Lancashire lift championship crown
Lancashire rampantly chased down 211 in under 30 overs to claim their first outright LV= County Championship crown in 77 years following their eight-wicket victory over Somerset on a breathtaking day at Taunton.
With Warwickshire struggling to break down a spirited Hampshire side in their draw at the Rose Bowl, Paul Horton and Stephen Moore got Lancashire off to a flyer in their run-chase, while Steven Croft and Karl Brown led them over the line with 4.5 overs of their permitted 34 to spare.
The Red Rose’s fate was out of their hands at the beginning of the day but they were not discouraged by their position or lower order resistance from Somerset.
Peter Trego made a defiant 120 that said much for Somerset's refusal to lie down, sharing stands of 75 and 95 with Alfonso Thomas and Murali Kartik for the eighth and ninth wicket respectively in stretching their overnight 105 for five to 310 all out.
However, Horton and Moore put on 131 inside 17 overs, with both passing half-centuries and although they departed within the space of three balls, Croft and Brown held their nerve with an unbroken 78 partnership to start the celebrations.
Michael Carberry and Neil McKenzie both registered centuries as Warwickshire’s bowlers were made to toil.
Resuming on 43 for three, still 126 runs in arrears, Hampshire looked in dire straits but Carberry and McKenzie refused to buckle and they put on 182, with the former reaching 111 before he was disputably trapped in front by Chris Woakes.
Despite the presence of Chris Metters, whose 5-115 will provide scant consolation, McKenzie’s unbeaten 115 ensured Warwickshire would not be able to conjure a result and Hampshire had a lead of 157 before a draw was agreed.
Durham completed a 151-run win over Worcestershire at the Emirates Durham ICG, 15 minutes after lunch
Chasing a challenging 365 for victory, the visitors - resuming on 65 for two - initially prospered with James Cameron and Moeen Ali extending their stand to 78 until Moeen fell for 38.
Cameron became the first of Ian Blackwell’s three victims, for 47, as Worcestershire slipped to 213 all out with Scott Borthwick’s three wickets polishing off the tail.
Warwickshire’s sixth bonus point yesterday ended Durham’s faint title hopes and relegated Hampshire, meaning previously-threatened Worcestershire will play in the top flight next year.
Sussex moved above last year’s champions Nottinghamshire to finish in fifth place thanks to victory by an innings and five runs at Trent Bridge.
Naved Arif did the damage today, taking but two of the remaining six wickets for figures of 4-41. Notts resumed on 103 for four but quickly subsided to 172 all out, only tailender Luke Fletcher resisting with a belligerent 39 from 22 balls.
Middlesex went up as Division Two champions courtesy of an anxious five-wicket win over Leicestershire, 90 minutes after lunch at Grace Road, denying Northamptonshire promotion.
First-innings centurion Ned Eckersley, who picked up on 18 in a total 222 for seven, went on to 50 with support from the tail. However, Ollie Rayner snared Eckersley en route to 4-43 to help end the innings on 306.
Chasing 124, Sam Robson and Andrew Strauss began well but fell for 32 and 30 respectively, starting a slide to 90 for five. John Simpson and another first-innings hundred-maker, Gareth Berg, calmed Middlesex’s nerves with rapid, unbeaten knocks of 27 and 19 to seal victory.
Alviro Petersen signed off as Glamorgan captain in style with a stylish 70 to inspire his side to an eight-wicket victory over Kent in the floodlit match at Canterbury.
Lower order respite from Azhar Mahmood and Geraint Jones - both of whom went past their half-centuries - lifted Kent to 312 all out after the had resumed on 148 for five. Dean Cosker was the pick of Glamorgan’s bowlers with 4-106.
Chasing 127 to finish their season with a flourish, Glamorgan were indebted to Petersen, who is to return to South Africa at the end of the season and struck 10 fours in his 54-ball knock to lead his side to victory.