County Championship Division Two round-up September 25, 2008

Warwickshire secure Division Two title

Cricinfo staff

Owais Shah completes his hundred at Northampton © PA Photos
The one remaining issue of the Division Two season was settled in the first hour of the day as Warwickshire secured the bonus points needed against Glamorgan for them to overhaul Worcestershire and clinch the title at Edgbaston.

Glamorgan, a side whose finish to the summer on and off the field is taking on Devon Loch qualities, offered no fight once they had polished off the Warwickshire innings. Neil Carter continued the onslaught he started last night, so much so that another 21 runs had been added when Tim Ambrose was dismissed without adding to his overnight 86. Adam Shanty took two of the three wickets to fall to finish with 5 for 77.

That left them needing three Glamorgan wickets, and they didn't have to wait long as Chris Woakes tore through a flimsy top order. After removing Gareth Rees and Tom Maynard, the title was secured when Jonathan Trott caught Michael Powell, and the collapse continued as Glamorgan limped to 43 for 6. Jamie Dalrymple was the man to dig in, and his plucky 92 ensured there was no follow-on. He was last man out, caught at long-on as he tried for his hundred before running out of partners, falling to Woakes who finished with 6 for 68.

Second time round, Warwickshire were, understandably, slightly less focussed, and as was the case yesterday, they lost early wickets to close on 55 for 3. The day was rounded off when Ian Salisbury was awarded the third county cap of his career, adding to the ones he gained at Sussex and Surrey.

Middlesex made the most of a placid pitch at Wantage Road to amass 545 for 7 against Northamptonshire. Andrew Strauss fell early for 172, failing to beat his career-best score by five runs, but Owais Shah, 80 not out overnight, completed his hundred and then Eoin Morgan gorged himself in making an unbeaten 136. In the midst of plenty there was a rather unexpected mid-innings collapse as four wickets fell for 19, Ed Joyce, in probably his last innings for the county, making only 1, while Monty Panesar whirled away to finish with 5 for 143. Northamptonshire found things equally straightforward although their batsmen got themselves out after playing themselves in, and more application will be needed tomorrow if they are to avoid the follow-on. At the close, they were 128 for 3.

Leicestershire'spolicy of fielding young England players among their Kolpaks is well documented, but it was Derbyshire's 21-year-old Portsmouth-born offspinner Jake Needham who pulled his side back into the match at Grace Road. He took career-best figures of 6 for 49, and more impressively 5 for 24 after lunch, as Leicestershire slid from 152 for 4 to 208 all out, a lead of only 14. After that excitement the rest of a truncated day was fairly hard work for the Leicester diehards, Derbyshire grinding their way to 85 for 0 in 43 turgid overs on a pitch where the bounce remains variable.

Essex were another side who decided to give they batsmen free rein on a flat pitch as they piled up 510 against Gloucestershire at Bristol. James Foster gave the selectors a nudge on the eve of them naming their Test squad for India with 122 while James Middlebrook chipped in with 75, the pair adding 107 for the seventh wicket. Gloucestershire were heartened by the performance of Rob Woodman who took a career-best 4 for 65 on his debut, but when it was their turn to bat, they found the going much harder. They slid to 49 for 3 in the 25th over, the umpires coming to their aid when they took the players off for bad light.