Lancashire ease to eight-wicket win
Lancashire 248 for 183 for 2 (Chilton 97, Horton 58) beat Somerset 202 and 227 by eight wickets
Lancashire cantered to an eight-wicket victory at Taunton with Mark Chilton falling three short of his second century of the season. As soon as Kent lost against Durham all relegation issues were decided, but less than two weeks ago Lancashire appeared to be heading for the drop. Events have often changed quickly this season.
Their only delay on the final day was early-morning fog, which meant the openers couldn't resume for an hour. However, when they did Chilton and Horton progressed with ease to post a stand of 151 before Horton fell to Andrew Caddick.
Chilton was set to sign off the summer, which started with him playing second XI cricket, with a hundred but was caught down the leg side off Caddick three short. He can end the season secure of his place for the opening weeks of next year's campaign.
The delayed start meant Lancashire couldn't quite finish the match before lunch, but Karl Brown and Stuart Law didn't take long after the interval to complete the job. For Law, the future is uncertain and this may have been his last innings for Lancashire and the closing chapter on a final career. That will be decided in the coming weeks as the club confirms senior contracts for next season.
Somerset will reflect on a title push that ran out of steam, but they have never quite looked like champions. Just three wins is evidence of a team lacking a cutting edge in their attack. Pitches at Taunton don't help, but they have been livelier this year as witness by the first day of this match.
Below Caddick and Charl Willoughby there isn't much strike power from the seamers, while the spin options are limited. There is hope that Mike Munday, the legspinner, will develop but it is going to take time. Justin Langer has done a fine job to instil a strong team spirit and work ethic at the club, but he didn't have his best of matches either this week. Somerset can reflect on a season where they maintained a title challenge, but were found short in crucial areas.