LANCASHIRE could head into Sunday's Roses clash with champions Yorkshire top of the Specsavers County Championship after polishing off Surrey inside three days at Emirates Old Trafford.
The 2011 Division One winners, unfancied then, are dominating again having won three of their first five matches following promotion.
They completed a comprehensive innings and 96-run victory over a Surrey side lacking confidence and beset by injuries midway through the afternoon and they have now won their first three home Championship matches in a season for the first time since 1952.
The visitors, minus injured Rory Burns, lost eight wickets for 45 runs in 100 balls from almost immediately after lunch to slip from 62 for two to 107 all out inside 38 overs of their second innings.
Kyle Jarvis, with six wickets in the first innings, was the star of the show again. He added five for 49 in the second to finish with career-best match figures of 11-119 in 37 overs.
Having conceded a first-innings lead of 203 before lunch on day three, Surrey started their second innings with further disruption following illness to Steven Davies.
Burns was ruled out of the rest of the game with mild concussion following a blow to the helmet whilst fielding at short-leg on day two, while Davies could not bat until 10 minutes after lunch having been off the field.
Their task of saving the game was made much harder through a 10th-wicket stand of 63 between Jarvis and Simon Kerrigan, who finished with 35 and 32 not out respectively.
It was Lancashire's third successive 10th-wicket partnership in this fixture dating back to last season, with the pair hitting a boundary apiece in the first two overs of play to take the score from 342 for nine overnight to 350 and ensure a fourth batting bonus point.
Stuart Meaker wrapped up the innings by getting Jarvis caught behind down leg-side to finish with four for 78.
Burns' absence from the top of the order forced Tom Curran into the role.
And although he had never batted higher than seven in first-class cricket before, he did an admirable job for 53 off 104 balls. Unfortunately for Surrey, he was given no support.
Tom Bailey had Arun Harinath caught behind in the 10th over before a Neil Wagner slower ball did for Kumar Sangakkara as he chipped to mid-off, leaving the score at 46 for two shortly before lunch.
Then came the remarkable early afternoon spell which put the final nail in Surrey's coffin.
Jarvis, bowling the second over after lunch, trapped Jason Roy lbw and had Ben Foakes caught behind for a second-ball duck, leaving the score at 62 for four in the 20th.
He then had James Burke superbly caught by Liam Livingstone running back from first slip following a top-edge in his next over before Bailey had Davies, batting at seven, caught behind.
Jarvis later bowled Gareth Batty in the 30th over and trapped Mathew Pillans lbw in the 32nd.
Wagner wrapped up the win when he had Curran caught at short fine-leg after he had reached 50.
Should Durham complete victory over Warwickshire at Edgbaston, Lancashire will remain top of Division One heading into the next round of fixtures.