Notts curse rain as title charge fades

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE director of cricket Mick Newell was last night resigned to his side falling foul to a cruel twist of fate in the County Championship title race.

Heavy rain in Manchester again washed out an entire day’s play of their crucial final match of the season against Lancashire, meaning only 28 overs have been possible ahead of today’s final day.

Newell’s men began the final week two points clear of Somerset at the top of the table and nine clear of Yorkshire in third.

But with Somerset claiming a maximum eight bonus points at Durham and Yorkshire securing five against Kent at Headingley, it looks increasingly likely that a lack of action will cost Notts dear.

To be sure of denying Somerset a first-ever County Championship title, Newell’s men would need to claim six bonus points and win themselves by contriving a run chase for Lancashire.

“If Lancashire are prepared to chase a score tomorrow then that discussion is going to have to take place,”?Newell admitted. “But you’ve got to keep the integrity of the game to the extent that you can’t give anything away.”

Somerset’s eighth bonus point came after reaching 426 – a lead of 140 – and the Cidermen will feel confident of wrapping up a maiden title despite Durham rallying to 171-2 at the close.

Victory for Yorkshire over relegation-threatened Kent looks unlikely, however, with the Tykes ending the day of 51-1 – an overall lead of just 10.

But Kent weren’t helped either by a century from Ian Bell which helped Warwickshire to a sixth bonus point as they hit 303 against Hampshire.