The final round of the County Championship is upon us. The title is already safety in Essex’s hands, but there are still crucial issues to be resolved around promotion and relegation. Here’s what’s what as the summer draws to a close.
Who is going down?
Yorkshire‘s nervy two-wicket chase against Warwickshire has given them some breathing room although they still need to be alert against champions Essex. Six points would make safety certain for them regardless of what happens elsewhere.
The main attention will be on the Somerset-Middlesex match at Taunton. A proper relegation scrap. If Middlesex win, Somerset are down. If Somerset win and equal Middlesex’s number of bonus points, Somerset would be ahead of Middlesex by virtue of more wins (4 to 3).
Then it’s about what Hampshire do against already relegated Warwickshire. They currently have a 13-point cushion over Somerset. The points they require to be safe will depend on what happens at Taunton, but the worst case for Hampshire is that they will need 12 – 13 points are available for a draw with maximum bonuses (three bowling, five batting).
Surrey‘s victory over Somerset made them safe (and leapfrogged them into second place with just their second win of the campaign), but there is jostling for position which is of interest (and value) for second place between them and Lancashire at Old Trafford. The runner-up earns £240,000 while third place gets £115,000.
Who is going up?
The simplest scenario is to say it’s in Worcestershire‘s and Nottinghamshire‘s hands. Worcestershire need to take just six points from their match against Durham to secure promotion, while Nottinghamshire – who have stumbled when the title seemed there for the taking – need to take 12 against Sussex to remove any doubt.
Northamptonshire, though, have come up on the rails after completing a 124-run victory against Nottinghamshire. They have to win against Leicestershire – who have not had a victory this season – and hope Durham and Sussex help them out in the other two fixtures. The Division Two title comes with £120,000.