County Championship 2021
Warwickshire beat Somerset to clinch county title
Warwickshire have clinched English cricket's County Championship after beating Somerset by 118 runs
25 September 2021, 07:05 AM AEST
Warwickshire have won the County Championship after beating Somerset by 118 runs on a raucous 'I was there' afternoon for their fans at Edgbaston.
The Bears needed an outright win to seal the title on Friday after Lancashire had beaten Hampshire in a dramatic finish the day before.
Seeking their first title since 2012 and the eighth in their history, Warwickshire's plans came together perfectly.
First, they added 115 runs in just over an hour to race to 3-294 as Rob Yates scored a brilliant 132 not out, with enterprising support from Will Rhodes (62 off 44 balls).
That enabled a bold declaration from Rhodes, who set Somerset 273 in 79 overs and then watched with delight as his team bowled and caught superbly to rattle their opponents out for 154 on a good batting pitch.
It was the third home game this season that Warwickshire had won after tea on the final day.
That is testament to their fighting spirit as well as their skill, and those attributes were needed on the final afternoon when they had to prise 10 wickets from a batter-friendly surface.
Somerset struggled from the outset on a pitch that was still good for batting, losing their first four wickets for 56. A late rally from the lower-order only delayed the inevitable as Liam Norwell removed Jack Brooks to complete the win.
Earlier, Nottinghamshire had beaten Yorkshire by five wickets to finish third but it was not enough to earn them a place in the season-ending Bob Willis Trophy final at Lord's, which will be contested by the top two, Warwickshire and Lancashire.
At the Oval, a record-breaking day saw England batter Ollie Pope hit a career-best 274 and South African star Hashim Amla 163 as Surrey's division two match against Glamorgan ended in a high-scoring draw.
Surrey finished on 4-722 declared, their highest first-class total against the Welsh county, who themselves made 6-672 declared as batters dominated.
A total of 1,394 runs were scored and only a mere 10 wickets lost over the four days - none of them to seam.
Kent claimed the Division Three title after a morning of high drama at Canterbury, where they beat Middlesex by two wickets.