• Specsavers County Championship 2m

    Top five: Specsavers County Championship 31 August

    Essex continued their march to the Division One title while Notts followed suit in the second tier


    There was a bizarre end to the London derby at the Kia Oval after a crossbow bolt was fired onto the playing surface half an hour into the evening session. The umpires took the players off the pitch, some running full pelt to the changing rooms, while an announcement asked all spectators to move indoors. The police were called and are still investigating. Thankfully, there were no reported injuries.


    I think we can now safely call Essex Champions elect. Another thrilling victory came courtesy of a rampant bowling display after walloping some important morning session runs to set Somerset 289 to win. Then Jamie Porter took over, just like he did in the first innings. He took 7/55 to finish with incredible match figures of 12/95 and hand Essex a lead of 36 with four games left.


    Somerset’s capitulation dampened Lancashire’s enthusiasm ever so slightly after they managed to beat the weather to beat Warwickshire. Tim Ambrose held up their victory charge with a defiant century, and once the visitors had been dismissed for 344 that left just 41 to win. With dark clouds approaching, the openers teed off, Haseeb Hameed smashing one over the ropes, as they got home just before the heavens opened.


    And so is Ravichandran Ashwin. The Indian spinner underlined his superstar status by helping to rip through Gloucestershire in their second innings, taking 5/68 to go with his 3/94 in the first. The win took Worcestershire back into second, above Sussex, and it looks like Mr Ashwin enjoyed the dressing room celebrations as much as the game...


    The Nottinghamshire juggernaut continues. They wrapped up a 163-run victory over Northants early on the final day with Jake Ball and Samit Patel both taking three wickets apiece. They now lead second-placed Worcestershire by 32 points and Sussex, in third, by 51 points. It’s all but certain theirs is to be a one-season stay in the second tier.

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