The final day of matches in the penultimate round of this season’s LV= County Championship saw much decided, with Surrey relegated, Yorkshire securing second, Lancashire crowned Division Two champions and Northamptonshire within spitting distance of promotion.
Surrey are relegated from Division One of the LV= County Championship after losing comfortably to Warwickshire on the final day at Edgbaston. They agreed to set the Bears a generous 281 by forfeiting their second innings yesterday and then could only watch as they eased home by six wickets. Improving young cricketer Ateeq Javid hit an unbeaten century and added an unbroken 155 with Chris Woakes for the fifth wicket after two wickets earlier had given Surrey hope. Javid ended on 119 not out, with Woakes on 79. One of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire or Somerset will join Surrey in Division Two next season, with the latter two contesting a potentially controversial game at Trent Bridge next week.
Yorkshire recorded a consolation win over Middlesex at Headingley that sees them cement second position in the table. They were bowled out for 194 in their second innings, with Gary Ballance ninth man out for 90, to set Middlesex 277 for victory in what had been a low-scoring match. The visitors didn’t get close, in spite of Chris Rogers’ 65, and were all out for 196. Rogers took them to a position of 90 for two at one stage, but from there it was one-way traffic as the innings subsided. Jack Brooks ended with four for 33, while there were three wickets for Steven Patterson and two for Liam Plunkett.
Division Two also went a long way towards being settled, with Lancashire confirmed as champions after they drew their match at Bristol and Northamptonshire drew their game at Wantage Road. The latter now need just five points from their final fixture against Worcestershire next week to secure promotion after Essex also drew against Glamorgan.
Lancashire’s draw was always likely, with Gloucestershire still at the beginning of their first innings at the start of the day. However, Oliver Newby and Tom Smith reduced the hosts to 155 for nine at one point; still six runs away from avoiding the follow-on. Unfortunately a last-wicket stand of 54 between David Payne (16) and Matt Taylor (26) deprived them of the opportunity to go for the win that would have added the icing to the cake. The game then petered out into a draw, with Lancashire declaring their second innings at 195 for two, immediately after Luis Reece had fallen just three runs short of recording his maiden Championship century by being dismissed by Payne for 97. Captain Glen Chapple collected the Division Two trophy from ECB chief executive David Collier despite spending all of the day off the field due to a recurrence of his Achilles and hamstring injuries.
Northamptonshire’s draw was a straightforward affair as they opted for bonus points accumulation against Kent. They picked up the full quota of five batting points by reaching 431 for five thanks to centuries from James Middlebrook and David Sales. The two took their overnight second-wicket stand to 97, with Sales then adding a further 111 with Alex Wakely (55) for the third-wicket. There were then contributions of 32 not out and 35 from Rob Keogh and Andrew Hall.
Essex couldn’t force the win against Glamorgan that would have kept their hopes of promotion very much alive rather than just a mathematical possibility. A century from Owais Shah and a lightning-quick 67-ball 89 from Ravi Bopara helped them declare their first innings with a lead of 102 on 424 for six. However, Glamorgan’s top-order weren’t unduly troubled by the Essex attack and eased to 181 for two before the teams shook hands. Gareth Rees top-scored with 76 and added 82 with Will Bragg (27) and 75 with Murray Goodwin, who ended on 46 not out.
Leicestershire and Hampshire each forfeited innings as the former attempted to gain their first win of the season by agreeing to chase 365 at Grace Road. It ended in the predictable clatter of wickets as they first slipped to 36 for five before finally being bowled out for 184. Youngster Tom Wells added some respectability to proceedings with a 77-ball 82, but it was an all-too-fitting end to what has been an abysmal Championship season and has seen them finish winless for the first time in their history. Matthew Hoggard, in his final game, was left unbeaten on three as James Tomlinson sealed the win by dismissing Alex Wyatt for 10. He ended with four for 60, while Matt Coles took five for 75.
YB40 Final, Glamorgan v Nottinghamshire at Lord’s (1130 BST start)
What was once the biggest day of the county cricket calendar has now been relegated to the soggy end of the season and into third place in terms of importance behind T20 Finals Day and the Championship run-in. However, the two teams in action at Lord’s tomorrow will both be looking for silverware to give some gloss to what has been an otherwise poor season.
Glamorgan start as underdogs and are the only county to have never won a Lord’s one-day final. They will have to do without captain and overseas player Marcus North, who has travelled to India to play in the Champions League T20 for the his Big Bash League franchise. All-rounders Ruaidhri Smith and Nick James have been added to the eleven that upset defending champions Hampshire in the semi-final. Meanwhile, Simon Jones will play his final game of List A cricket before embarking on a T20-only career.
Glamorgan squad: Gareth Rees, Mark Wallace (captain), Chris Cooke, Murray Goodwin, Jim Allenby, Ben Wright, Graham Wagg, Andrew Salter, Dean Cosker, Michael Hogan, Simon Jones, Ruaidhri Smith, Nick James.
The big news for Nottinghamshire is the availability of their England players Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann, which has caused consternation in some quarters considering they were both rested for the ODIs against Australia. They will help cover for the absence of Jake Ball, who is out with a back injury and starred in the semi-final win over Somerset, as well as being their leading wicket-taker in the competition. The Outlaws are likely to select one from Riki Wessels, Steven Mullaney, Luke Fletcher and Ajmal Shahzad in their final eleven.
Nottinghamshire squad: Alex Hales, Michael Lumb, James Taylor, Samit Patel, David Hussey, Riki Wessels, Chris Read (captain), Steven Mullaney, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Harry Gurney, Graeme White, Luke Fletcher, Ajmal Shahzad.
Weather Forecast: Tomorrow will begin overcast in north London, but the sun should make an appearance in the afternoon, with temperatures peaking at 20 degrees Celsius.
County Cricket News In Brief:
Surrey have released all-rounder Zander de Bruyn “by mutual consent and with immediate effect.” They have also awarded contract extensions to Chris Tremlett and Gareth Batty. Tremlett has signed until the end of 2014, while Batty’s future is secured until the end of 2015.
Gloucestershire have been scuppered in their attempt to change Michael Klinger’s registration from that of an overseas player to a ‘local’ one for 2014 according to the Bristol Post. Klinger is entitled to an EU passport due to his mother’s Hungarian ancestry, but playing as a ‘local’ player in England would have meant that he would have to play as an overseas player in the Big Bash League. Gloucestershire want to sign an experienced seam-bowler and were eyeing up the overseas market.
© Cricket World 2013