Warwickshire relegated to County Championship Division Two
Last Updated: 16/09/17 5:07pm
Warwickshire were relegated to Specsavers County Championship Division Two as Somerset beat Lancashire to boost their own survival bid and present Essex with the title.
The win took Somerset out of the relegation zone and, together with draws for Yorkshire and Middlesex later in the day, meant Warwickshire's relegation was confirmed after the Bears lost to the champions yesterday.
Yorkshire dug in to reach 281-2, 83 ahead, having followed on against Surrey. Alex Lees made 102 and Shaun Marsh was 125 not out when bad light ended play one over after tea.
Middlesex and Hampshire had long been resigned to a draw in a clash ruined by rain at Uxbridge and though the home side earned four bonus points, turning their overnight 162-7 into 204 before skittling Hampshire for 146, their second innings reached only 14-1 in nine overs before another stoppage, this time terminal.
The results left Yorkshire on 124 points and Somerset and Middlesex both on 123, with Somerset ahead by virtue of having won one more game. Warwickshire can only reach 122, even in the unlikely event they take maximum points from their final two games.
In Division Two, Worcestershire beat Leicestershire by six wickets to move to the brink of promotion.
A century stand between Zak Chappell (66) and Lewis Hill (60) lifted Leicestershire from 111-7 overnight to 220 but Worcestershire successfully chased 132 despite Callum Parkinson - twin brother of Lancashire's Matty - taking 2-37 for a 10-wicket match haul.
That left Worcestershire on 216 points, nine ahead of second-placed Nottinghamshire and 38 clear of Northamptonshire in third.
The latter kept themselves in the promotion chase with a seven-wicket win over Glamorgan, making efficient work of a final-day target of 218 despite a nerve-wracking late rain delay.
Rob Newton (53) and nightwatchman Simon Kerrigan (62) laid the platform and though play was delayed for over an hour with just nine required, Alex Wakely and Richard Levi returned to complete the job.
Northants play Notts next week, needing to win to set up a three-way fight in the final week for the two promotion spots.
Kent and Sussex are effectively now out of contention, respectively 43 and 46 points behind Notts with 48 to play for, after the latter came up short in a thrilling finish against Derbyshire while Kent had to settle for a draw with Gloucestershire.
Derbyshire declared overnight to leave Sussex needing to chase 390 to keep their hopes alive. Luke Wells (77), Stiaan van Zyl (85) and Luke Wright (80) kept them in it but Hardus Viljoen took the first eight wickets for match figures of 15-170, comfortably eclipsing his previous best of 10-114.
In Bristol, Gloucestershire reached 294-9 as Cameron Bancroft followed up his first-innings 206 with 72 and Gareth Roderick added 78 despite what had initially been described as a season-ending finger injury.