NOTTINGHAMSHIRE pulled off one of the most dramatic victories in County Championship history last night to deny Somerset a first-ever title.
After just 27 overs were possible in three rain-lashed days at Old Trafford, Notts were left with a mountain to climb to gain sufficient bonus points to pip the Cidermen on a thrilling final day.
But Chris Read’s men did just that – topping the magical 400 mark to claim maximum batting points, and then crucially taking three Lancashire wickets late in the day to draw level on points with Somerset, who had already drawn at Durham.
It meant Notts claimed their second title in six years by virtue of winning one more game. “I’m very proud,” said coach Mick Newell. “It’s a fantastic game for our club. To win it like that, people will look it as an honest and fair way to win.
“We’ve been criticised in the last couple of weeks for bottling it, so to come up with a performance like that, I’m very very pleased.”
Somerset began the day six points clear of Notts but were held up by a mixture of both the weather and reigning champions Durham, who left them to chase an unlikely victory target of 181 in 17 overs.
Kent, meanwhile, saw their relegation confirmed to division two despite an impressive four-wicket win over title-chasing Yorkshire.
James Tredwell took 7-22, including a hat-trick, to dismiss the Tykes for 130 before limping to the victory target of 90 for the loss of six wickets.
They went down, however, after Warwickshire completed a ten-wicket win over Hampshire after 5-34 from Chris Woakes dismissed the hosts for 132, leaving them a target of just 48.
In division two, Worcestershire pipped Glamorgan to promotion after beating champions Sussex by four wickets.