Loudon finishes in style as Derby break duck
Alex Loudon claimed 6 for 66 to highlight the promise that England's selectors have picked out, as Warwickshire finished the Championship season in style with a 181-run with over Gloucestershire. Matt Windows provided the only substantial resistance with a 176-ball 65 but Loudon ran through the tail and took his wicket tally for the summer to 34.
Surrey managed a belated innings and 39-run win against Middlesex but it was a hollow success, with their relegation confirmed two days ago. Azhar Mahmood reached his maiden double century before the Middlesex batting folded - their intensity having slipped after securing the bonus they required on the second day. Saqlain Mushtaq and Ian Salisbury spun out six wickets between them as Jamie Dalrymple (75) produced the only meaningful batting.
Yorkshire succumbed to the twin-spin attack of Jason Brown and Monty Panesar as Northamptonshire completed an innings and 21-run win. Yorkshire's defeat hands Lancashire the second division title and it was only a matter of time on the final day before the spinners did the job. Brown and Panesar claimed five each for the innings and 10 each for the match. Ian Harvey made a defiant 74 but Yorkshire were already safely promoted regardless of this result.
Derbyshire secured their first Championship win since July 23 last season when the wrapped up an innings 18-run against Somerset. Derbyshire were made to work hard for their wickets, but Graeme Welch and Ant Botha ate away at the lower order. Ian Blackwell hit the fastest hundred of the season - off 67 balls - before he fell to Botha and Keith Parsons was left stranded, unbeaten on 93. Luke Sutton pouched the catch that finished the match, in his last Championship appearance for Derbyshire.
Graeme Hick overcame a poor run of form to smash 107 from 96 balls, but it wasn't quite enough to take Worcestershire to victory against Essex. After Essex scored 201 for 1 against some part-time bowling, Worcestershire were set 352 in 60 overs. The top four batsmen all made significant contributions and while Hick and Ben Smith were adding 172 for the third wicket they were on course. However, Tim Phillips, who was brought on late by Ronnie Irani, snapped up three quick wickets - including Hick - and Steven Davies and Gareth Batty couldn't hit Worcestershire across the line.