Ali Martin's match report
- Warwickshire (77pts)
- Lancashire (73.5)
- Nottinghamshire (73)
- Hampshire (61.5)
- Yorkshire (44.5)
- Somerset (31.5)
- Essex (96pts)
- Gloucestershire (76)
- Durham (44)*
- Northamptonshire (54)
- Surrey (40)*
- Glamorgan (34.5)
- Kent (94pts)
- Middlesex (80)
- Worcestershire (67.5)
- Leicestershire (54.5)
- Derbyshire (51.5)
- Sussex (30)
Division 2 placings decided by points per game, due to cancellation of Durham v Surrey.
Day four results
Trent Bridge Nottinghamshire 296 (Clarke 109, Evison 58) & 174-5 (Slater 79 no,
Duckett 54) v Yorkshire 73 (Evison 4-13) & 396 (Lyth 153)
Nottinghamshire (21pts) beat Yorkshire (3pts) by five wickets
Edgbaston Warwickshire 367 (Hain 83, Rhodes 60, Sibley 56, Briggs 53 no, Overton 5-88) & 294-3 dec (Yates 132 no, Rhodes 62, Sibley 50) v Somerset 389 (Gregory 68,
Azhar Ali 60, Lammonby 59, Davies 52) & 154
Warwickshire (22pts) beat Somerset (6pts) by 118 runs
The Oval Glamorgan 672-6 dec (Cooke 205 no, Lloyd 121, Carlson 69, Cooke 68, Douthwaite 59) v Surrey 722-4 dec (Pope 274, Amla 163, Smith 138, Patel 62,
Foakes 53 no)
Surrey (13pts) drew with Glamorgan (13pts)
Canterbury Middlesex 147 (Stoneman 59, Stevens 4-21) & 363 (Stoneman 109,
Milnes 5-87) v Kent 138 & 375-8 (Robinson 112, Muyeye 89)
Kent (19pts) beat Middlesex (3pts) by two wickets
Happy days at a sunny Edgbaston, handshakes all round as Somerset peel out of the pavilion. This is Warwickshire’s first Championship title since 2012, with a team of young-uns backed all the way by some grizzle from Bresnan. Here’s to them, tonight, while I wait for Paul Allot to appear in the pavilion.
WARWICKSHIRE WIN THE 2021 COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP!
Warwickshire 367 and 294-3 beat Somerset 389 and 154 by 118 runs
Heartwarming celebrations at Edgbaston, bear hugs and jigs of delight after Brooks flashes to Rhodes at gully. Well done Warwickshire, you absolute champions. Commiserations to Lancashire, worthy runners-up. The florescent bulbs are flickering in the Point and there is a (very small) stampede for the bar.
The Bob Willis Trophy next we will be played between Lancashire and Warwickshire.
It won’t surprise you a great deal to learn that there are no players at The Point. Lots of tables set up, the bar open and a scattering of supporters that just about reaches double figures. Fantastic big screen though.
WICKET! Gregory c Burgess b Miles 31 (Somerset 149-9)
I’m at Old Trafford just in time to see Gregory have a rush of blood.
Meanwhile at the Oval, Surrey are 709-4 in reply to Glamorgan’s 672-6 declared. And Rikki Clarke is at the crease.
The latest from Edgbaston: 140-8, with Lewis Gregory on 31 and Josh Davey on 7. On we go.
WICKET! Leach b Woakes 9 (Somerset 106-8) Target 273
Two away …
So, with one session of the Championship year remaining. Warwickshire need three wickets, in 40 overs, to snatch the title from Lancashire’s sticky grasp. I’m now hopping on the bike to Old Trafford to report from the
Edgbaston: Warwickshire 367 and 294-3dec v Somerset 389 and 102-7.Warwicks need three wickets to win the Championship/Somerset need 171 runs to win
Trent Bridge: Notts 296 and 174-5 BEAT Yorkshire 73 and 396 by five wickets.
The Oval: Surrey 677-4 v Glamorgan 672-2
Canterbury: Kent 138 and 375-8 BEAT Middlesex 147 and 363
Woof! After Liam Norwell’s pinpoint yorker to bowl Steven Davies (ruining what was shaping up to be one of the great non-fers), Chris Woakes has just produced the ball of the match to knock over Craig Overton. Pitched middle and leg, detonated off stump and all the No8 could do was nod in approval. Hyper critical, Overton was slightly caught on the crease. But even a bit more footwork might not have saved him. Terrific atmosphere here right now too, it must be said. Somerset 92 for seven and there are 42 overs remaining.
Put your hankies away Lanky fans, and gorge on this.
WICKET! Overton b Woakes 4 (Somerset 90-7) Target 273
Oh Chris Woakes, it seems unfair to be both so devilishly handsome and fantastically skilful. Overton’s stumps spangled by his England teammate. Enter Somerset’s wall: Jack Leach.
WICKET! Davies b Norwell 13 (Somerset 85-6) Target 273
Bails a-pingo! Norwell moves it back and Davies must go!. Out walks Overton, swinging his bat Botham-syle.
Were Warwickshire to do it, I’d be really pleased for Dom Sibley, who must have found all the criticism hard to bear even before he was dropped by England. The sun is out, not a drop of rain in the air. Somerset currently 76-5, though with their batting line up, the last five are usually more tricky to winkle out.
WICKET! Goldsworthy c Yates b Miles 31 (Somerset 73-5) Target 273
The ball after being surprised by extra bounce, Goldsworthy has a wanton drive and is taken thanks very much at (third?) slip!
There is a bug in my computer. It says Hashim Amla has been out at The Oval for 163. Ridiculous.
I think I can hear Ali shouting his love for Danny Briggs at Edgbaston, where it must be time for another wicket.
I am due to cycle to The Point at 3.30 to join the Lancashire celebrations. Wondering whether I should dig out my black trousers and top. Too soon?
WICKET! Abell c Yates b Miles 0 (Somerset 56-4) Target 273
So, er...now what?
Not a tweet I ever expected to read! Is it possible that cricket might ever be overtaken by football in Pakistan? Incidentally, did anyone hear Ramiz Raja on radio four this morning? He was pretty scathing. And still no representative from the ECB to explain their position.
Nottinghamshire beat Yorkshire by five wickets!
Notts 296 and 174-5 BEAT Yorkshire 73 and 396 by five wickets.
At last, a red-ball season to pin on Nottinghamshire’s chest. They emerged from the doldrums in May and since then, powered by leading Championship wicket taker Luke Fletcher, have been flying. They’re guaranteed a top three finish for the first time since 2015 and, if Warwickshire don’t win, will play in the Bob next week.
Ollie Pope 200 not out
Actually, make that 221 not out as Pope eyes up bigger numbers, 400 by stumps?
Well, well and indeed well ... the Bears are up and running after lunch in fine style, claiming two wickets in less time than it takes to scoff a jacket potato to leave Somerset 35 for three in their pursuit of 273. Tim Bresnan got the initial incision, Ben Green deemed to have tickled a ball down leg on 18. Might have been pad but up went the finger. Then from the City End it was Chris Woakes who nudged his boyhood side one wicket closer to their eighth title, Azhar Ali nicking one that left him to Sam Hain at second slip. Big energy from the home side out there now. Somerset and, more acutely, Lancashire, need things to calm down a bit.
WICKET! Ali c Hain b Woakes 3 (Somerset 35-3) Target 273
An ineffectual prod from Ali and glues into Sam Hain’s hands. Much roaring in the Warwickshire crowd!
WICKET! Green c Burgess b Bresnan 18 (Somerset 35-2)
Snaffled down the legside!
Snooze fest at The Oval.
Notts about to run away with it at Trent Bridge. Meaning that if Warwickshire don’t win, Notts will join Lancs at an autumnal Lord’s next week. Yorkshire’s season to end on a cricketing downer as well as still caught in murky entrails the of the Rafiq enquiry. Hoping they’ll spend the off-season sorting things out at Headingley.
And they’re still one down at Edgbaston, with Woakes opening the afternoon session with a maiden.
Edgbaston: Warwickshire 367 and 294-3dec v Somerset 389 and 32-1.Warwicks need nine wickets to win the Championship/Somerset need 241 to win
Trent Bridge: Nottinghamshire 296 and 149-4 v Yorkshire 73 and 396 Nottinghamshire need 25 to win
The Oval: Surrey 551-2 v Glamorgan 672-2
Canterbury: Kent 138 and 375-8 BEAT Middlesex 147 and 363
Thanks to Romeo for the nudge to watch Mark Church’s interview with Jade Dernbach. As he said, it is quietly poignant. Watch it here.
It seems to be sunny at The Oval...it’s damply autumnal in Manchester, just as well it wasn’t going down to the wire at OT. Lunchtime scores to follow.
Kent beat Middlesex by two wickets to win Division Three!
Kent 135 and 375-8 vBEAT Middlesex 147 and 363
Marcus O’Riordan and Grant Stewart shimmied Kent towards the line with a stand of 48, before Matt Milnes hit the winning runs. Middlesex are Division Three runners-up.
WICKET! Lammonby c Bresnan b Briggs 11 (Somerset 31-1)
First ball! Bucket hands Bresnan again.
With just ten minutes till lunch, and not a breakthrough made, Warwickshire throw the ball to Mr Miracle, Danny Briggs.
A sugar rush for Kent and Middlesex to finish the season: 12 needed for Kent, two wickets in hand!
Events at The Oval continue to snore along (Surrey 515-2, Amla 137 not out, Pope 169 not out). Some statistical manna for Ollie Pope fans:
The experiences of the last month would suggest that Chris Woakes will slice through Somerset. But, apparently, Somerset have been served two thick slices of resolve. After three overs, they’re 6-0.
News from Old Trafford
Players, supporters and members will be watching the resolution at Edgbaston on the big screen in the Point from 3.30 this afternoon. If things are swinging northwards, presentations will follow.
And we have a declaration here at Edgbaston! Warwickshire pull up the ladder on 294 for three, setting Somerset 273 to win in 79 overs. They’ll have to go at 3.46 runs an over which, on this pitch, is not out of the question. Rob Yates finishes unbeaten on 132 and Matt Lamb added a quickfire 27 at the end. One issue for Somerset is how injured or otherwise Azhar Ali is. Anyway, game on...
Warwickshire declare and set Somerset 273 to win!
Warwicks need to take ten wickets in 79 overs to win the title. Out comes the heavy roller.
You’ve seen your last of Darren Stevens for the season! Just after bring dropped at slip, he’s snaffled. Kent need another 63, three wickets left.
A century for Rob Yates at Edgbaston and a fourth of the season for this hugely promising left-hander. Yates is just 22, a local lad from Solihull, and if you watched him at work during the run chase against Essex earlier this season you’d have done well not to be impressed by his temperament. Brought up just moments after Brooks pinned Hain lbw for three, Yates clipping his 13th four through leg off Craig Overton. It’s taken 149 balls and sees him join Ben Browne, Chris Cooke and Jake Libby with four for the campaign. No one has five.
A couple of ways to keep an eye on things today. Press here to watch events at Edgbaston; and here for a relatively new innovation, live wicket-watch hosted by Adam Collins and Dan Norcross. It shows action all round the grounds and stops you having to swap streams!
Slightly strange set of events here ... Will Rhodes has just been given out lbw for 61 off the bowling of Jack Brook - walking across his stumps and trying to fiddle one into the leg side - but then umpire Steve O’Shaughnessy decided to change his mind. On the replay it did look like it was probably missing off stump and perhaps the confusion came from where Rhodes ended up, given it stayed as a leg bye. And as I type this err Rhodes has just been run out for 62 off 44 balls, Craig Overton fielding off his own bowling. Excellent work from the Warwickshire captain nonetheless after his injection of carnage yesterday evening. Sam Hain the new man in and Rob Yates is 95 not out, the score 226 for two and the lead 204...
A huge shout out for Hampshire, who were magnificent yesterday. Keeping their spirits up, even when Lancashire seemed to be strolling to victory. (can you jinx the past?). I hadn’t watched them much, and it had slipped me by what an insanely good bowling attack they have Raising a glass to you Abbas and Barker, Abbott, Wheal, Crane and Dawson.
Morning from Edgbaston, where it’s quite overcast but should brighten up later. There’s a decent smattering of supporters today - certainly more than we’ve had first thing all match. Out in the middle Will Rhodes has just paddled a four through fine leg to reach his half-century and Warwickshire are now 200 for one and leading by 178 runs. Short stoppage in play right now, Azhar Ali appears to have slipped in the field and he’s now hobbling off with the Somerset physio, poor chap ... wonder how crucial that will be later if he’s unable to bat. Hmmm.
At Edgbaston, poor Azhar Ali is on the grass and seems to have hurt his knee fielding, actually he’s limping off. Warwickshire 200-1.
Thinking ahead to the Bob: Should Warwickshire not win, and Nottinghamshire win, Notts will battle Lancashire in the Bob next week at Lord’s.
The third day of the Bob will raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society’s Sport United Against Dementia campaign.
Scores on the doors
Edgbaston: Warwickshire 367 and 179-1 v Somerset 389. Warwickshire lead by Somerset by 157 runs
Trent Bridge: Nottinghamshire 296 and 42-1 v Yorkshire 73 and 396 Nottinghamshire need 132 to win
The Oval: Surrey 387-2 v Glamorgan 672-2
Canterbury: Kent 138 and 275-5 v Middlesex 147 and 363 Kent need 98 to win
I spoke to Ali this morning, and he put Lancs firmly in the box seat with Warwickshire battling a flat pitch as well as unexpectedly fierce Somerset resolve. It’s free admission at Edgbaston, get there if you can.
Ali's report from Edgbaston yesterday!
There is one more day of the title race to run and, provided nerves have settled sufficiently, it may be that a good few Lancashire supporters make the trip down the M6 from Aigburth to Edgbaston, take advantage of free entry and lend their voices to the Somerset faithful.
Warwickshire can still snatch the title but will need a near-perfect performance to do so. The Bears will resume on 179 for 1, leading by 157 runs, and must continue the aggression displayed by Rob Yates, Dom Sibley and Will Rhodes on the third evening if their bowlers are to have a sniff of claiming 10 wickets.
Sibley fell before the close, the recently deposed England opener caught at deep point for a 69-ball 50 that featured two of the 11 sixes he has now struck in his first-class career. But Yates was unbeaten on 72 from 119 and in the final 30 minutes Rhodes smoked a 29-ball 42, signing off the day by launching his opposing captain, Tom Abell, over the square leg boundary.
It will be hard going for Warwickshire on a pitch that has yielded 21 wickets in three days and on which Somerset posted 389 for a 22-run lead. Lewis Gregory compiled a disciplined 68 before being trapped lbw by Chris Woakes on the stroke of lunch, with frustration for the hosts then coming in the shape of a 56-run ninth-wicket stand from Jack Leach and Josh Davey.
Leach was overlooked by the England Test team all summer on account of perceived shortcomings with the bat. But here the left-hander delivered a resolute 49 over the course of three hours, an innings pockmarked with some impish uppercuts and a slogged six off his fellow left-arm spinner Danny Briggs. Like at Headingley in 2019, those glasses were cleaned a few times too.
When Davey walked out with Leach after lunch, Somerset were 325 for 8 and Warwickshire had 22 balls in which to claim a ninth wicket for what might have proved a crucial third bowling point had Hampshire prevailed in Liverpool. Instead the pair held firm for 27.1 overs until Briggs, bowling into the sparse footmarks of an otherwise true surface, teased an edge off Leach to slip.
With Davey’s two-hour vigil finally ended by Woakes on 16 – a third wicket for the England all-rounder, but at a cost of 100 runs – an early tea was called, presenting Warwickshire’s openers with 36 overs in the warm September sunshine to get their innings off to a flying start.
The presence of Sibley may have surprised some but, certainly at this level, the right-hander has more than one gear. Somerset’s bowlers did not exactly cover themselves in glory but some of the shots were of the highest quality, not least when Sibley shuffled down to the pitch and whipped Davey over the rope at deep backward square.
Yates, whose three centuries have led the way for Warwickshire this summer, kept the ball along the ground. His nine fours were crisply struck and, with a temperament that belies his 22 years, it’s easy to see why England are considering him for the Lions squad that shadows the Ashes this winter. Rhodes, looking to become the first Warwickshire captain to lift the trophy since Jim Troughton in 2012, simply ignited the afterburners before stumps and after walking off spoke of the “excitement” among his players.
Continue this first thing and the fingernails of any Lancastrians who make the trip will get little respite
Yesterday's events at Aigburth
As Dane Vilas swept Liam Dawson over the rope, a great roar sprung from the camping chairs parked around the Aigburth boundary. It was ridiculous, it was beautifully barmy: a slow burner of a run-chase that turned into a dry-throated thriller as Lancashire snatched victory to keep alive hopes of their first Championship title for 10 years.
At 177 for 5, with only 19 runs needed, Lancashire looked to be home and dry, with Hampshire’s main strike bowlers Keith Barker and Mohammad Abbas strangely tamed by a pitch that became easier the longer the match went on. So it was to his spinners, his former England spinners, that James Vince turned: Mason Crane and Liam Dawson.
And, like a flick of a switch, Lancashire started to crumble. First Danny Lamb edged to second slip after a sprightly partnership of 26 with Vilas, a third wicket for the already gambolling Crane, bouncing and sparking through his whirligig action. Then Luke Wood, buccaneering hero of Lancashire’s first innings, was snaffled by a coiled Weatherly at bat-pad. Surely, though, this was all much too late?
And all this time, as chances went down and the runs built up, and the wickets were ticked off, Hampshire’s captain, Vince, had been expressionless at slip. But as Vilas shimmied down to Dawson and spanked him through midwicket for four, to reduce the target to three runs, Vince fell to his knees and put his face in his hands.
But it wasn’t over. Two balls later Tom Bailey went through for an unwise quick single and Crane at backward point unleashed a direct hit to run him out for a duck. The No 10 Jack Blatherwick then took a bold run that left him facing a whole over of the inspired Crane.
He lasted three balls, before nervously poking a ball to slip. Hush dropped like a winter frost on Aigburth as the last man, Matt Parkinson, marched out. Spontaneous applause broke out after he survived the remaining two balls of Crane’s over, before finally Vilas took a punt at Dawson and rocketed the ball for four.
Parkinson and Vilas hugged on the pitch, before dancing along to the lovely old pavilion balcony where Aigburth sang their glories.
Hampshire, cruelly denied at the last, prepared for the long journey south, and the end of another campaign.
In the words of the magnificent Crane, “Jesus it can be a cruel game sometimes – we were a couple of inches away from winning the Championship and that’s tough to take at the minute.
“It really hurts – we said we’d keep fighting to the end and that’s what we did and I’m proud of the team and everyone for sticking with it.”
To Lancashire, who had bowled out Hampshire quickly in the morning to give themselves a chance of victory, with Tom Bailey finishing with a career best 7 for 37, to Alex Davies who biffed a crucial 44 at the top of the innings in his last Championship appearance for Lancashire, there is a day of waiting. The title is in Warwickshire’s hands.
If they can bust together enough runs quickly enough on Friday morning and take 10 Somerset wickets on a dull, flat pitch: the title is theirs. If not, the Lancashire players, belting out Oasis songs as night fell in Liverpool, will have more to celebrate.
Good morning, good morning! Here, for one last time, the County Championship season ( with just a tiny nudge that the blog will make a final appearance for the Bob Willis Trophy next week). What can possibly beat yesterday’s events in the Liverpool dusk, that ridiculous loss of nerve, the headache inducing run out, the scrumping of the strike by Jack Blatherwick, the dawning possibility of a Lancs-up of all Lancs-ups But, Dane Vilas saw them home and Lancashire now sit pretty at the top of Division One. Warwickshire know the position: beat Somerset today and Championship is theirs. Bring it on!