County cricket: Somerset go top but Yorkshire edge closer to title – as it happened

Last modified: 05: 46 PM GMT+0

Yorkshire are narrow favourites to win the title for the third year in a row after a dramatic day, while Somerset thrashed Notts and must wait for the outcome at Lord’s

Stumps at Lord’s, where Middlesex finish day three on 270 & 81-2, against Yorkshire’s 390 first-innings total. Middlesex trail by 39, and can still win the title with a win.

More realistically, they can deny Yorkshire with a draw tomorrow, and hand Somerset, who have already beaten Notts, a first ever County Championship. If Yorkshire win, they’ll claim their third straight title. It’s all to play for at Lord’s tomorrow.

Play has also finished at the Ageas Bowl, where Hampshire have kept their survival hopes alive. The hosts have made 411 & 175-7 to lead Durham by 226 runs.

It’s all set for a dramatic finale at either end of the table – join us tomorrow for more live coverage, and look out for match reports on the website shortly.


All done for the day at Edgbaston, where Warwickshire are homing in on Division One safety with Lancashire 28 for three in their pursuit of 347. Keith Barker got the ball rolling for the home side in just the fourth over of the “chase” when Rob Jones was trapped lbw, before Jeetan Patel followed it up with the wicket of Luke Proctor, also struck in front but this time offering no shot. Chris Wright replaced Barker from the Pavilion End and, in a match littered with lbws and bowleds, produced a rare caught behind when Karl Brown feathered one. Haseeb Hameed has looked pretty unflustered at the other end from the carnage and will resume on 11 in the morning alongside Simon Kerrigan.

Meanwhile, at Lord’s, Middlesex are 53 for 2, having been 2 for 2 at one stage, but still trail Yorkshire by 67.

Hampshire have lost two more wickets. Sean Ervine, driving at Ryan Pringle, didn’t get to the pitch of the ball and though he tried to pull out of the shot it was too late and he gave a soft catch to extra-cover. Then, without addition, Ryan McLaren was caught on the back foot to one that turned from Pringle and was lbw. That was 108 for six, although now they have partially recovered to 129 for six, a lead of 179.

Somerset beat Notts by 325 runs!

Notts are all out for 215. Somerset have done their bit – now they must wait on events at Lord’s.

We have a declaration at Edgbaston, with Ian Bell waving his batsmen in at 279 for seven to leave Lancashire needing 347 to win. Tim Ambrose was unbeaten on 59 with Jeetan Patel on 23, having launched a couple lusty sixes down the ground. Lancashire will face 18 overs this evening …

Hampshire’s chances of winning this game and staying in the top division are on the wane. If they are going to do so they will need to push the run rate along and get to a lead of 300 plus tonight, declaring early tomorrow or even overnight. Their batsmen have shown urgency, rattling along at five an over or so. But unfortunately they have also lost wickets. They are currently 95 for four, with Will Smith, Jimmy Adams, Tom Alsop and James Vince all gone to the spin attack of Ryan Pringle (three) and Scott Borthwick (one).

Middlesex cannot win this game now but there are 80,000 reasons why they will want to stop Yorkshire doing so. Yorkshire all out 390 with Bresnan unbeaten on 142.


At tea Nottinghamshire had reached 112 for 3. Don’t conclude that the wicket is breaking up. Two of those dismissals were run-outs, while Steve Mullaney holed out to mid-on off Roelof van der Merwe. So all is going to plan here – it’s a hard slog as the wicket eases. Both Michael Lumb and Samit Patel were quite enjoying themselves against spinners with attacking fields.

Of more concern is the progress at Lord’s. Yorkshire reaching 350 did not provoke any cheers around the ground. The tension will mount tomorrow no doubt. Abell has rejoined Somerset after tea having received a nasty blow on the shoulder earlier on. Who took over at boot hill? Trescothick, of course.

Second ball after tea Lumb is lbw to van der Merwe 112 for 4.

Somerset v Notts
The Somerset wicketkeeper Ryan Davies runs out Nottinghamshire’s Tom Moores. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images


Durham have just been dismissed here for 361, which gives Hampshire a first-innings lead of 50. A lot less than they wanted, and they will have to score rapid runs this afternoon to set up a declaration. They have just gone for tea, which means we face a 48-over final session.

Onions was ninth out for 38, at 351, caught at short-leg fending off a short ball from the distinctly sharp Brad Wheal. Michael Richardson drove Liam Dawson over long-on for six but a great disappointment was to befall him: two balls later he pushed Dawson for a single to reach 99, just one away from his sixth first-class century.

That left the last man, Chris Rushworth, with one ball of the over to survive. But rather than play it out he tried to hit the spinner out of the ground, missed, and was promptly given out lbw by the umpire Nick Cook.

A sheepish looking Rushworth darted off to the pavilion. Richardson, who had played superbly, waved his arm in anger and frustration. Then, instead of leaving the crease and following all the other players back to the dressing room, he remained there, in stupefied disbelief. The Hampshire players had to go back to the pitch to congratulate him. Very funny. Rushworth’s stroke was one of the daftest I have ever seen. Maybe Richardson will report him to his father, Dave Richardson, the chief executive of the International Cricket Council, in the hope that some special punishment might be found. Rushworth looked a little distracted when he opened the bowling and was pulled, mostly, for 11 in his first over.


Yorkshire reach 350! Ryan Sidebottom tucks Toby Roland-Jones away to the square-leg boundary to give the champions that vital fourth batting point, putting them right back into contention.


Tim Ambrose and Rikki Clarke – with perhaps a foot between them in height – have further increased Warwickshire’s lead at Edgbaston, adding 44 for the sixth wicket. And as I type this, the latter goes lbw to Simon Kerrigan trying to swipe a straight one of the backfoot for 20. Keith Barker has now joined Ambrose in the middle, with the score 197 for six and the lead now up to 264. Lancashire are looking a little forlorn, truth be told, with their fate now likely resting on Durham’s continued efforts at the Ageas Bowl.

Clarke’s was the third wicket to fall after lunch, following the loss of Ian Bell and Sam Hain. Bell, who had been so fluent before the interval, got bogged down a bit and perished for 31, playing his late cut, with the otherwise costly Jordan Clark the man to bowl him. Hain in contrast had looked to be continuing the form from the first innings that brought him the solitary half-century of the match so far, stroking six fours. But he became the third Warwickshire batsman out lbw offering no shot when Arron Lilley trapped him in front for 36.

Hampshire have let this match drift a bit and it could turn out to be a draw, which would be terminally bad news for the home side. When play started after lunch, following a rainy morning, they took the new ball immediately. But Ryan McLaren and Gareth Berg wasted it, both bowling wide on both sides. When Liam Dawsom came on at 265 for seven he took a wicket with his first delivery, as Brydon Carse edged to Will Smith at second slip. But Durham are now 348 for eight, with Michael Richardson on 87 not and Graham Onions going well on 38.

Amid the agonies up at Lord’s Somerset have taken a wicket. Mullaney caught at mid-on off Roelof van der Merwe for 18 … 49 for 1.


Rain arrives with Yorkshire 349 for 9, needing one more run to stay alive in the Championship. As dramatic an hour’s cricket as anyone could wish. Runs eked out, and Hawkeye, not in use, saying that Toby Roland-Jones had Ryan Sidebottom lbw in the previous over, Rob Bailey having turned down the appeal. Tim Bresnan has been heroic and is 122 not out.


… and off they go as rain arrives at 349-9. County cricket!

Yorkshire reach 349-9 …

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Ian Bell goes, trying to play his trademark late cut and is bowled by Kyle Jarvis. 31 for the Sledgehammer. Warwickshire 148 for four, lead by 215. Sam Hain the glossy one after lunch, to be fair,and is 29 not out.

News from Taunton is that Somerset declared at lunch on 313 for 5, setting Notts a nominal target of 541 in five sessions.

Jonathan Trott has fallen just before lunch at Edgbaston, bowled by Arron Lilley through the gate for 42 and thus falls 25 runs short of 1,000 in the Championship this season (according to my abacus). He has helped kick things on for Warwickshire, however, who lead Lancashire by 177 with the score 110 for three. So that’s 98 runs in the session and it does feel like it’s got a little easier to bat. Although bar Tom Bailey, Lancahire haven’t been as disciplined as they could have been. Ian Bell is 22 not out, having looked typically glossy.

The meaningful cricket is to come. In lovely sunshine the batsmen are making merry: Ryan Davies – ever-skittish, Chris Rogers – ever-busy, and Peter Trego smashing the ball with gusto. Meanwhile I had a contrasting start to the day: an early morning visit to the dentist (“Nah, don’t bother with the local anaesthetic”) and then I met up briefly with a three-year-old grandson, attending a Somerset match for the first time. He did not seem to recognise that the hand of history was hovering over the county ground. He was more interested in a drink and a biscuit. But we got him cheering the latest Trego boundary. Trego has now just gone for a quickfire 55 from 36 balls. 262 for 4. Pitch behaving.

Peter Trego
Peter Trego cracked the ball around with venom during his innings of 55 for Somerset. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images


The news from a very wet Ageas Bowl, meanwhile, is that it’s stopped raining and they will be taking an early lunch at 12pm, with a view to starting play at 12.40. Durham, remember, are 242 for seven, so they’re still 169 runs behind Hampshire. All the Hampshire players are following events at Edgbaston with keen interest.

An hour gone at Edgbaston and Warwickshire have moved their lead on to 120 for the loss of only one wicket so far. It was Alex Mellor who fell in the fourth over, lbw padding up to Tom Bailey. But since then Jonathan Trott and Ian Westwood have settled things nicely. Among the stodgy accumulation, Trott played one on-drive that was pure vintage, advancing down and showing the full blade. There is the odd play-and-miss – to be expected on this surface – but steady progress for the hosts all the same, at 59 for one, 126 ahead. Lancs need a cascade of wickets and fast.

Elsewhere, Tim Bresnan has reached his century at Lord’s as Yorkshire edge towards 350. They’re currently 302 for 6, leading by 32.

Welcome to the penultimate day of the county championship from the Ageas Bowl, where one third of the anti-relegation fight between Hampshire, Warwickshire and Lancashire is being played out.

Hampshire need to beat Durham – the start here is delayed because of rain – with a result looking likely between Warwickshire and Lancashire at Edgbaston, where Ali Martin is watching events unfold, with the home side enjoying the upper hand.

But it is the other end of the table where most interest is concentrated. A Middlesex win over Yorkshire will give them their first title since 1993. But Yorkshire, who are 236 for six, can make it a hat-trick of championships if they score an unlikely looking 350 and then go on to win, even if Somerset are victorious.

But Somerset are well placed to pick up any pieces and win their first ever championship, with an already doomed Notts side appearing to be headed for defeat at Taunton, and where Dom Bess’s remarkable start to his championship cricket career continues. Middlesex and Somerset old boys Selv and Vic will be doing their best to remain impartial.


Good morning

Welcome to day three of the final crucial round of fixtures in the County Championship. Mike Selvey is at Lord’s as Yorkshire battle for a batting point on day three against Middlesex. Vic Marks is at Taunton as Somerset are just beginning to dream about winning the title.

At the other end, Ali Martin is at Edgbaston, where Warwickshire are 12-0 overnight after skittling Lancashire for 152. Paul Weaver will bring the latest from the Ageas Bowl, with Hampshire in charge against Durham.

Day two reports



Mike Selvey at Lord's, Vic Marks at Taunton, Ali Martin at Edgbaston and Paul Weaver at the Ageas Bowl

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