London: Leicestershire ended a 37-match winless run lasting two years and nine months as they beat Essex by six wickets in England's County Championship on Wednesday.
Leicestershire finished bottom of Division Two in 2013 and 2014 after winless seasons, but they stopped the rot by reaching their victory target of 163 on the final morning of the game at Chelmsford.
It was also their first away victory since 2010 and it saw them move off the bottom of the table at the expense of Essex. "It's a great feeling for all of us because we've had some dark days in the last couple of years," said Leicestershire wicketkeeper Lewis Hill, who hit the winning runs. "But we've felt this was coming all season, after the changes at the club in the winter, with Wasim Khan coming in as chief executive and a new captain and coach."
First-innings centurion Angus Robson set Leicestershire on their way with a score of 71 and although his dismissal left the visitors on 117 for four, Andrea Agathangelou's brisk 42 not out carried them to the line. Hill (18 not out) secured victory on the stroke of lunch, smashing first-class debutant Aron Nijjar for six before securing a long-awaited victory with a single into the covers.
"I was a bit nervous going in after we'd lost a couple of wickets, but tried to concentrate on my batting and Andrea was great at the other end," Hill added. "I wasn't sure at first whether that last one was going past cover, and I ended up coming back for a second (run) even though we didn't need it. I've already had some stick from the lads for that!
"We had a good sing in the dressing room, but this won't be it for us now. We want to start climbing up that table, and thinking about promotion like we said before the start of the season." Leicestershire were the first team to go back-to-back seasons without winning a match since Northamptonshire, who endured a winless run of 99 matches between 1935 and 1939.