County Championship finale begins as Hampshire are skittled for 143 before taking three quick Lancashire wickets; Warwickshire still in hunt on 283-4 vs Somerset; Notts still in with a chance of the title, 292-9 vs Yorkshire
Last Updated: 21/09/21 6:54pm
Hampshire’s bid to secure a first County Championship title since 1973 got off to a poor start on the first day of the final round of fixtures as they were bowled out for just 143 by Lancashire.
The visitors took the field at Aigburth in the knowledge that victory, coupled with at least five bonus points, would secure the crown whatever their three remaining rivals could manage.
But that possibility was taken out of their hands by one of those rivals as Lancashire, who began the day four points adrift in third, capitalised on a winning call at the toss by claiming the maximum three bowling points and denying Hampshire even a single batting point.
The leaders’ seamers did claw back some of the damage before the close, Mohammad Abbas and Keith Barker each getting on the board before stumps as Lancashire closed on 25-3.
Dane Vilas’ hosts had earlier shared the wickets, George Balderson (3-21) and Tom Bailey removing Hampshire’s top five between them before Matt Parkinson’s wrist spin (3-9) accounted for the tail. Lancashire v Hampshire scorecard
Warwickshire were the closest challengers to Hampshire before play, three-and-a-half points behind, and contributions from the majority of their top-order batters kept them squarely in the hunt as they reached stumps against Somerset on 283-4.
Rob Yates’ fourth-over departure proved a false dawn for Division One’s bottom side as two century stands – the first between Dom Sibley and Will Rhodes and the second shared by Sam Hain and Matthew Lamb – bagged two batting points with the promise of more to come on Wednesday morning. The maximum of five appears out of reach, but another 67 runs in the first 14 overs of play on day two would take them to 350 and four points.
That prospect will depend in no small part on the continued presence of the fluent Hain, whose unbeaten 83 has featured 13 boundaries to date. Warwickshire v Somerset scorecard
Nottinghamshire came into the week as the outsiders of the four contenders and will resume against Yorkshire on Wednesday on 292-9, needing their final pair to muster a further eight runs for a third batting point.
It took Joe Clarke’s first Championship ton of the season to get them that far, a 97 partnership with teenage all-rounder Joey Evison (58 no) helping rescue the home side from a perilous-looking 147-5.
Adam Lyth twice gave Clarke a reprieve in the field, but Yorkshire’s 20-year-old wicketkeeper Harry Duke proved a safer pair of hands as he held six catches. Nottinghamshire v Yorkshire scorecard