A gradual but inevitable descent into cricket-based loathing and bile.

The County Championship: One More Day To Go

Posted on September 14, 2011 by in First Class

At the top of the table, it still looks like the championship will be heading to Warwickshire. They succeeded in bowling out Hampshire for 324 (despite Liam Dawson carrying his bat for 152*) and then enforced the follow-on, taking a further three wickets before close of play. Even if Hampshire manage to haul themselves past Warwickshire’s first innings 493, they are unlikely to set a difficult target for Jim Troughton’s men to chase.

In failing to reach 400 in their innings, Hampshire missed the vital additional bonus points that could have kept them alive. Even if they miraculously beat Warwickshire on the final day, they would not be able to overtake Worcestershire. Accordingly, the Rose Bowl will be hosting second division cricket in 2012.

Liam Dawson: he carried his bat but Hampshire are still relegated

Warwickshire 493 (V Chopra 109, S Chanderpaul 171, CR Woakes 62; AD Mascarenhas 3-52, CP Wood 3-87) vs Hampshire 324 (LA Dawson 152*; CL Metters 3-71, CJC Wright 3-77) & 43/3 (CL Metters 2-18)

Those Warwickshire bonus points mean that the title is a two-horse race. Durham may look in a comfortable position to win their home match against Worcestershire (the visitors now safe from relegation), but have too few points to win the division. That leaves Lancashire as the remaining challenger. Competent batting all down the order (all reached double figures, only Gary Keedy with 13* did not reach 20) gave them a 100 run first innings lead against Somerset. The visitors are 105/5 in their second knock and Lancashire will be hopeful of bowling them out and chasing a small target. Should both they and Warwickshire win, then the red rose county will miss out on the championship by a mere two points.

Durham 264 (WR Smith 66; KAJ Roach 3-57, A Richardson 3-46) & 388 (MD Stoneman 75; GM Andrew 4-72) vs Worcestershire 288 (JG Cameron 74, VS Solanki 124; CD Thorp 4-52) & 65/2 (G Onions 2-32)

Somerset 380 (JC Hildreth 186; G Keedy 4-57) & 105/5 (KW Hogg 2-31) vs Lancashire 480 (SC Moore 68, KR Brown 60; M Kartik 5-137)

In the other division one match at Trent Bridge, Nottinghamshire still trail Sussex by 74 runs, with only six wickets left in their follow-on.

Sussex 488 (MW Goodwin 170, MW Machan 71, A Khan 65; CE Shreck 3-92, AR Adams 5-110) vs Nottinghamshire 311 (K Turner 64; MS Panesar 3-60, Naved Arif 3-86) & 103/4 (MS Panesar 2-24)

Two matches have already finished in division two. David Willey took ten wickets in the match as Northamptonshire twice bowled Gloucestershire out for under 190. They lost only one wicket in chasing down the 26 runs they required for victory. Surrey’s victory over Derbyshire was even more one-sided: Rory Hamilton-Brown’s side winning by an innings and 126 runs, mostly thanks to Pragyan Ojha’s match figures of 10-90.

David Willey and his luxuriantly Georgian hair took ten wickets in the match

Surrey are now top of the table – for tonight at least – and lead Northamptonshire and Middlesex by one and three points respectively.

Pragyan Ojha took ten Derbyshire wickets to secure promotion for Surrey

Northamptonshire 343 (KJ Coetzer 84, AJ Hall 86; WRS Gidman 5-74, J Lewis 4-61) & 27/1 BEAT Gloucestershire 183 (DJ Willey 5-29, LM Daggett 4-69) & 185 (DJ Willey 5-46)

Surrey 468 (TL Maynard 123; MHA Footitt 3-99) BEAT Derbyshire 190 (PM Borrington 76; TE Linley 3-34, PP Ojha 4-48) & 152 (PP Ojha 6-42)

Therefore Middlesex need a result to secure promotion and the division. Although Leicestershire are playing well in this form of the game for a change, they lead by only 39 runs with just three wickets remaining. It therefore seems likely that Middlesex will wrap up the victory tomorrow. Hearts will be broken in Corby, Daventry and Thrapston, whilst they will be dancing in the streets of Hillingdon and Acton.

Leicestershire 319 (GP Smith 108, EJ Eckersley 106; GK Berg 3-32) & 222/7 (JWA Taylor 80; OP Rayner 3-32) vs Middlesex 502 (DJ Malan 97, GK Berg 130*; WA White 3-54)

Glamorgan are currently having the better time with the pink ball under the Canterbury lights. With both sides playing for pride and sixth place, a draw looks the favourite at this stage.

Kent 237 (JL Denly 69; JC Glover 4-49) & 14/0 vs Glamorgan 423/9 dec (SJ Walters 147) (D/N fixture)

And so to the final day…will there be any twists in the tale?

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