• Specsavers County Championship 2m

    The final countdown for the Championship & Buttler makes a mark

    Middlesex drew with Lancashire to ensure a three-way, final-match shootout for the Championship title...

    An inspired Lancashire performance helped set up a thrilling title race finale, as Middlesex could only draw against the Red Rose. With just 10 points separating the top three - and the top two facing off at Lord’s - it’s set to be a tense final round. Brilliant news if you’re a neutral, but good luck sleeping this weekend if your heart lies with Middlesex, Yorkshire or Somerset!

    The excitement was palpable when Middlesex set Lancashire 309 to win and superstar smasher Jos Buttler came out to open. It then reached fever pitch when he started playing the kind of shots we’re more used to seeing in the Blast - scooped six, anyone?! Luckily for the table-toppers, he smacked 26 from 14 balls before Steven Finn got the better of him.

    The bowlers who took the plaudits in a gripping finish as Durham confirmed their Division One status with a superb 21-run win over Surrey. England hero Ben Stokes bagged four wickets, while seam partners Mark Wood and Graham Onions chipped in with two and three respectively. From the end-of-match celebrations, we reckon they probably enjoyed that win!

    He may have been on the losing team, but Jason Roy’s return to red-ball cricket certainly deserved more. The Surrey star followed his 120 in the first innings with a fluid 96 in the second and looked very comfortable in the longer format. Will we see him in the England Test squad one day soon?

    It was a momentous day at Essex and not because their promotion party is in full swing. Graham Napier played his final game at Chelmsford and bowed out to a big ovation from the crowd, and David Masters announced at lunchtime he was also hanging up his boots after a 16-year career. I’m sure the lads will raise a glass, or seven, to the county stalwarts tonight. Well played, chaps.

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