Wow a lot happened in this final round, while Surrey were confirmed as County Champions last week and Gloucestershire confirmed as relegated , everything else was yet to be decided. I had a meeting as things were being finished up and managed to take a peek at the scores and final tables. How I didn’t exclaim out loud I do not know! The last year that has been truly awful for Yorkshire and it got worse today when one Liam Norwell took 9 Hampshire wickets for 62 runs, that alongside a century from opener Rob Yates saw Warwickshire win their match and gain the points to leapfrog Yorkshire. Kent have also had a good couple of weeks, including this week, details to follow, they looked in danger last week, but finished 5th just below Essex.

On to the scores on the doors, starting with the games that finished on Day 3 of this round.

Division 1

Kent v Somerset – The Spitfire Ground, Canterbury. Tom Abell won the toss for Somerset and elect dot bat. Kent won by an innings and 151 runs.

Somerset 202 All Out & 139 All Out, Kent 492 All Out.

Somerset were bowled out in 63.5 overs, in spite of a great innings from Lewis Goldsworthy who scored 94 from 155 balls while all failed around him. Nathan Gilchrist took 6 for 61 from his 19.5 overs.

Kent’s scorecard looked very different to Somersets; they batted for 106.5 overs scoring 492. Zak Crawley and Tawanda Muyeye shared an opening partnership of 176. Crawley scored 79 from 102 balls and Muyeye 85 from 127. Keeper Ollie Robinson, who was playing his last game for Kent, before moving to Sussex, scored 52 from 57 balls. Hamidullah Qadri in at 8 scored 87 from 91 balls. In the middle of what must’ve seemed like carnage Kasey Aldridge took 6 for 110 in his 24.5 overs.

Somerset were bowled out in 40.4 overs, with wickets falling on a regular basis, Sajid Khan batting at 10 top scored with 40 from 19 balls, a strike rate of 210.53. Matt Quinn who had a good week last week took 3 for 14 in his 11 overs. And Kent had a good win to see them move up top 5th place.

Lancashire v Surrey – Old Trafford, Manchester. Dane Vilas won the toss for Lancashire and elected to bat. Lancashire won by an innings and 130 runs.

Lancashire 512 All Out, Surrey 209 All Out & 173 All Out

Keaton Jennings has had a marvellous season, he fell one run short here of scoring 3 double centuries this summer. his 199 from 276 balls has put him 3rd in the runs table for the season with 1233 runs at an average of 72.52, that, is some going! Jennings and Steven Croft shared a 3rd wicket stand of 195. Croft scored 86 from 143 balls. George Balderson fresh from taking an Essex hat-trick then shared 16th wicket partnership with Jennings of 126. Balderson scored 97 from 142 balls as Lancashire batted for 124.1 overs.

Surrey who won the Championship this year with 48 batting points to their name, 11 more than Hants who finished with 37, were bowled out in 79.2 overs, with Cameron Steel top scoring with 47 from 163 balls. The 5 bowlers shared the wickets.

Following on Surrey lasted just 73.1 overs, captain Rory Burns finishing the season with a flourish on 61 from 79 balls, perhaps the celebrations had been too enjoyable, but Lancs had the win and with it 2nd place. Tom Hartley took 5 for 52 in his 29 overs.

Yorkshire v Gloucestershire – Graeme van Buuren won the toss for Gloucs and elected to bat. Gloucestershire won by 18 runs.

Gloucestershire 190 All Out & 233 All Out, Yorkshire 183 All Out & 222 All Out.

Gloucs were bowled out in 57.2 overs and James Bracey batted for 54.1 of them, top scoring with 71 from 112 balls. Matt Fisher was the best of the bowlers with 4 for 45 in his 12 overs. That should have put Yorkshire in a strong position.

The Yorkshire innings followed a similar pattern to Gloucs, without a single score over 50. Zafar Gohar took 5 for 40 in his 14 overs. Yorkshire were bowled out in 57.4 overs.

This was a low scoring game and Gloucs batted for 76.2 overs in their 2nd innings, Ollie Price scored 68 from 179 balls and Jack Taylor 67 from 78 balls. 5 of the 6 bowlers shared the wickets.

Yorkshire were still in a strong position, their opposition had after all only won one game this season, but no, in spite of a spirited effort from Dom Bess who finished not out on 79 from 103 balls they were bowled out in 69.2 overs and beaten in 3 days. A miserable day would get worse as they then had to watch the match going on in Birmingham. As an aside, Yorkshire were missing not only the players involved in the T20 series in Pakistan but also Joe Root, who was apparently playing golf, hard to understand why he couldn’t turn out to help save his county from relegation.

Warwickshire v Hampshire – Edgbaston, Birmingham. James Vince won the toss for Hampshire and put Warwickshire in to bat. Warwickshire won by 5 runs!

Warwickshire 272 for 4 dec & 177 All Out, Hampshire 311 All Out & 133 All Out.

I think this must’ve been the bravest display of captaincy this year as Will Rhodes =knew his team needed to win this match, he declared after just 70 overs and with just 272 runs on the board. Rob Yates and Dom Sibley scored 129 for the 1st wicket, Yates went on to score 104 from 185 balls, batting for just under an hour, Sibley scored 54.

In reply Hants lost early wickets before captain James Vince stood firm, scoring 98 from 150 balls, Keith Barker, better known for his bowling scored 76 from 111 balls, as Hants overtook the Warwicks score.

Hampshire were vying for 2nd place and had a good shot after bowling Warwicks out in just 39.2 overs. Sibley top scored with 77 from 101 balls, taking him to 935 at 42.5 for the season. James Fuller took 4 for 34 in his 9 overs.

This was the game I was trying to keep an eye on as was every cricket lover in both Yorkshire and Warwickshire no doubt. Warwickshire surely couldn’t pull this iff could they? Well yes, Liam Norwell made sure they could! He took a remarkable 9 for 62 in his 18.5 overs! That brave captaincy certainly paid off! Warwickshire were safe and Yorkshire’s fate was sealed! They will be playing second division (if we still have 2) in 2023.

Northamptonshire v Essex – The County Ground, Northampton. Will Young won the toss for Northants and put Essex in to bat. Essex won by 47 runs.

Essex 263 All Out & 110 All Out, Northants 163 All Out & 163 All Out.

Essex fans will not be shocked to know they have the lowest batting points this season, just 24, literally half of the Champions total of 48! Tom Westley was the only one of the traditional batter to get over the 50 mark, he scored 56 from 145 balls. Young bowler Ben Allison top scored with 69* from 114 balls. Tom Taylor was the best of the Northants bowlers with 4 for 59 as Essex were bowled out in 82 overs.

This was a game to remember for Allison as he took 5 for 32 in Northants 1st innings. They were bowled out in 68.1 overs and unsurprisingly there wasn’t a score of 50 or over.

I think it’s fair to say Essex had a woeful 2nd innings as they were bowled out in 48.5 overs. Jack White took 6 for 38 and of course in 110 runs the top score was just 20.

A Simon Harmer special was needed to win this match, and along he came! He took 6 for 49 in his 15.3 overs as Northants were bowled out in 45.3 overs. The match was won for Essex, but Northants can hold their heads high with a 6th place finish this season.

More to come tomorrow, bed is calling this evening!

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