Essex Cricket Club ran out narrow two-wicket winners over Hampshire in a thrilling LV County Championship division two game at Colchester this afternoon.

Saj Mahmood was the unlikely batting hero after hitting the winning runs at a sunny Castle Park, as Essex wrapped up victory.

He combined well with Ravi Bopara, who finished unbeaten on 48.

On an eventful final day, Essex claimed nine Hampshire wickets this morning, restricting the visitors to a second innings score of 171 just before lunch.

That meant that Essex had a target of 133 to win and despite wickets falling at regular intervals, Mahmood and Bopara helped steer them home to victory.

It was the perfect way to finish the annual Colchester Cricket Festival, which has produced both County Championship and Twenty20 Blast wins for Essex over recent days.

For a full report and pictures, see Thursday's Daily Gazette.