County Championship Division Two, Northampton, day two (stumps): Northamptonshire 196 & 379-9 v Worcestershire 172-8 dec.
Worcestershire secured the Division Two title after denying Northants a vital third bowling bonus point with a strategic declaration.
They haltd their first innings on 172-8, which meant Northants could only achieve a possible 245 points, with Worcestershire's tally already standing at 245.75.
The visitors were still 24 runs adrift when Matt Mason was bowled by Graeme
Swann in the 14th over of the morning.
But Northants were on course for a consolation victory after establishing a 403-run lead with two days to play.
Three home batsmen made half-centuries, with departing skipper Mike Hussey top-scoring with 79.
Shaftab Khalid returned figures of 4-131, claiming the wickets of Gerard Brophy (60) and Graeme Swann (69) in the process.
The Wantage Road pitch is to be subjected to an ECB inspection after 16 wickets fell on the opening day's play.
Northamptonshire: M E K Hussey (Capt), T W Roberts, P A Jaques,
D J G Sales, M J Powell, J W Cook, T M B Bailey (Wkt), G P Swann
M J Cawdron, M S Panesar, J F Brown.
Worcestershire: S D Peters, V S Solanki, Kadeer Ali, G A Hick
B F Smith (Capt), D A Leatherdale, G J Batty, D J Pipe (Wkt)
S A Khalid, M S Mason, M Hayward.
Umpires: A Clarkson, R Palmer.