Bad weather blows title race wide open

PROMOTION and relegation issues in the County Championship may well be determined by the lottery of the weather after heavy rain decimated the opening day of the final round of matches yesterday.

Division one pace-setters Nottinghamshire need 22 points to be assured of a first title since 2005, but were limited to just one over of play against Lancashire at Old Trafford – the leaders ending the day on 8-0.

Somerset are looking to pounce on Notts’ frustration and claim a first-ever County Championship title, but they too were also hit by the rain.

The west country side managed to get in 40 overs at the Riverside against Durham, but the hosts took charge, finishing the day on 132-2 with Dale Benkenstein hitting 71no.

Yorkshire, a further seven points behind in third, can also win the title and managed to squeeze in 58 overs in their match with relegation-threatened Kent at Headingley – the Tykes finishing the day on 205-7.

Kent’s relegation rivals Warwickshire reduced Hampshire to 147-6 at the Rose Bowl.

It wasn’t a good day, however, for Glamorgan, who slumped to 120-6 against Derbyshire at Cardiff in a game they need to win to ensure promotion to division one.

Worcestershire, nine points behind, restricted champions Sussex to 191-7, while Leicestershire, also in with a shout, reduced Northants to 186-6.