Durham win County Championship
A review of Thursday's action in the LV= County Championship as Durham claim the Division One title.
- Related Content
The LV= Division One table-toppers needed only another 62 runs to win the championship, in their 21st year as a first-class county, but were left on seven without loss against Nottinghamshire as rain prevented any play before lunch on day three.
While the players were still off the field in most matches around the country, however, Durham got back on at 1.30pm and completed their task in just an hour for an eight-wicket win.
Down the A1 at Headingley, second-placed Yorkshire were compromised by the rain too but did manage to move from four without loss to 130 for five in their second innings against Middlesex.
Their lead, thanks largely to Gary Ballance (53no), stands at 212 as they seek to stay ahead of their visitors in the race for the runners-up spot.
Yorkshire, unlike the Londoners, will be in action again in the final round of matches next week so merely need to take the honours in this fixture.
Rain in Birmingham was no help to bottom-of-the-table Surrey, who were forced into desperate tactics in their highly-improbable mission to avoid relegation.
After rain all morning, they declared on 400 for five, gifted Warwickshire 120 for two in 22 overs and then set the Bears 281 to win after a forfeit.
With a day remaining, Warwickshire were 55 for two. There was also precious little play for much of the day in Division Two.
Chelmsford was an oasis of significant action before lunch, Essex opener Jaik Mickleburgh (124no) completing a 155-ball hundred - with 14 fours.
The hosts' reply to Glamorgan's 322 all out moved on to 240 for two, thanks to Mickleburgh's unbroken stand of 108 with Owais Shah (59no), as Essex try to stay in the hunt for promotion. But no play was possible in the afternoon or evening sessions.
Northamptonshire remain by far the likeliest to go up alongside table-toppers Lancashire.
Either side of the rain band at Wantage Road, openers James Middlebrook (87no) and Stephen Peters (68) shared a stand of 136 to help their team to a stumps total of 183 for one in reply to Kent's 418 all out.
Lancashire, already assured of an instant return to the top flight after their relegation last year, lost Tom Smith for 88 to Will Gidman (five for 61) on the way from 292 for seven to a third batting point on 310 for eight declared against Gloucestershire at Nevil Road.
After a long break because of the bad weather, their hosts replied with 70 for three.
Hampshire's James Vince (147no) and Liam Dawson (136no) had time only, before the weather closed in and prevented any more play against bottom-of-the-table Leicestershire at Grace Road, to add just two runs but therefore take their unbroken stand to 250 in a first-innings total of 364 for two.