Meanwhile, Elsewhere

So, disappointingly, no Somerset game to write about in the diary today and not wanting to get too carried away with the build-up to Saturday’s Finals Day, I thought I would have a look around what happened elsewhere in the County Championship today.

The first significant event of the day was Kent completing a 3 wicket win at Lords to further strengthen their promotion prospects and virtually eliminate Middlesex’s. Kent were done before lunch and able to head back down the M2 and prepare their TVs for watching Finals Day!!

Following the events of yesterday, Surrey found themselves 40 points clear at the top knowing that another 9 would be enough to secure the title. But for a change they came up against a team in Worcestershire who were themselves desperate for the points at the opposite end of the table. 

With Yorkshire v Lancashire looking certain to produce a result, Worcestershire need a win at New Road tomorrow to give themselves any chance of survival.  Surrey conceded a first innings deficit of 68, a rarity for them this season and by mid-afternoon appeared to be in a position of some comfort at 152-2, but then, not for the first time this season, a batting line up was Morkelled. The former South African pace bowler took 5-11 in an 11 over spell as Worcestershire were bowled all out for 200.

By the close, needing 272 to confirm the title, Surrey were 70-0.

Up at Headingley Lancashire were set 230 to win after Yorkshire managed 272 second time around thanks mainly to Tom Kohler-Cadmore (again) and an Overton-free Garry Ballance who accounted for over half the home side’s total.

Somerset bound Jack Brooks helped Yorkshire to reduce Lancashire to 109-7 by the close still needing 121 to win. Lancashire seemed to be in control of the chase at 66-2 but Ben Coad took two wickets in an over to leave Lancashire, with only one game left, in real peril of relegation.

Notts v Essex is a case of winners should be safe, losers might worry a little. Set 282 to win at Trent Bridge Essex had cruised to 147-1 by the close with Murali Vijay finding the form that eluded him for India with an unbeaten 73. 

In case you were wondering where all the batting collapses of days 1 & 2 went: 

Glamorgan trailing by 217 on 1st Innings were 6-3 but then recovered to reach 235-9, a slender lead of 18 over Gloucestershire.

Sussex needing 322 to beat Durham were 11-3 and never really recovered, losing by 186 runs. Durham’s Chirs Rushworth took 4 wickets in the second innings to add to the 8 he took in the first.

Speaking of collapses, Leicestershire who, after a mid-season resurgence have reverted to their early season form, were beaten by division 2 leaders Warwickshire at Grace road by an Innings and 104 runs. 

With Warwickshire and Kent having already won the pressure was on Sussex to do likewise to keep their promotion hopes alive. Set 324 to win at The Riverside they subsided  

Northants v Derbyshire in the most end of season end of season game ended Day 3 with a lead of 231 with two wickets left and might end up producing the best finish.

So, as it stands Surrey are all but there unless something dramatic happens tomorrow morning while Worcestershire and Lancashire seem strong favourites to go down. In division 2 Warwickshire are virtually promoted while Sussex have left themselves a lot to do to catch Kent for the second promotion place.

Of the four teams heading to Edgbaston on Saturday, 2 have already lost and 2 seem likely to. It could be that of the finalists only Somerset are going to be a division one side next season.