Somerset’s championship hopes ended with a defeat to Yorkshire, while Lancashire and Warwickshire ensured that the title race will go into the last round of matches with wins over Hampshire and Nottinghamshire.
Warwickshire completed the expected innings victory over a seemingly disinterested Nottinghamshire before lunch on the final day at Edgbaston. The visitors, resuming on 136 for six and needing another 198 just to make the home side bat again, were dismissed for 222 with loan signing Chris Wright again impressing and ending with five for 74. Alex Hales was the only Notts batsman to cause the Bears any problems as he carried his bat for 106 – an innings that will do his England hopes no harm coming as it did in front of Warwickshire coach and England selector Ashley Giles.
Sussex look to have avoided relegation with a 251-run win over relegation-threatened Worcestershire at New Road. The visitors declared on their overnight 267 for four to leave the Pears needing 421 for an unlikely win. They were dismissed for 169 with only captain Stephen Moore offering any resistance with 61 as James Anyon and Amjad Khan shared seven wickets.
Ryan Sidebottom ripped through the Somerset lower-order on the final day at Headingley to retain Yorkshire’s exceptionally slim hopes of avoiding the drop. He took the last four Somerset wickets for eight runs to end with seven for 37 and match figures of 11 for 98 as they were bowled out for 132. Yorkshire then knocked off the 203 runs required for victory for the loss of four wickets as Jonny Bairstow ended unbeaten on 53.
Simon Kerrigan took an astonishing nine for 51 to bowl Lancashire to an incredible final day victory over Hampshire at Liverpool. He returned by far the best figures of the season and ended with match figures of 12 for 192 as bottom side Hampshire were dismissed for 138. Earlier, Lancashire had declared their second innings on 353 for three with Stephen Moore ending on 169.
In Division Two, Surrey took the last five Essex wickets for 97 runs at Chelmsford to give themselves a 109-run win and further their promotion chances. Graham Napier held the visitors up briefly with an entertaining 80 from only 64 balls as he scored an astonishing 82 percent of the home side’s runs this morning, but Tim Linley and Chris Jordan – who is returning to form after a long injury lay-off – ended with four wickets each as they were bowled out for 239.
Kent were all out for 196 on the final day against Derbyshire in pursuit of an eminently gettable 298 at the County Ground. Joe Denly followed up his first-innings 199 with a fluent 61 and Darren Stevens hit a half-century, but four wickets apiece from Wes Durston and Jonathan Clare meant that Kent succumbed to a 101-run defeat.
Middlesex’s rain-reduced game against Glamorgan at Cardiff ended in the inevitable draw. After the first two days were completely lost to rain, it was always going to be about how many points promotion challengers Middlesex could salvage and they managed nine after declaring their first innings on 302 for eight. Chris Rogers (121), John Simpson (95) and Will Owen (five for 124) shared the plaudits.
Ned Eckersley fell for 63 as Leicestershire were all out for 311 in the second innings after following on against Gloucestershire at Bristol. This left the home side needing just 53 for victory which they knocked off without the loss of a wicket.
County News in Brief
Derbyshire have signed Matt Lineker on a one-year contract.
Hampshire have announced that they will not be renewing the contract of their captain Dominic Cork. The 40 year-old is expected to retire from the game although Essex are believed to be interested in signing him.
© Cricket World 2011