CRASHING THE PARTY
Division Two’s promotion race is officially going down to the wire, thanks to Northants crashing Worcs and Notts’ promotion party. If Notts had won today, both teams would have secured the top two spots, but Northants brushed their rivals aside to win by 124 runs and stay firmly in the race. To go up, Worcs need 6 points against Durham, Notts require 12 points at Sussex and Northants need to win at Leicestershire and hope other results go their way. Watch this space!
TOO MANY COOKS?
Not if you’re Essex. While Alastair Cook broke opposition hearts with the bat earlier this season, young bowler Sam Cook - or #LittleChef as he is fondly referred to - withered the soul of Hampshire with a maiden first-class five-for to complete a remarkable comeback victory for the champions. Out for 76 and then made to follow-on, a defiant century from Dan Lawrence set the platform for a last day win that might just be Essex’s best in what has been a spectacular season for the club.
WHITE ROSE RISING
Yorkshire survived a worrying collapse to record a vital two-wicket win against Warwickshire and take a huge step towards Division One safety. Matt Fisher and Steve Patterson showed nerves of steel to put on a 78-run eighth-wicket partnership and see the White Rose home, after they’d fallen to 96/7 chasing 175 to win. Their fourth win of the season leaves them in a very strong position going into the final round next week.
SURREY SECURE SAFETY
Surrey secured their Div One status as they beat relegation-threatened Somerset by six wickets. The Cidermen were bowled out with a lead of 142 and 39 overs left in the game, but any hopes of a draw were soon quashed as Ben Foakes (42*) and Kumar Sangakkara (35) set about chasing their target. In Sanga’s final innings at the Kia Oval, he received a wonderful standing ovation and every Somerset player ran to shake his hand as he left the field. How he’ll be missed!
SUSSEX SEAM THROUGH DURHAM
Chris Jordan, Stuart Wittingham and George Garton took three apiece as Sussex steamrolled through Durham. Paul Collingwood’s men started the day 11/0 needing 253 to win but the Sussex seam attack soon got about its work, reducing them to 131/9 when heavy rain began to fall. A nervous 2 hour-wait ensued before the players got back on and Sussex wrapped up victory within six balls of the restart.