Warwickshire underlined their LV= Insurance County Championship title-chasing credentials by completing a four-wicket win over fellow challengers Essex inside three days at Edgbaston.
Essex were bowled out for 215 in their second innings, as Chris Rushworth – fresh from a 10-for in Warwickshire’s last outing – took 4-62 (to go with his four in the first innings), while Hassan Ali also claimed 4-48.
That left the hosts a victory target of 100 and, with batting continuing to prove far from straightforward, the Bears were made to work hard to get there, reaching 100 for the loss of six wickets.
A first defeat of the season comes as a jolt for Essex after an impressive display in their draw against defending champions Surrey last week.
Warwickshire’s third win in five games continued a strong start that has far exceeded expectations after they avoided relegation by the skin of their teeth last September.
Elsewhere, Dane Paterson claimed five for 16 to propel Nottinghamshire to an innings-and-25-run victory over Northamptonshire on day three at Wantage Road.
South Africa international Paterson’s first four scalps came in an opening burst of eight overs, leaving Northants reeling at 11-4. Despite Saif Zaib (26) putting up some resistance, they never recovered and were ultimately bowled out for 72.
It follows Northamptonshire’s first-innings collapse on day two when they lost seven wickets for 17 runs and a similar dispiriting batting display in their last home game against Hampshire which also ended in an innings defeat.
Earlier Joe Clarke (76) scored his second half-century of the season to give Nottinghamshire a healthy 97-run lead which could have been higher but for career-best figures of 4-24 for James Sales and four for Tom Taylor (4-59) too.
In Division Two, Timm van der Gugten cemented his place as the leading bowler in the second tier this season as Glamorgan wrapped up a convincing victory over Worcestershire in Cardiff.
Van der Gugten (5-48) claimed his third five-wicket haul of the campaign to help finish off Worcestershire’s second innings inside the first hour of day three, before Glamorgan’s openers sealed a 10-wicket win.
Set a target of just 79, Glamorgan were seen home by Eddie Byrom, who struck a rapid 51 not out, and captain David Lloyd, who contributed an unbeaten 30.
That gave Glamorgan their first victory of the season and 20 points to keep them in the hunt for a promotion spot. Worcestershire, meanwhile, have now lost two and drawn two since their opening-round victory against Derbyshire.