flighted, around off stump, Westley defends
5.40pm: There we go, the champagne corks pop for one last time on this monumental English summer! Essex are champions again... And they've got another cardboard cutout to help with the celebrations, this time of absent Aussie Peter Siddle. Nice work. That's a wrap from us, as well. Thanks for joining us on the ride - in the words of Vinnie Jones, "It's been emotional." From myself, Matt and Miller, as well as everyone else who has contributed over the last few months, it's goodbye for now. Cheerio!
5.35pm: Time to hear from the captains, starting with Tom Abell: "Obviously went right down to the wire. We gave ourselves a chance this evening but it wasn't meant to be. The supporters have been phenomenal and the atmosphere when we got the ten [first-innings] wickets was amazing. Over a Championship the best team will often prevail, so congratulations to Ryan and Essex. I don't think words can do justice to what Tres means to our team and Somerset as a whole. He's a great player and more importantly a great person as well."
And Essex's Ryan ten Doeschate: "It's been crazy, a lot going around my head. Before we start, can I say Marcus Trescothick, he's been an ambassador for county cricket, he's been great for the game and everyone at Essex wishes him well. T20 was obviously special, we knew it would be a massive battle. We got a bit lucky with the weather and the boys fought so hard, but to come up with two trophies is incredible. You plan your resources but it's very difficult, very taxing to win in two formats. We really cherish these moments, they are few and far between."
A word with (Sir) Alastair Cook: "Bit of an odd 48 hours, with the weather around. We had to decide whether to stick or gamble. But an unbelievable win for our guys. When I got out I thought I was going to bat again. It was tough, tough to start against spin on that. It's about the guys as a proper Essex unit, we enjoy playing cricket together and we've had some success. It's been a privilege to be part of it and that's why I carried on."
That's it, they've shaken hands, and Essex are champions again! Somerset gave it their all but knew the miracle was beyond them... Cook punches the air, cheers and hugs on the Essex balcony, they've completed an extraordinary double over the last few days, the first county to win T20 and Championship titles in the same year. There's honour in the draw for Somerset, who are led off by Marcus Trescothick in his final appearance as a professional. We had some drama but got the expected result in the end; Ryan ten Doeschate and his players head down on to the outfield to receive the Championship trophy for the second time in three years.
"RE Tim Spencer's comment earlier, Essex have two of top 10 run scorers in Div 1 this season," chirps Mike Spencer. "That's Michelin rating. (Yes, Tim's brother keeping Eagle eye out, too)"
Abhijato's back, too: "Be it the World Cup finale, the Edgbaston heroics, the T20 Finals Day Mayhem, or any of the other classic moments in between, we were blessed to have lived through this summer. Godspeed, memories made here, see you down the road for years to come :)"
"May I ask a question? I am new to county cricket can you explain me why somerset forfeit without fearing of lose??" Because a draw was as good as a loss for them, rayyan javed. They to be prepared to lose in order to win, as a certain SK Warne likes to say
floated up full and wide of the stumps, lets this one go
pushed on with the arm, Westley nudges it off his front pad to midwicket
That Bess appeal against Cook was pad first, by the way... Umpire's call on impact, so would have been a tight one, either way
tossed up a bit fuller and Cook clips off his front pad through square leg
flattish on off stump, defended going back
short and straying down the leg side, Cook misses with a flick but it deflects past Davies off the pad and runs away for four leg byes!
Time for maybe three or four more overs? Van der Merwe continues
pushed through and nurdled away through midwicket for one more
fired in quicker on off stump, bat and pad involved... Alex Wharf shakes his head. Was it pad first? Might have been close, if so
drops short and Westley forces it away off his pads behind square
flat offbreak delivered from round the wicket, worked to midwicket
Are we in for some more EPIC madness?? Out comes Tom Westley, 25 needed to win, 15 minutes officially left in the day
Bess strikes, taken at second slip! The presence of Tresco was enough! Somerset have chipped one out, Browne lured forward and only managing a thick outside edge... But is it too late? (Surely, surely it is)
Browne reaches forward to defend
Somerset's title might be slipping away... but here's a final chance to farewell Marcus Trescothick, who's coming on in his whites as a sub fielder! Huge applause around the ground. He's donning a helmet, too, down on his knees at gully!
"Tendo's dismissal -- see your comment at 12.6 -- was plainly strategic -- designed to make Somerset think they had a chance, when in fact..." Genius. Never doubted him for a moment, Simon Lewis
pushed through and defended on the front foot
plopped on the stumps, Cook is back and fends it down to the leg side
fired in straight and Browne whips this one away through midwicket for another single
flicked off his pads
too wide, full and easy to smash through point on the drive, taking Essex ever closer
full outside off, Browne bunts it into the ground in front of silly mid-off
Still around 20 mins left in the day. Somerset needing a(nother) spark of magic here
slips in one out of the front of the hand, almost does Cook! Skids through past the bat
floated up full on off, Cook prods it away
"Has the forfeit innings broken the website? Still stuck on the innings break!" Quite possibly, Richard. But we're still plugging away in the engine room!