Nottinghamshire secure promotion
A round-up from the first day of the final round of matches in the County Championship's Division Two
With the promotion issues all but settled, there was a low-key feeling to the final round of matches in Division Two, especially as all the attention was centred on the Division One title race.
The only hypothetical matter to be resolved came about in the afternoon when Nottinghamshire secured the one point they needed to cement their promotion. They may have been bowled out for 158 at Trent Bridge by title-winners Somerset, but that was enough. Charl Willoughby took 4 for 39 from 14 overs, and Peter Trego three, as they weaved their way through the line-up, with only Mark Wagh's 41 standing out. Marcus Trescothick led Somerset's first-innings reply, his unbeaten 76 taking them to a 36-run lead with six wickets still remaining and Ian Blackwell on 70 not out. This means that Notts, like Surrey last year, have immediately bounced back to the top division following relegation. Essex took charge against Middlesex at Chelmsford where Grant Flower's hundred steered them to 345 for 7 amid the late-season chill. Flower was unbeaten on 145 at the close, but Middlesex should have had him when he had made 25 but Ed Smith spilt a fairly straightforward chance at first slip.
Flower's main support came from James Foster, the pair adding 181 for the fifth wicket before Flower sold his partner down the river by calling for a suicidal run to Andrew Strauss at point with Foster four short of a hundred for the second time in successive Championship matches.
Mark Pettini eased down the order to No. 5 after chatting with Paul Grayson, the coach, but it did little good - he made 6. He was one of four victims for Robbie Williams, making his Championship debut.
Hamish Marshall's third hundred of the summer put Gloucestershire in charge against Glamorgan at Cardiff where the visitors closed on 262 for 4 after overnight rain had delayed the start until almost 1.45pm. The damp pitch encouraged David Hemp to stick Gloucestershire in, and had Glamorgan held their catches then it might have been a different story - Marshall was put down at gully and slip when on 16 and 25. With Kadeer Ali, Marshall added 192 for the third wicket after they were wobbling on 22 for 2, cutting lose to bring up his century off 105 balls. He was eventually dismissed for 121, and 11 runs later Ali followed. Derbyshire wrestled to 43 for 3 in the 41 overs possible against Northamptonshire in between the showers at Derby. Nineteen-year-old Paul Borrington made his maiden first-class fifty. Hassan Adnan bagged a duck.