Derbyshire edge out White Rose in title battle
Usman Khawaja struck an impressive 72 not out as Derbyshire beat Hampshire at the County Ground to go up as Division Two winners.
Derbyshire and Yorkshire were promoted shortly after 6pm yesterday when Kent lost to Glamorgan in Cardiff, and the top two both emerged victorious on the last day of the LV= County Championship season.
Hampshire resumed their second innings on 142 for six but lost their last four wickets, three to spinners, for 21 runs in 5.3 overs to leave their hosts requiring 196 to win.
Paul Borrington started the slide with a superb diving catch at mid-off to remove Chris Wood and Bilal Shafayat was soon run out for 81 when he changed his mind over a suicidal single.
Derbyshire lost four wickets in the chase, but, led by Khawaja’s steady knock, easily emerged triumphant, with Ross Whiteley - who struck a key half-century in the first innings - finishing unbeaten on 38.
Yorkshire triumphed at Chelmsford, where Owais Shah provided the only meaningful resistance for Essex.
Shah finished unbeaten on 71, yet off-spinner Azeem Rafiq claimed 5-50 and Steven Patterson 4-34 as the hosts were dismissed for jut 148 in pursuit of 388.
The triumph, however, could not stop Derbyshire finishing at the summit as the White Rose missed out on the crown by virtue of having won a game fewe.
Leicestershire ensured Gloucestershire finished bottom of the table by edging to a two-wicket victory at Grace Road.
A 10th-wicket stand of 42 between Jon Batty and Liam Norwell ensured the hosts required 236 to win.
They appeared set to chase that with ease as Ned Eckersley made 63 and Josh Cobb 65, only for Will Gidman and James Fuller to turn the game on its head with three wickets apiece.
But Wayne White held his nerve to hit the winning four and ensure Leicestershire ended a largely disappointing campaign on a high.
In Division One, County Champions Warwickshire – Hampshire’s opponents in tomorrow’s Clydesdale Bank 40 final – battled gamely to avoid defeat at Trent Bridge.
Nottinghamshire added 25 to their overnight 444 for eight before declaring with a lead of 420.
Luke Fletcher, who finished unbeaten on 42, then had Varun Chopra, Jim Troughton and Darren Maddy caught behind before Warwickshire moved on to 64 for three.
Yet Chris Woakes led an impressive resistance with 80, while Ian Blackwell hit 44 - the same score Keith Barker finished on as the champions reached 290 for eight despite Paul Franks’ four-wicket burst.
At Aigburth, Luke Procter struck five times in 17 balls to complete career-best figures of 7-71 as Lancashire bowled out Surrey for 367.
Zander de Bruyn and Tom Jewell were dismissed for 125 and 70 respectively and Lancashire then reached 142 for two in a tame draw, Tom Smith striking a typically aggressive 83.