Warwickshire sign off with style
Warwickshire, the newly crowned second division champions, confirmed their right to promotion with a dismissive 179-run victory over Glamorgan at Edgbaston. After posting a target of 403, Warwickshire had struggled to make inroads on the third evening, with Glamorgan closing on 122 for 1, but the final day was a different story. Chris Woakes removed Tom Maynard and Michael Powell without a run being added, before Neil Carter did the same for Gareth Rees. Mark Wallace had time to score a boundary before he became the fourth wicket of the morning, and by the time Ryan Watkins and Robert Croft had both fallen for ducks, Glamorgan had collapsed to 128 for 8. The remainder of the innings was nothing more than a face-saving exercise, and David Harrison did at least manage that task with a remarkable unbeaten 64 from 51 balls. Carter, however, nipped out the remaining two wickets for figures of 5 for 67.
Middlesex signed off their season in style with a comprehensive 93-run victory over Northamptonshire at Wantage Road. It was always a question of when, rather than if, following two declarations and a nominal victory target of 461, but Northants did at least put up a fight, with Rob White contributing his third century of the season, and Riki Wessels falling five runs short of his first. Dirk Nannes, however, removed both en route to figures of 4 for 42, though not before Steven Crook had provided Wessels with some late support an entertaining cameo of 59 from 64 balls, including eight fours and a six. Shaun Udal ended his fun before wheedling out the tail for figures of 3 for 96.
Gloucestershire's tail demonstrated impressive resilience to pluck a draw from the jaws of a rout against Essex at Bristol, and provide an upbeat ending to a depressing season in which they failed to win a single Championship fixture and finished a distant bottom of the second division. Having been asked to follow on the third morning, Gloucestershire resumed on 175 for 3 but soon lost the mainstay of their rearguard, Kadeer Ali, who was caught behind shortly after completing his third century of the season, closely followed by Chris Taylor for 60 - both wickets fell to Chris Wright. But instead of capitulating, Gloucestershire knuckled down to bat out the game. David Brown made 48 and Richard Dawson 40, while Steve Snell was unbeaten on 70 from 161 balls when their season finally came to an end.