Surrey stay up
Surrey retained their LV= County Championship Division One status as Worcestershire and last season’s champions Lancashire were relegated.
Surrey did their part in thrashing Nottinghamshire by 195 runs by mid-afternoon, which sent bottom side Worcestershire down.
An improbable victory for the Red Rose over Middlesex at Lord’s would have set up a decider with Surrey at Aigburth next week, but the hosts prevailed by 109 runs.
Surrey yesterday set Notts an unlikely 347 to win, although the visitors showed more interest in holding on for a draw.
The home spinners stopped them getting close, Gareth Batty’s miserly 4-30 from 21 overs plus two wickets each for Murali Kartik and Kevin Pietersen doing the job.
Middlesex made life hard for Lancashire by batting for two sessions today before setting their opponents 304 to win.
Dawid Malan added 58 to his overnight 37 and Chris Rogers 29 to his 57, Glen Chapple snaring the former en route to 5-47 - his second five-wicket haul of the match - in a total of 305 for nine declared.
The visitors chased gamely, but their former all-rounder Steven Crook took 5-48 and Ravi Patel 4-72 as they were dismissed in 32 overs to lose by 109 runs.
With Warwickshire winning the title yesterday, the race for second place continued at the PROBIZ County Ground where Somerset remarkably chased 396 with five wickets left to leapfrog Sussex.
With a decent overnight base of 155 for four, James Hildreth put on 80 with Alex Barrow and an unbroken 166 with Peter Trego. Hildreth reached 101 and Trego a 72-ball 89.
Kent threw the promotion race wide open by beating Division Two leaders Derbyshire at Canterbury.
That kept the hosts in touch with their opponents and second-placed Yorkshire, who saw off Glamorgan yesterday.
Derbyshire, 30 for one overnight in notional pursuit of 404, played for the draw but were dismissed for 181 in 91.2 overs to lose by 222 runs. Darren Stevens claimed four wickets and Matt Coles three. Usman Khawaja top-scored with 53.
Captain Jimmy Adams’ 139 was in vain as Hampshire’s promotion hopes effectively ended with a 122-run loss to Essex at the Ageas Bowl.
The hosts were already struggling at 73 for three overnight, chasing 425, but Adams and Liam Dawson extended last night’s stand to 160 before the latter was caught and bowled by Ryan ten Doeschate for 90.
Adams then received insufficient support as ten Doeschate and Reece Topley split six wickets.