Notts seal title

Lv County Championship
Robert Key

Robert Key batted through the pain barrier for Kent © Getty Images

Nottinghamshire sealed their first County Championship title since 1987 as Andrew Harris bowled them to the victory they needed against Kent at Canterbury.

Harris (6-76) helped Notts over the line, hustling Kent out for 205 to complete a 214-run victory, after captain Stephen Fleming had brokered a favourable deal with his opposite number Dave Fulton to leave the hosts chasing a highly improbable 420 at six an over in a vain attempt to prolong their own hopes of nicking the title.

With Fulton declaring overnight on 237 for five, some part-time bowling fed the Nottinghamshire batsmen as Jason Gallian (74 not out) and Chris Read (63) helped the visitors to 170 for three.

The early loss of Robert Key only increased Kent's difficulties in the run chase and despite 64 from Martin van Jaarsveld, 37 from Min Patel and 28 from Niall O'Brien Kent could not hold out against Harris.

Hampshire captain Shane Warne bowled his side into a commanding position against Glamorgan with 4-50 on day three but with Notts' victory their bid for the championship title was already over.

The Australia leg spinner helped dismiss their hosts for 249 - with only David Hemp (51) and Ryan Watkins (41) making any impression - in reply to Hampshire's 350.

Fellow Aussie Simon Katich (49) and South African Sean Ervine (75) then extended the visitors' lead to 271 with seven wickets in hand heading into the final day on Sunday.

Durham will join Nottinghamshire in Division One next season after they clinched their first championship promotion when their rain-ruined match against Northamptonshire at Chester-le-Street was abandoned as a draw.

Set a target of 246 in a minimum of 44 overs in a match they did not need to win, Durham were 38 for two after 15 overs when bad light intervened.

With little immediate prospect of an improvement, Northants quickly agreed to an abandonment, despite them needing to win to retain any hope of promotion.

The home side advanced their overnight first innings 171 for six to 270 all out to avoid the follow-on as Damien Wright completed a five-wicket haul.

Northants declared on 101 for seven, during which Callum Thorp claimed three for 10, but it made little difference as the game petered out into a draw.

Yorkshire established a commanding 304-run lead over Derbyshire as they looked to book their promotion to the top flight on the second day of their match.

Resuming on 177 for one in reply to their hosts' 216, Anthony McGrath (158) and Ian Harvey (103) both hit centuries with Matthew Wood (76) and Simon Guy (42) boosting the total to a healthy 520.

South Africa's Ant Botha was the pick of the Derbyshire bowlers with four for 90.