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COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION ONE 2016

Somerset wait as County hits thrilling climax

23 September 2016

Chris Rogers (L) and Marcus Trescothick (R) leave the field with Somerset director of cricket Matthew Maynard // Getty

Three-horse race for Division One title, while relegation battle also comes down to dramatic final day

Chris Rogers and Somerset have done all they can, and now they turn their attention to the final day of action between Yorkshire and Middlesex at Lord's, where the County Championship winners will be decided on the final day of the season.

On the back of Rogers' twin centuries in his final first-class match, Somerset dismantled Nottinghamshire inside three days to go top of the County Championship Division One ladder.

Quick Single: Rogers says farewell with slice of history

But whether or not they stay there when it matters will depend on what happens at the Home of Cricket on Friday; for Somerset to be crowned champions for the first time in the 126-year history of the competition, they'll need a draw between defending champions Yorkshire, and Middlesex.

Yorkshire dominated day three thanks to Tim Bresnan's unbeaten 142, which moved them to 390 in their first innings – a 120-run lead – before they took two wickets in the afternoon to leave Middlesex 2-81 heading into the final day.

The hosts still trail by 39, with eight wickets in hand, and with the knowledge that a draw won't help either side in their quest to win the title, a fascinating day's cricket is set to unfold.

Watching more closely than most will be Somerset captain Rogers and his teammates, who took 23 points from their clash against Nottinghamshire after dominating from day one.

A 269-run stand between Rogers (132) and James Hildreth (135) paved the way for a strong first-innings total of 365, before 19-year-old off-spinner Dom Bess played the lead hand in routing the visitors for 138.

Quick Single: De Villiers in doubt for Australia Tests

Rogers then posted an even unbeaten 100 to steer his team to 5-313 declared in their second innings, and Notts, chasing 541 to win, rolled over for 215 to complete a forgettable season that has finished with a wooden spoon and their relegation to Division Two.

Meanwhile, also at the foot of the Division One table, another dramatic storyline is being played out.

Hampshire, battling to survive ahead of Warwickshire or Lancashire, lead by 226 heading into the final day against Durham.

Currently 7-176, they have stated they will bat on for an hour to build their lead before declaring and attempting to take 10 wickets that would see them avoid the drop.

At Edgbaston, Lancashire and Warwickshire are squaring off, both sides hoping that Durham will do them a favour and beat Hampshire to end the relegation scrap.

Going into day four, Lancashire are 3-28 chasing 347 to win; the loser of this match will be relegated if Hampshire manage to win at Southampton.

If the Edgbaston match is drawn and Hampshire win, a draw could be enough to see Lancashire survive, while Warwickshire must win.

Meg Lanning Steve Smith

About the Writer

 @AdamBurnett09
@AdamBurnett09

Adam Burnett is the deputy news editor of cricket.com.au and senior news editor of bigbash.com.au. He previously wrote for and edited at Inside Cricket magazine and The Sydney Morning Herald in Australia and The Telegraph and The Guardian in the UK.

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