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Page last updated at 12:37 GMT, Tuesday, 23 September 2008 13:37 UK

Championship set for grand finale

Dates: 24-27 September Start time: 1030 BST each day
Coverage: Live text commentary on the County Championship title run-in on BBC Sport website and mobiles; live scorecards on each game on BBC Sport website, mobiles and Ceefax; coverage on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC local radio

Notts, Somerset, Durham and Hampshire are in contention for the title

The final round of County Championship matches begins on Wednesday - with four teams in contention for the title.

Nottinghamshire are in pole position - but they can still be caught by Somerset, Durham or Hampshire.

At the bottom, Lancashire, Kent, Sussex and Yorkshire are all battling to avoid joining relegated Surrey - who are not in action and will finish bottom.

Division Two is all decided, with Warwickshire and Worcestershire having already guaranteed promotion.

The Bears need just four bonus points at home to Glamorgan to make sure of the Second Division title.

Kent v Durham (Canterbury)
Notts v Hampshire (Trent Bridge)
Somerset v Lancashire (Taunton)
Sussex v Yorkshire (Hove)
However, the Division One permutations are much less straightforward.

Nottinghamshire's destiny is in their own hands. They hold an eight-point lead over Somerset, their nearest rivals - so a victory for Notts over Hampshire at Trent Bridge will guarantee them the title, no matter how many bonus points they take.

However, if Notts fail to win, that could let in Somerset, who host Lancashire at Taunton, or third-placed Durham, who trail Somerset by two points and face Kent at Canterbury.

Having battled against relegation for much of the season, Hampshire still have a mathematical chance of the title going into the final game - despite trailing Durham by eight points and Notts by 18.

However, it would take the unlikely scenario of Hampshire beating Notts while taking maximum bonus points - while Notts take fewer than four bonus points - and Somerset and Durham failing to win, or taking enough bonus points to overtake Hampshire.

At the bottom, Yorkshire are four points adrift of Sussex and Kent, who are themselves one point behind Lancashire.

Most attention will likely be focused on Sussex's game with Yorkshire at Hove, with both teams in danger of the drop. A win for either side will guarantee their safety, and leave the loser relying on other results to go their way to stay up.

Meanwhile, Lancashire and Kent could both guarantee their safety with victories over Somerset and Durham respectively in games which affect both ends of the table.

But a high-scoring draw between Sussex and Yorkshire could see both sides stay up if Lancashire or Kent slip up.

All four relegation contenders - and all four title contenders - will be keenly monitoring the other games, but you can follow all the twists and turns at both ends of the table on the BBC Sport website, where we will have live text commentary throughout each day, in addition to live scorecards on each game.

There will also be coverage of all games on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC local radio.

LV County Championship - Division One Table
1 Durham 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0  0.0
2 Hampshire 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0  0.0
3 Lancashire 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0  0.0
4 Nottinghamshire 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0  0.0
5 Somerset 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0  0.0
6 Sussex 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0  0.0
7 Warwickshire 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0  0.0
8 Worcestershire 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0  0.0
9 Yorkshire 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0  0.0

Points available: Win (14), Tie (7), Draw (4).
Batting bonus points (200-249 runs scored - 1 point; 250-299 runs - 2 points; 300-349 runs - 3 points; 350-399 runs - 4 points; 400 runs or more - 5 points).
Bowling bonus points (3-5 wickets taken - 1 point; 6-8 wickets - 2 points; 9-10 wickets - 3 points)

NB Bonus points are only awarded in first 130 overs of first innings.

A match abandoned without a ball bowled sees both sides awarded 4 points, while if the scores are level in a drawn match, the side batting in the fourth innings is awarded 7 points, with the other side earning 4 points.

If sides finish level on points, the following tie-breakers apply in order: most wins, fewest losses, most points in contests between the two sides level on points, most wickets taken, most runs scored.

INTERNET LINK: ECB - County Championship rules & regulations

see also
Kent v Durham
23 Sep 08 |  Counties
Nottinghamshire v Hampshire
23 Sep 08 |  Counties
Newell expects an exciting finale
22 Sep 08 |  Nottinghamshire
Somerset title hopes in balance
23 Sep 08 |  Counties
Relegation not critical - Cumbes
19 Sep 08 |  Lancashire
Sussex v Yorkshire
23 Sep 08 |  Counties
Curtain falls on Gough's career
22 Sep 08 |  Yorkshire
Gloucestershire v Essex
23 Sep 08 |  Counties
Leicestershire v Derbyshire
23 Sep 08 |  Counties
Northants v Middlesex
23 Sep 08 |  Counties
Warwickshire v Glamorgan
23 Sep 08 |  Counties

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