Glamorgan's win over Kent late on the third day at Cardiff means that it is Derbyshire and Yorkshire who will be replacing Lancashire and Worcestershire in Division One for next season. Worcestershire themselves, meanwhile, ended their disappointing season on a new low by slumping to an innings defeat at Taunton that secured Somerset second position in the Division One table.
Somerset completed the expected innings victory on the third day against Worcestershire at Taunton. They declared their first innings on 512 for nine, with Nick Compton ending on 155 not out, and then bowled the visitors out for just 152. Abdur Rehman took five for 36 to end with match figures of 14 for 101, with Alexei Kervezee the only Worcestershire batsman to prosper with 76.
Durham chased down their target of 165 for the loss of just five wickets on the third day against Sussex at Chester-le-Street. Following the early loss of opener Keaton Jennings for just one as the first of three wickets for Lewis Hatchett, Michael Richardson (58) and Ben Stokes (45) added 67 for the third-wicket to take them into three figures. Phil Mustard then saw them home and ended on 16 not out off 11 balls.
Nottinghamshire lead by 395 runs at the end of the third day against County Champions elect Warwickshire at Trent Bridge. They batted throughout the day, progressing from 49 without loss to reach stumps on 444 for eight. Steven Mullaney, Neil Edwards and Paul Franks all passed 50, with Mullaney falling six short of his century as one of four wickets for Jeetan Patel.
Surrey and Lancashire finally got their match at Aigburth underway at the third attempt, with the former closing strongly on 324 for five. Zander de Bruyn ended the day unbeaten on 105 and shared a third-wicket stand of 59 with Rory Burns (73) and an unbroken one of 146 with Tom Jewell (57 not out) for the sixth-wicket. Luke Procter took two wickets for Lancashire - including that of the recalled Steve Davies for a second-ball duck.
A valiant 81 from Geraint Jones wasn't enough to prevent Kent from defeat at the hands of Glamorgan, and thus confirm that it would be Derbyshire and Yorkshire who would be promoted from Division Two. Resuming on 33 for two, Kent were all out for 280 with Mike Powell (41) and Jones adding 91 for the sixth-wicket. This left Glamorgan needing 67 to win, which they knocked off for the loss of three wickets.
Essex closed on 28 for two in pursuit of an unlikely 388 to win against Yorkshire. They lost both openers - Tom Westley to Steven Patterson and Jaik Mickleburgh to Azeem Rafiq - in the 11 overs that they faced in their run chase after Yorkshire had declared their second innings on 252 for eight. Adam Lyth (51) and Azeem Rafiq (75 not out) both made their second half-centuries of the match, with the latter sharing a crucial seventh-wicket stand of 110 with Anthony McGrath (68).
Derbyshire look favourites going into the final day against Hampshire at the County Ground. The visitors reached stumps on 142 for six in their second innings after bowling the home side out for 275 in their first. Ross Whiteley ended unbeaten on 57 in that innings and then took two late wickets as Hampshire closed 139 runs ahead with Bilal Shafayat unbeaten on a determined 52 off 151 balls.
Gloucestershire lead by 193 runs with one second innings wicket remaining going into the final day against Leicestershire at Grace Road. Dan Housego and Will Gidman made contrasting half-centuries and put on 74 for the sixth-wicket, while Wayne White and Claude Henderson shared seven wickets. Earlier, Leicestershire had been bowled out for 295 in their first innings, with James Fuller ending with figures of four for 51.
Day Four, CCD1, Lancashire v Surrey at Aigburth
Day Four, CCD1, Nottinghamshire v Warwickshire at Trent Bridge
Day Four, CCD2, Derbyshire v Hampshire at Derby
Day Four, CCD2, Essex v Yorkshire at Chelmsford
Day Four, CCD2, Leicestershire v Gloucestershire at Grace Road
Weather Forecast: After an overcast start, tomorrow afternoon should see sunny spells and temperatures peak at between 15 and 19 degrees Celsius.
County News In Brief:
Yorkshire have emerged as the new favourites to sign Glamorgan all-rounder James Harris now that they have secured promotion to Division One of the County Championship.
Jack Brooks is understood to be considering leaving Northamptonshire in order to play Division One cricket.
Glamorgan will abandon their 'Welsh Dragons' moniker for next season, with chief executive Alan Hamer calling the name change "not as effective as we had hoped." The daffodil will also be re-introduced as the club's official logo.
England bowler James Anderson has extended his contract with Lancashire until the end of the 2014 season.
Somerset all-rounder Peter Trego has signed to play for New Zealand state side Central Districts in their domestic T20 tournament.
Craig Meschede and George Dockrell have signed new two-year contracts with Somerset. Alfonso Thomas has also extended his stay beyond the end of next season. The club have also been linked to former Surrey captain Rory Hamilton-Brown who will leave The Oval at the end of the season.
© Cricket World 2012
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