Somerset close in as title hots up

SOMERSET closed to within two points of leaders Nottinghamshire at the top of the County Championship division one after cruising to a nine-wicket win over Lancashire at Taunton.

Three wickets apiece from Charl Willoughby and Alfonso Thomas helped the west country side bowl the visitors out for 170 before they eased to the 48 runs needed for victory.

Marcus Trescothick’s men must now beat reigning champions Durham away next week to clinch their first ever title.

Yorkshire, meanwhile, are also in the hunt after they secured a five-wicket win over the leaders inside three days at Trent Bridge.

The Tykes restricted Notts to 413 from 357-6 overnight, but despite three wickets from Darren Pattinson, they sauntered home thanks to a fifth-wicket stand of 97 from Jonny Bairstow (63no) and Gerard Brophy (41) to move to within seven points of top spot.

At the bottom, Hampshire stole a march on relegation rivals Kent by rallying to 272-6 at the close – a lead of 294. Michael Carberry and Jimmy Adams scored half-centuries.