Northants left to watch and wait
Northamptonshire will now have their attention firmly fixed on events at Derby after they completed a crushing innings-and-196-run victory against Leicestershire at Wantage Road to move into the second promotion place. However, if Essex manage to conjure a victory from their match against Derbyshire it is them who will go up. Still, Northamptonshire couldn't do any more than this crushing win which was completed mid-way through the afternoon session. David Lucas, who had the two overnight wickets, finished with 7 for 45. He removed Paul Nixon and Greg Smith early on and when Leicestershire slumped to 45 for 6 it didn't seem as though they would make it to lunch. However, James Benning opened his shoulders with 72 off 64 balls and James Taylor showed some defiance as the pair added 86 before Benning fell to Nicky Boje. Claude Henderson offered a few lusty blows, but the end wasn't far off coming. Lucas removed Henderson and Wayne White then Johan van der Wath bowled Harry Gurney to leave Northamptonshire watching the television, hoping Derbyshire do them a favour.
Sam Northeast carried his bat for an unbeaten career-best 128, his maiden century, but Kent ended the season with an innings-and-23-run defeat against Gloucestershire at Bristol. Even though the home side's hopes of promotion vanished with Northamptonshire's win, they continued to dominant this game as they had done for the majority of the time. Kent began their second innings 288 runs behind, after Stephen Adshead completed his century, and their strongest period of defiance came as Northeast and Robert Key opened with 101 in 17 overs. But when Key was bowled by Steve Kirby the innings started to unravel. Alex Blake fell for a duck and Hamish Marshall chipped out two with his medium pace before Anthony Ireland - who was drafted in to replace James Franklin after his call-up to the Champions Trophy - claimed a brace for himself. Northeast's hundred came from 133 balls and the lower order hit hard until Jon Lewis claimed the final wicket with Geraint Jones unable to bat due to a neck problem.
Glamorgan's batsmen continued to gorge themselves at The Oval as they amassed 702 for 8 against Surrey, just 16 short of their all-time highest total. Mark Cosgrove and Gareth Rees carried their opening stand to 314 before Cosgrove was run out for 175. Rees continued to a career-best 154 then Surrey enjoyed their best period with the ball as four wickets fell for 37 to Chris Jordan and Richard Logan. However, if they thought their toil would be ended they were proved very wrong as Mark Wallace and Jim Allenby added a club-record 240. Wallace eased to his second hundred of the season as the lead swelled and Allenby joined him as the fourth century-maker of the innings. When the declaration finally came, Garnett Kruger rubbed salt in Surrey's wounds by removing Michael Brown for 17.
Essex have been left needing some magic from Danish Kaneria against Derbyshire or will have to chase whatever they are set to snatch promotion off Northamptonshire. Andrew McGlashan watched the action.
Gary Keedy spun out Warwickshire with season-best 6 for 50 as Lancashire finished their Championship season with a 10-wicket victory at Old Trafford. Keedy's haul ensured a day off for the players before their final Pro40 match as he removed Warwickshire a lead of just three. The visitors' top order had gone to pace as Sajid Mahmood claimed two and Kyle Hogg trapped Ian Bell lbw for 9. Then it was over to Keedy who began by removing Jonathan Trott leg before to end a stand of 50 with Jim Troughton. Most of the middle order got starts, and Tim Ambrose pushed onto 55, but Keedy kept chipping away. It then took Tom Smith two balls to hit the winning runs.
Nottinghamshire batted themselves into control for second place and a useful pay-day against relegated Sussex. Jon Culley reports from Trent Bridge.
Yorkshire and Hampshire are both secure in Division One as there final game continues. John Ward watched the action at Headingley.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul hit a double century as Durham passed 600 against Worcestershire. George Dobell was at New Road.