Warwickshire top despite Hales ton

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Alex Hales

Alex Hales enhanced his burgeoning reputation with an unbeaten ton but it proved to be in vain as Nottinghamshire were defeated

Alex Hales’ unbeaten century was not enough to stop Warwickshire from moving to the top of LV= County Championship Division One as they thrashed Nottinghamshire by an innings and 114 runs at Edgbaston.

Hales was stranded on 106 when Notts, who began the day on 136 for six, were dismissed for 222 before lunch on the fourth morning.

Chris Wright continued to impress at Warwickshire following his loan move from Essex and he picked up two of the final four wickets and finished with 5-74.

Jim Troughton’s men would have been praying Hampshire could hold out for a draw but astonishing figures of 9-51 from Simon Kerrigan saw Lancashire sneak to a thrilling 222-run victory inside the final five minutes at Aigburth.

Stephen Moore’s unbeaten 169 and Karl Brown’s 54 had given Lancashire the platform to build a substantial lead and they promptly declared on 353 for three before lunch to leave the visitors chasing an unlikely 361.

Kerrigan then proceeded to scythe through Hampshire and only Michael Carberry avoided falling to the 22-year-old, although he was dismissed by left-arm spin off Gary Keedy.

Last-wicket pair Neil McKenzie and James Tomlinson held up Lancashire’s bowlers for nearly an hour before Kerrigan snared the former in the dying moments for 38 off 186 balls.

The Red Rose are now just three points behind Warwickshire going into both sides’ final games of the season at Somerset and Hampshire respectively. Third-placed Durham, who were not in action this week, are 12 behind Lancashire.

A career-best performance from Ryan Sidebottom helped Yorkshire finish their season with a flourish at Headingley Carnegie with a six-wicket victory over Somerset.

Sidebottom took three of the four wickets to fall this morning to claim a career-best 7-37 and end with match figures of 11-98 as Somerset crumpled from 130 for six to 132 all out.

That left Yorkshire chasing 203 and Jonathan Bairstow's unbeaten 53, allied to earlier knocks of 46 from Joe Root and 44 from Anthony McGrath, saw them over the line.

Victory for the first time at Headingley this season staved off relegation for now but Worcestershire need just one more point to send Yorkshire down, despite their 251-run defeat to Sussex at New Road.

Mark Wallace

Mark Wallace, pictured, and Stewart Walters shared an unbroken 70-run partnership to deny Division Two leaders Middlesex victory

Set an unlikely 421 for victory on the final day after Sussex declared on 267 for four overnight, Worcestershire collapsed from 107 for three to 169 all out although they only need to avoid a nightmare showing at Durham to seal their top-flight status.

Only captain Daryl Mitchell offered any form of resistance with a battling 61 at the top of the order. James Anyon and Amjad Khan shared seven wickets to help Sussex emphatically ensure that they will be competing in Division One next season.

Division Two leaders Middlesex require 12 points from their final match of the campaign at rock-bottom Leicestershire to ensure promotion after Glamorgan held on for a rain-reduced draw at the SWALEC Stadium.

Stand-in captain Chris Rogers and John Simpson extended their overnight stand of 90 to 145, in making 121 and 95 respectively, before Rogers declared on 302 for eight - a first-innings lead of 145.

Makeshift opener Nick James resisted with 49 but, soon after he was out, the hosts slipped to 108 for four. However, Stewart Walters and Mark Wallace shared an unbroken 70-run stand.

Third-placed Surrey moved a point behind Northamptonshire by completing a 109-run win over Essex at Chelmsford this morning.

Chris Jordan, who made two career-high scores in the game, demolished the hosts’ tail with four wickets to finish with 4-57, another career-best.

Once Essex resumed on 142 for five in pursuit of 349 for victory, only Graham Napier offered resistance with an aggressive 80 from 64 balls. Tim Linley took one wicket today for figures of 4-61.

Next week Surrey host Derbyshire and Northants are at home to Gloucestershire, who are eight points behind Surrey after thrashing Leicestershire by 10 wicket at Bristol.

Following on, the visitors slipped from 255 for four overnight to 311 all out as Ned Eckersley could only add 11 to his 52 yesterday. David Payne took three wickets to claim nine in the match.

Chris Dent and Richard Coughtrie required nine overs to knock off 53 for victory.

Fifth-placed Derbyshire, who cannot be promoted, enjoyed a 101-run win over Kent at Derby.

Chasing 298 for victory, the visitors resumed on nought for one following the loss of nightwatchman Adam Riley yesterday.

Despite 68 from opener Joe Denly, who hit 199 in the first innings, and Darren Stevens’ 54, Kent slumped to 196 all out as Jonathan Clare and Wes Durston shared eight wickets.

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