Tossed up, swept behind square, Notts win and Middlesex are relegated! Ball bows out in glory at Trent Bridge, but what a fight Middlesex put up!
5.42pm Wow... can you hear the shrieks at Canterbury? In fact, they are playing the Great Escape over the PA. Kent cling onto the top flight by the skin of Nottinghamshire's tail. Middlesex did everything they could, most particularly Sam Robson, who scored his third hundred - and his county's fourth of the campaign - then ripped his legbreaks with elan to give his side real belief. But they were forced to gamble on a gettable run-chase due to their desperation, and in the end 207 to win was not enough.
Here ends the County Championship, and just like last year's hi-jinx with Warwickshire, we've had a relegation humdinger to see us into the winter. In the end, Middlesex showed spirit, but it's been a grim season for them on and off the field, and it's ended with a return whence they came two years ago. Cheers for joining us... See you again
in 2024 tomorrow, for England's first World Cup warm-up match in Guwahati ... it's all go in these parts....
thumped on the up, towards mid-off, never a catch, but it is a dot
Christmas Cactus, this is ridiculous. Three men round the bat again for the No.10. Slip, silly point, short leg
maddog: "Come on Jake, end your Notts career in style. "
Robson will go again... Ball was rehearsing his own reverse-sweep just now...
reverse-sweep, nailed at De Caires at backward point! Body on the line to save the winning run!
right back on the stumps, getting everything in line to defend
head right over the ball to smother the full length. Jeepers
paddle sweep, and edged onto Simpson's chest! Top-edge, no chance of a catch, but he saves the run!
Slip goes to gully
cut away off the back foot, scores are level! Middlesex still alive, just... eight points for a tie saves them
Slip, leg slip, short leg
James De Lamber: "County Championship Cricket, eh? Ain't nothing like it and long may it live! Thoroughly enjoying this grand-stand finale, thank you for the comms Miller!"
reverse-sweep, good contact to deep third... two to win, and one to level the scores! A tie would be enough for Middlesex!
Another conflab from the brains trust... four overs remaining, as it happens!
Dan: "Rhys - If Middlesex declared later, whilst they'd have a better total to defend, they'd have less overs to get the wickets. Can't have one without sacrificing the other, hard to work out at the time but easy to comment on after the fact." Indeed. I think it was about right given their desperation!
width, that was the ball! Ball has a hack off the back foot, contact would have been a precious run... but he's at least survived!
a beauty! Flight and dip, spins past the outside edge... yikes
right back on the stumps and straightens past the off stump! Slip can't look...
full toss, punched to mid-off... still no run
tossed up, driven square, Bamber sprawls and prevents the single!
back of a length, chopped down into the crease... nearly curtains!
Is this the over? Two slips...
very full length, clipped off the toes to Robson at short midwicket. Ball will be on strike!
right back on the stumps, glided down to deep third, they take the single, so a big ball coming up now. Got to keep Monty on strike...
rocks back onto the stumps and defends once more, back to the bowler
drags the length back, tapped to the off side
maddog: "Even more so after another wicket.. Come on Notts!!"
tight line, pressed back down the pitch
Three men round the bat, as TRJ, Yadav and Stoneman confer... make it two round the bat
swept fine, but he takes the single... so be it... Ball has five balls, with four to win!
So, Yadav, with half an end open... will that affect how Montgomery plays this? Singles might be a little more dicey