LV County Championship - Division Two
Essex 161 (T J Murtagh 6-44) & 384 (R N ten Doeschate 78, M L Pettini 75, R S Bopara 54, D P Nannes 4-75, T J Murtagh 4-83) v Middlesex 583 (O A Shah 144, E J G Morgan 96, E C Joyce 63, B J M Scott 60, B A Godleman 56, Danish Kaneria 7-157)
Middlesex (22pts) beat Essex (1pts) by an innings and 38 runs
Middlesex completed victory by an innings and 38 runs on the final afternoon against Essex at Lord's.
Essex were bowled out for 384 in their second innings, failing to make the hosts bat again despite Ryan ten Doeschate's battling 78 and Alex Tudor finishing unbeaten on 47.
Seam bowler Tim Murtagh finished with figures of 4-83 to complete the first 10-wicket match haul of his eight-year first-class career.
The result is Middlesex's second win in a row and lifts them above Essex in the Division Two table.
It also provides a further riposte to a section of the county's membership, approximately 180 of whom recently signed a petition expressing no confidence in the club's leadership, particularly captain Ed Smith.
Middlesex look sure to inflict an innings defeat over rivals Essex after the visitors were reduced to 200-4, still 222 runs behind the hosts in their second innings on day three at Lords.
Dirk Nannes took 3-34 runs including the in-form Ravi Bopara, who had scored a superb 54 from 74 balls.
Earlier he had picked off Jason Gallian on 14 with his first ball of the innings and Grant Flower fell for a duck to an in-swinging full-length delivery to complete a miserable match for the Zimbabwean.
Skipper Mark Pettini (63) made a half-century from 74 balls and along with Ryan ten Doeschate (38) shared an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 81.
Having resumed the day on 442-4, Middlesex notched up a massive first-innings score of 583 and will be looking to wrap up the result early on the last day for their second successive Championship victory.
Owais Shah reminded the England selectors of his abilties with an innings of 144 to put Middlesex in a commanding position against Essex at Lord's.
Shah toured Sri Lanka and New Zealand during the winter but was overlooked throughout the Test legs of both tours and, despite the recent poor form of Paul Collingwood and Ian Bell in England's middle order, has remained on the outside so far this the summer.
The right-hander plundered 144 from 251 balls to lead Middlesex to 442-4 in reply to Essex's paltry first-innings effort of 161.
He shared century stands with Billy Godleman (53) and Ed Joyce (63) for the second and third wickets respectively before falling to leg-spinner Danish Kaneria (2-90).
Eoin Morgan (62no) and Ben Scott (46no) then rammed home the hosts' advantage with an unbroken 86-run, fifth-wicket stand as Middlesex extended their lead to 281 by the close.
Essex endured a miserable opening day to their Division Two clash against Middlesex, being bowled out for just 161 at Lord's.
Seamer Tim Murtagh picked up 6-44 to help claim maximum bowling points for the hosts, who ended the day well placed on 75-1 in reply.
The former Surrey bowler dismissed visiting skipper Mark Pettini, who must've quickly regretted his decision to bat first after winning the toss, and Ryan ten Doeschate in successive balls.
He had also claimed the first two wickets of the day but Essex briefly battled back before losing lynchpin opener Jason Gallian for 30.
Ravi Bopara finished up as top-scorer with 43 off 85 balls becoming one of three wickets for Gareth Berg, Essex losing their last seven wickets for just 30 runs.
Middlesex found batting a lot easier in between a stoppage for bad light, losing only skipper Ed Smith for 37 after he had put on 65 for the first wicket with fellow opener Billy Godleman.