LANCASHIRE head coach Ashley Giles is keen his side learn their lessons from this season as the Red Rose look set to miss out on the LV County Championship Division Two title.

With one day of play left in the season Lancashire look set to draw their match at Essex having closed day three on 131-2 in reply to the home side’s 384.


And with Surrey, who began the week eight points ahead of Giles’ men, in a strong position in their match with Northamptonshire where the visitors still trial the leaders by 77 runs with nine second innings wickets remaining, it would take an unlikely set of of circumstances to hand Lancashire the title.

“Overall, we have to be satisfied with our season,” said Giles who guided his side to glory in the T20 Blast last month.

“The T20 was magnificent for the whole club, we started slowly but came good in the end.

“To get promotion in the Championship was our number one aim at the start of the season and we’ve achieved that although we have probably just fallen off the edge a bit in the last three or four games.

“We need to have a look at that because we can’t afford to do that next year.”

The morning of day three in Chelmsford belonged to Burnley’s James Anderson who returned his career-best Championship figures for Lancashire.

The England fast bowler took 7-77 from 31.5 overs as Essex were bowled out for 384.

Anderson captured the last three wickets to beat his previous best in a Lancashire sweater – 6-23 against Hampshire at Southampton - 13 years ago.

He started by finding the edge when having James Foster caught in the slips by Karl Brown, his 15th haul of five wickets or more in an innings for his county at Championship level.

Graham Napier was then trapped leg before and Jamie Porter was clean bowler.

Lancashire were given an encouraging start in reply by Brown and Haseeb Hameed, the pair putting together an opening stand of 66.

Hameed, after an unconvincing start, was batting with increasing confidence as he went on to complete his half-century but shortly before tea, having taken his total to 63, he was removed by Jesse Ryder, caught at first slip by Alastair Cook.

Luis Reece had reached 25 that included a six off Ravi Bopara when play was ended for the day.

Just before tea, bad light and rain sent the players to the pavilion and the inclement weather continued for over an hour afterwards. When it finally stopped, the sun emerged but umpires Nick Cook and Michael Burns judged that the outfield was s too wet to allow a resumption of play.