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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 September 2005, 15:38 GMT 16:38 UK
Nottinghamshire win county title
County Championship D1, Canterbury: Nottinghamshire 486-8 dec & 170-3 beat Kent 237-5 dec & 205 by 214 runs
Notts celebrate
Notts celebrated their first major trophy since 1991

Nottinghamshire clinched the County Championship for the first time since 1987 with a 214-run victory over Kent.

Andrew Harris took 6-76 in an impressive display of reverse swing to bowl the home side out for 205 after they were set 420 to win at Canterbury.

Kent had kept a slim chance of taking the title themselves by declaring 249 behind on their overnight 237-5.

Notts then reached 170-3 against mainly part-time bowlers before declaring, leaving 70 overs to finish the job.

Opener Jason Gallian, with an unbeaten 74, and Chris Read gained the bulk of the runs on offer.

With six bonus points from the match already, Notts simply needed victory to take the Championship title in their first season back in Division One.

I've got a two-year deal and a number of the side have targeted this year but also next year
Captain Stephen Fleming

Home captain Dave Fulton ended his side's innings in arrears after agreeing that Notts would not enforce the follow-on and declare once they had a decent total.

But his counterpart Stephen Fleming was in a better negotiating position because Notts could still have taken the title with a draw here and a win next week whereas Kent needed victory.

Kent's sixth-wicket pair Neil Dexter and Niall O'Brien were left with unbeaten half-centuries to their name when the declaration came.

Kent suffered an early setback in their second innings, though, when they lost opener Robert Key in the course of 25 minutes' batting before lunch.

Key, batting with a runner and in obvious discomfort from a groin injury, pulled an easy catch to square-leg off Harris to go for only six.

Fulton got underneath an attempted pull at Ryan Sidebottom and was well caught by Harris running in from long-leg.

Then Gallian's safe hands at third slip accounted for both Matthew Walker, push-driving an edge at Harris, and Darren Stevens when the same bowler found some extra bounce

Harris bowls Simon Cook
Harris took six wickets in an impressive spell of reverse swing

When Neil Dexter was caught behind driving in Kent old boy Mark Ealham's first over, Notts could sense a quick kill with their hosts in big trouble on 70-5 with 48 overs left.

Martin van Jaarsveld ensured a full day's cricket with a solid 64, although he was dropped by wicket-keeper read on 47, but then gave Greg Smith a tame return catch.

Min Patel smashed 37 from 22 balls, with five fours and a six, but by then it was only a matter of time before Notts got their hands on the silverware.

Ealham completed the job, taking the catch at gully to dismiss Niall O'Brien for 28.

The Championship trophy was presented by former Notts chief executive David Collier, now in the same role at the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Wicket-keeper Chris Read said the title, their first major title in 14 years, was reward for the team's hard work in recent years.

"It's the sort of thing that you dream about," said Read.

"It's been a long time coming. We haven't done a great deal for seven years.

"But the last two or three years we've been steadily getting better and this is the pinnacle of that."




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Nottinghamshire's Andrew Harris


Interview: Nottinghamshire's Jason Gallian



SEE ALSO
Secrets to Notts success
17 Sep 05 |  Counties
Kent duo frustrate title-chasers
16 Sep 05 |  Counties
Gallian mishap as rain hits Notts
15 Sep 05 |  Counties
Gallian boosts Notts title hopes
14 Sep 05 |  Counties


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