National League Division Two
Table
Champions: Lancashire
Runners-up: Northamptonshire
Also promoted: Hampshire



Peter Martin appeals unsuccessfully against Phil Jaques, but he had the last laugh in Lancashire's nine-wicket win

Lancashire 243 for 1 beat Northamptonshire 240 by nine wickets at Northampton
Scorecard
Lancashire took the title of Division Two winners with a nine-wicket win against Northants, and at the same time pipped them to the post. And just to make things worse for Northants, it was one of their old boys, Mal Loye, who did the damage. Loye reminded the Wantage Road crowd of his talent by belting eleven fours, most of which were his trademark sweepshot off the quick bowlers. Stuart Law, as he has been all season, was just as ruthless on the mediocre bowling. He tonked 79 not out from 70 balls, including nine fours, the last of which won the game, and the division, and sent the champagne flying. Loye and Law added 131 as Lancashire made light work of reaching the 241 runs required. Phil Jaques signed off a prosperous season with a classy 107 from 109 balls to help Northants to a competitive total, but it wasn't enough to prevent Lancashire from clinching the top spot.

Derbyshire 172 for 7 beat Hampshire 163 by nine runs at Derby
Scorecard
Hampshire managed to hold on to the third and final promotion position, despite losing against Derbyshire. A win would have definitely secured their ticket to Division One, but in keeping with their season, they did it the hard way. After James Hamblin and Dimi Mascarenhas had helped to restrict Derbyshire to 172 for 7, and Simon Katich (56) and Derek Kenway were cruising along, the win was on the cards. But then the tide turned in dramatic fashion. The Derbyshire attack struck back, taking seven wickets for only 20 runs and before they knew it, Hampshire had blown it, sinking without trace by nine runs. However, due to Middlesex's loss at Durham, their frustrations were short-lived as they kept hold of the magical third place.

Durham 114 for 1 beat Middlesex 112 for 9 by nine wickets at Chester-le-Street
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Middlesex needed a win or tie to have any chance of stealing Hampshire's promotion spot, but things didn't quite go to plan as they slumped to 112 for 9 from a rain-reduced innings of 30 overs. Shoaib Akhtar and Neil Killeen did most of the damage on the wet wicket, as the top six made all of 18 between them. Middlesex had crumbled to 27 for 7 before Ben Hutton and Chad Keegan saved some pride with a stand of 80. Durham required only 15.4 overs for the win, Nicky Peng pinging 66 not out from 58 balls.

Somerset 377 for 9 beat Sussex 186 by 191 runs at Hove
Scorecard
Somerset took advantage of a hung-over and jaded Sussex team by spanking their bleary-eyed bowlers to all parts of Hove with the highest ever National League total. Michael Burns hammered 91 from 81 before that big biffer Ian Blackwell bludgeoned 111 from only 56 balls, including 13 fours and five sixes as Somerset amassed a whopping 377 for 9. Sussex never had a chance, and they lost wickets at regular intervals. Keith Dutch took 4 for 34 in Somerset's huge win, but one which won't paper over the cracks of another dismal season.

National Cricket League Division One
Table
Champions: Surrey
Runners-up: Gloucestershire
Relegated: Leicestershire, Yorkshire, Worcestershire

Kent 267 for 7 beat Warwickshire 163 by 104 runs at Canterbury
Scorecard
Kent's comfortable win against Warwickshire ensured that they maintained their record of being the only county not to have been relegated from either the Championship or the National League. Ed Smith will have given the England selectors a few lingering doubts after they overlooked him for the touring squad with his return to form. He followed a hundred in the Championship with a responsible 74 at the top of the order and put on 79 with Rob Key and then 89 with Andrew Symonds (49) in Kent's healthy 267 for 7. Amjad Khan then put them on the path to safety by ripping out three of the first four Warwickshire wickets with only 36 on the board. They then slumped even further to 68 for 6 and even though Dougie Brown (22) and Michael Powell (48) temporarily stopped the rot, James Tredwell wrapped things up to keep Kent up but at the same time send Leicestershire tumbling down.

Leicestershire 283 for 9 beat Surrey 115 by 168 runs at The Oval
Scorecard
A crushing win over the National League winners Surrey was not enough to prevent a miserable season for Leicestershire, as they followed their relegation in the Championship with the same fate in the NCL. Against a second-string Surrey bowling attack, Leicestershire clobbered 283 for 9, mainly thanks to a 183-run stand between Darren Maddy (69) and Brad Hodge (43), plus an unbeaten 43 from Vasbert Drakes. Phil DeFreitas (5 for 40) and Charlie Dagnall then set about brushing Surrey aside for only 115 to give themselves a hope of staying up, but all their efforts were in vain as news came through from Canterbury that Kent had won and secured the last safe place in the division.

Gloucestershire 214 for 7 beat Yorkshire 213 for 7 by three wickets at Leeds
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Gloucestershire nobbled Yorkshire to the last promotion spot in the Championship and they did them again today at Headingley, even though it didn't have the same consequences. Yorkshire were already relegated and Gloucestershire had the bridesmaid's outfit measured and fitted - and the game reflected that. Martyn Ball took 5 for 33 to restrict Yorkshire to 213 for 7, as Joe Sayers, 19, made 62 on his debut. And another Yorkshire youngster, Nick Thornicroft, 18, took 5 for 42 and gave Gloucestershire a fright after he reduced them to 37 for 4. But Matt Windows and Alex Gidman then came to the rescue. Windows scored 91 not out, inlcuding 11 fours, and Gidman provided steady support with 48. Gloucestershire won with five balls to spare and ended the season in second place, four points behind Surrey.

Essex 217 for 6 beat Worcestershire 213 by four wickets at Worcester
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Essex finished their season on a welcome bright note with a four-wicket win over bottom-placed Worcestershire to lift them to third in the division. Kabir Ali top-scored with a blazing 92 from 93 balls in Worcestershire's 213, in which Andy Clarke took 3 for 30. Essex, set up by Will Jefferson's 74, including 15 fours, then made steady progress to their target, and overcame a late wobble to win with three overs remaining.