skipper Croft admits the best side won the title.
“Massive congratulations to Essex. That’s eight games they have won, which is an incredible effort, and they are thoroughly deserving winners of the Championship,” he said. “We had a close game against them at the start of the season and a couple of other matches could have gone our way with a bit of luck.
“But it was a tough task staying close to Essex the way they have been playing and we will take a lot of positives out of the season.”
Ironically, Lancashire’s title bid ended on the same ground and on the same date six years after they won the title themselves in 2011. Up against it having followed on, Lancashire lost their last two wickets quickly yesterday as they were bowled out for 269 in their second innings, leaving Somerset a winning target of just 68, which they knocked off with seven wickets to spare.