CCD1: Somerset crush Nottingham to boost hopes of first title
Middlesex or Yorkshire must win to deny Rogers' men historic crown
Last Updated: 23/09/16 7:39pm
Chris Rogers hit the 76th first-class century of his career as Somerset did all they could in the Specsavers County Championship title race by securing a 325-run victory over Nottinghamshire at Taunton.
Now Somerset must await the outcome of events between Middlesex and Yorkshire at Lord's before knowing whether they have clinched a first-ever title.
Skipper Rogers - announced his retirement from first-class cricket after the victory - was unbeaten on 100, his second ton of the match, when he declared his side's second innings at lunch on 313-5. Ryan Davies made 59 and Peter Trego 55.
That left Notts facing a mammoth 541 to win and, despite a battling 66 not out from Billy Root, brother of Joe, in only his second Championship appearance, they slid to 215 all out as Jack Leach (4-69) and Roelof van der Merwe (3-59) wreaked havoc on a turning pitch.
Somerset took 23 points from the match, while relegated Notts completed a miserable campaign by taking just three.
So Middlesex's clash with Yorkshire is now a winner-takes-all match. Middlesex closed on 81-2 in their second innings, trailing by 39, having regained some composure after Yorkshire - and specifically Tim Bresnan - turned the game on its head.
All of the hosts' early control completely dissipated as Bresnan, who came to the crease at 32-3 on Wednesday, guided the champions to a first-innings lead of 120 with a superb unbeaten 142.
His final-wicket partnership with Ryan Sidebottom (whose 23 was his highest score of the season) was worth 56 and ensured Yorkshire secured a critical fourth batting bonus point and went on to reach 390.
Middlesex slipped to 2-2 as they lost Sam Robson and Nick Compton early in their second innings but Nick Gubbins (39no) and Dawid Malan (37no) steadied things.
The battle to avoid relegation was looking equally likely to go to the wire with Hampshire battling hard and Lancashire, especially, looking over their shoulders.
Hampshire need to win to stay up and they gave themselves a chance as they built up a 226-run lead over Durham with three second-innings wickets remaining at the Ageas Bowl.
Rain prevented play early in the day but they eventually finished off Durham's first innings for 361 to lead by 50 at the mid-point. Durham's Michael Richardson was left stranded on 99 not out while Brad Wheal and Liam Dawson took four wickets apiece.
Hampshire then closed on 176-7 after Ryan Pringle took 5-64, but Lewis McManus (41no) offered hope of setting a stiff target.
Victory for Hampshire would relegate the losers of Warwickshire and Lancashire at Edgbaston and the Red Rose were in trouble.
Lancashire were 28 for three having been set a target of 347 after Warwickshire declared on 279-7. A draw would see Lancashire survive.
Watch the climax of the County Championship season live on Sky Sports 1 from 10.25am on Friday.