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24-27 September 2008



LATEST ACTION AS IT HAPPENS (all times BST)
606: DEBATE
e-mail tms@bbc.co.uk (with 'For Sam Lyon' in the subject), text 81111 (with "CRICKET" as the first word) or use 606. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Sam Lyon

1800: Right, that's it for now. I feel I've done a reasonable job of cursing just about everyone during the course of the day so let's just call it even shall we? You've all been utter, utter legends as always - Mark Mitchener will be your host tomorrow so I will bid you all the very best of luck.

AS IT STANDS:
Notts 211 v Hants 203 & 102-1
Kent 225 v Durham 289-6
Somerset 202 & 66-2 v Lancashire 248
Sussex 25-3 v Yorks 400-9d

"Great stuff today Sam, I haven't done a stroke of work all day and Kent's blithering incompetence, allied to the amazing Yorkshire fightback, has reduced me to a nervous wreck. Seriously, though – this is proper cricket."
Graham, Gunnersbury via the TMS inbox

Somerset
1751: And that's stumps at Taunton, Somerset 66-2 and a second-innings lead of just 20. The Cidermen will need a mammoth effort and a change of fortunes for the worse for Durham and Notts to even give themselves a chance of the title, BUT... you never know...!

"If it rains solidly now for the next two days everyone finishes in the same place they started these games in."
Steven, the Notts fan in Southampton, starting his best rain dance via TEXT on 81111

Kent
1745: And Kent and Durham also call a halt to proceedings at Canterbury with the visitors 289-6, a lead of 64 runs. How important might those two wickets for Kent prove?

Sussex
1742: That's the close down at Hove - probably best unless Sussex wanted to lose a few more wickets - the hosts 25-3, 375 behind. Relegation is so up for grabs, so to speak.

Wicket falls
Wicket falls
Durham
1741: Ber-limey, talk about swings and roundabouts! Kent are now on the charge, Ryan McLaren taking two wickets in three balls - Will Smith trapped lbw for 81 and Mark Davies bowled for a duck - to reduce Durham to 288-6. Not the best few minutes for Sussex...

Hants
1737: And that's the close of play at Trent Bridge, Hampshire 102-1 and a lead of 94 runs. Nottinghamshire have it all to do on days three and four and the match - and the Championship - is very much in the balance.

"Kent must be quaking now!"
Nigel via TEXT on 81111

Wicket falls
Sussex
1735: Bad to worse for Sussex down at Hove as Hoggard snares his second lbw victim - Hopkinson the man to go for just two. The hosts are 23-3 and out of the window go the draw conspiracy theories...

"Don't anyone underestimate the likelihood of the Hampshire Death Squeeze that will take place in the 4th innings to dash Notts' title hopes. Admittedly, the Death Squeeze was mostly perpetrated by the much-missed Shaun 'the Golden Ud' Udal, but I'm sure Tahir will do the job equally well."
Pete "Billy" Crowe via the TMS inbox

Simon Mann
"Who needs the adhesive Shiv Chanderpaul when you can have his fellow West Inidan Gareth Breese? He's played beautifully and aggressively. It's been an encouraging day for Durham at Canterbury...and Trent Bridge."
Five Live's Simon Mann at Canterbury

Wicket falls
Wicket falls
Sussex
1729: Erm, sorry Sussex fans, that's the first wicket down - Michael Yardy trapped lbw by Matthew Hoggard. AND THAT'S THE SECOND WICKET DOWN! Adil Rashid - what a day he is having - traps nightwatchman Ollie Raynor in front for a golden duck. Sussex are 19-2, 381 behind.

Hants
1727: That's Michael Brown's 50 and Hampshire, on 94-1, couldn't look more comfortable if they were wearing slippers and chewing on a big fat pipe. Notts are 90 behind and it looks like they will be facing a big fourth-day chase if it carries on this way.

Sussex
1722: The pitch down at Hove is starting to look a little like a featherbeard batting paradise and Sussex will have to fancy their chances of batting deep and long tomorrow onwards. Nash and Yardy have so far been untroubled at 15-0, and with a lot of batting to come. Kent fans might be feeling a little queasy over their dinners this evening.

"By my reckoning, if Durham get 300 and then win, Somerset cannot catch them as they can only get to level on points and Durham have most wins. It would then come down to whether Notts win as a draw wouldn't catch a winning Durham. Are my maths right?"
Dave Gladstone via the TMS inbox
(Spot on mate, spot on - SL)

"It is still in our hands - Notts will chase any target set if we need to win, in the 4th innings, against Tahir, and with pressure, and with the weak lower order, and with the Pro40 loss in our minds, and with the whole country waiting for an upset... Easy."
Mondraker275 on 606
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Wicket falls
Somerset
1709: Somerset are two down - Marcus Trescothick goes for 19 - and they have still to overhaul Lancashire's first-innings lead, the hosts now 33-2 at Taunton. Good news for relegation-threatened Lancs, not so good for title hopefuls Somerset.

BBC Radio 5 Live
"The locals here were barely showing an interest in events elsewhere earlier this afternoon when Samit Patel and Ashwell Prince were steaming along in the Notts first innings. But a steady clamour are asking the media boys now or trying to find out on the television. A few groans go around after a Charlie Shreck misfield and there is a sense among the crowd that this is an elongated version of the Pro40 disappointment for Notts..."
Five Live's Martyn Hindley at Trent Bridge

Durham
1706: With Notts starting to look a little weary in the face of this Hampshire fightback, Will Smith and Gareth Breese start piling on the runs for Durham, the former now unbeaten on 76 and the visitors 250-4. That's the second batting point and a hundred or so more and Durham really will be in the box seat for the title should Notts slip up.

"It's so tense my stomach is in Notts and my Hants are shaking. I Kent watch anymore!!! Surrey for the terrible puns."
Calvin Stewart (loving the coffee chocolates) via the TMS inbox

"Give Wainwright his county cap now. Magical stuff, now let's beat Sussex and see Chris Adams cry!"
slogsweep42 on 606
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1652: Apologies, I've been misinformed and have done David Wainwright something of a disservice below, his prior record's a little better than five. Still, a remarkable 100 from the lad hey!

Yorks
1650: Yorkshire are turning the screw down at Hove - having reached 400-9, bringing up maximum batting points, and with Wainwright unbeaten on 104, they declare with an eye on nipping out a couple of Sussex wickets before the close. Massive, massive period this for the County Champions Sussex, this.

Wicket falls
Somerset
1648: Oh dear - Somerset's title charge really is faltering now, BBC columnist and Australia legend Justin Langer falls early doors for single figures and the hosts are 19-1, still 27 runs behind Lancashire.

Yorks
1647: David Wainwright, the young spinner, has just notched his maiden first-class century down at number 10 as Yorkshire reach 387-9 and near maximum batting points - who would've thought that when the visitors were 80-6? Apparently Wainwright's previous highest score was... wait for it... five. You couldn't make it up could you? He's now 103 not out, with Hoggy 20 not out.

Simon Mann
1644: "Will Smith has survived a huge appeal for caught behind. Kent are being frustrated by some determined Durham batting. Durham's stock is rising in this Championship race."
Five Live's Simon Mann at Canterbury

Wicket falls
Notts
1640: That's the crucial breakthrough for Notts! Michael Carberry, who has looked so comfortable so far at the crease, plays at a seaming Andre Adams delivery and succeeds only in edging it behind to a diving Chris Read. Hampshire now 52-1, 44 ahead. This passage of play will be absolutely crucial at Trent Bridge.

"Hants to beat Notts and Durham to win the title. Hants will win it next year. P.S. I hate coffee chocolates."
Andy, Salisbury via TEXT on 81111

Wicket falls
Durham
1634: Chanderpaul's gone! Robbie Joseph is the bowler, trapping the West Indian in front for 20 to leave Durham 222-4, still three runs behind. This run-in is officially going to be tighter than my brother's wallet on a night out.

Hants
1631: That's the first 50 up for Hampshire, Brown pulling away for four off Ealham, and Notts are already 44 behind. Erm, can I change my title prediction below? No? Ah, I'm still confident... *cough*.

"I like coffee chocolates. I used to almost have to fight the dog for the right to eat them whenever my mum or sisters were discarding them from the tray."
PPCC36 on 606
Join in the chat on 606
(The fact you had to fight the dog for them shows just how 'nice' those coffee ones are. They are the work of the devil. SL)

Wicket falls
Lancs
1627: Charl Willoughby finally wraps up the Lancashire innings, bowling Oliver Newby to finish off the visitors for 248 - a more than useful lead of 46 over the title hopefuls. Is that Somerset out of it? They need a miracle surely.

"Coffee chocolates? Controversial! Throw them my way instead of into the bin please…"
Dave, London via the TMS inbox
(Mate, face it, no-one - including yourself - like them. Fact. SL)

Yorks
1612: Yorkshire bring up their fourth batting point as Hoggy and Wainwright take them past the 350. Some of you were nay-saying Hoggy's batting abilities over on 606 - scandalous! The man has hit 38 in Test cricket for England! OK, so his average is 7.27, but still...

"Ref - David, Bologna 1554ish - I think you mean JR Hartley. You may have merged the aforementioned author with PJ Harvey who is someone completely different."
Peter, Bristol via the TMS inbox
(I'm going to stick my neck on the line and say David knew that. But then, gawd knows I've been wrong before...! SL)

"My mate Suyang and I are having a bet on who's going to win the championship... I'm saying Notts and hes going for Durham, with the winner £100 better off. Who do you thinks going to win the bet Lyon? Cos im starting to wonder it wont be me..."
redhotbed on 606
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(Honestly? Notts is my bet mate. I can't see them letting things slip against Hampshire and, lest we forget, any sort of win will suit them. Swanny to hit the winning runs ;D SL)

Wicket falls
Lancs
1604: Andy Caddick continues to steam in down at Taunton and his endeavours pay off as he snares his fourth wicket of the innings, having Tom Smith caught at slip for 29 to reduce Lancashire to 241-9. The visitors lead by 39.

"Astonishing! I've just noticed that the legendary, nay mythical, author of Fly Fishing, Mr PJ Hartley, is umpiring at Taunton."
David, Bologna via the TMS inbox

"How does a team go from being title hopefuls one week to relegation favourites the next? Only Kent... they drive me nuts."
Rob, London via TEXT on 81111

Wicket falls
Yorks
1554: Sussex breakthrough! Mohammad Sami finally ends Rashid and Wainwright's magnificent eighth-wicket stand, trapping the former lbw for 111 to leave Yorkshire 318-9. That's the hosts' third bowling point in the crunch relegation clash.

Durham
1551: Will Smith (not that one) reaches his 50 as he and Shiv Chanderpaul look to rebuild the Durham momentum, the visitors now 183-3 and 42 runs behind Kent at Canterbury.

"As a part-time Notts fan I've now passed the Hampshire team coach waiting outside the team hotel for two consecutive mornings on my walk to the office and really wanted to get involved in some comedy/prank-based japery but been left uncommonly devoid of intelligent ideas - can anyone suggest some light hearted tomfoolery that I can indulge in that might just tip the balance in Notts' favour?"
Jon Gee via the TMS inbox

"Nottingham can keep collapsing all they want because I would love to see Durham sneak in and steal it! Come on Harmy and co."
Ellie via the TMS inbox

"Jeez, this is tense. At various times over the last one and a half days, people have thought the relegation and championship races were over - now they're both wide open."
sgtpotter89 on 606
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Yorks
1541: Yorkshire pass the 300 mark - and earn a potentially crucial third batting point in doing so - with Adil Rashid on 109 and David Wainwright 60, the pair taking their stand to a remarkable 131. Brilliant stuff.

1538: Lynch him! Torch the building! Hang him from the City gates! What on earth has Ornstein been playing at? I leave, all is calm, I return and Durham and Notts have been throwing wickets away like the coffee chocolates no-one likes at the end of a tin of Quality Street. Still, Lancashire and Yorkshire fans might be feeling a bit of Orno love, hey? Don't worry, I'm sure I'll put the mockers on that...

By David Ornstein

1536: That's all from me. I'll hand you back into the more-than-capable hands of Sam Lyon.

1533: Is there any chance of getting a live table up and running, next to the live text?"
BothamforMayor in London via the TMS inbox.

The best I can do is a table update:
Notts 182
Somerset 173
Durham 171
Hampshire 164
Lancashire 156
Kent 153
Sussex 153
Yorkshire 149
Surrey 124

1529: "Notts are showing just how they managed to throw away the FP quarter final a place in the Twenty20 quarter-finals and the Pro40 title. They are not good when the pressure is on. Time for Ealham to show it's not time to retire."
Steven, Notts fan in Southampton getting abused by Hants fans via text to 81111

1528: Everyone is at tea now. That was quite some middle session all round. Predictions for the final sessions please...

1525: "David, nothing personal but I think you should leave immediately! Notts are happily going along and then the tail drops off just after you take the reigns! What have you done!?"
Rich Andrew via the TMS inbox
I do apologise, Rich. You're making me paranoid that I carry some kind of curse with me. Notts went from 172-3 to 211 all out, seven wickets falling for just 39 with Imran Tahir taking 4-55. I hang my head.

AS IT STANDS:
Notts 211 v Hampshire 203 TEA
Kent 225 v Durham 177-3 TEA
Somerset 202 v Lancashire 230-8 TEA
Sussex v Yorks 299-8 TEA

Notts
Wicket falls
1518: Who would have thought it - Notts are all out for 211, a lead of just eight over Hampshire. Chris Tremlett, who made an appalling attempt to catch Ashwell Prince before he brought up Notts 200, has the same man caught by Michael Carberry in the deep.

Notts, of course, have dropped four bonus points, which could come back to haunt them with Durham and Somerset doing well.

"I just wondered if you can do this text service for all county games next season? It's far more interesting than just updating the scorecards. Means i can lope around not doing much work for four days at a time as well."
Hantsfan SB in Chichester via the TMS inbox
I'll have a word with my boss Hantsfan, seems like there is plenty of demand out there for more live text commentaries. DO

Simon Mann
1514: "I've been struggling a little with the arithmetic but I'm convinced that if Durham score 300 and win then Somerset are out of the title race. Martin Saggers has given Somerset - and Kent - some hope with two quick wickets. Those wickets at Trent Bridge are creating stir down here."
Five Live's Simon Mann at Canterbury

That's 50
1510: Further pressing his claims for a spot in the England side, young Yorkshire spinner Adil Rashid passes 100 with the bat. How crucial that may prove for Yorks, who are about to earn their third batting point against Sussex.

Yorkshire remain in the relegation zone, however. A few of my colleagues feel Yorkshire and Sussex will settle for a draw, banking on Durham beating Kent. Not hint of foul play, just opinions!

Wicket falls
Notts
1503: Back to Trent Bridge and Tahir strikes again. Hampshire begged South African side Titans to let the leg-spinner play in their final game and their pleas appear to be paying off handsomely. The 29-year-old bowls one-Test-wonder Darren Pattinson and Charlie Shreck comes to the crease.

On a brighter note for Notts, Ashwell Prince guides his side past the 200-mark and what could be a critical batting point. The South African then brings up his 50 by clubbing Tomlinson for six.

Durham
Wicket falls
Wicket falls
1459: As NovernMonkey pointed out on 606 a moment ago, Durham lose Michael Di Venuto to Martin Saggers for a fine 90 down at Kent. And, like London busses, two wickets come along at once for relegation-threatened Kent as Durham skipper Dale Benkenstein is bowled by Saggers for just 4.

1457: "A bit more belief now in the field for Hampshire after picking up three wickets for just twenty runs. Imran Tahir is asking more questions of the batsmen and the game is very much alive."
Five Live's Martyn Hindley at Trent Bridge

Notts
Wicket falls
Wicket falls
1450: It's wickets galore at Trent Bridge and Notts are on the ropes! Seven short of their first batting point, the hosts lose veteran Mark Ealham and Andre Adams in successive balls to Imran Tahir. Fantastic bowling from Hampshire's secret weapon.

Ealham is trapped in front of his stumps and them Adams is bowled for a golden duck. Thrilling stuff.

"Argh! The pundit/commentator moves and Durham lose a wicket! Sam, I hope you know its all your fault."
NorvernMonkey on 606
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Notts
Wicket falls
1445: So Notts are edging towards their first batting point and their fourth point of the match...but there's a wicket! Notts skipper Chris Read flashes at James Tomlinson and is snapped up by Michael Lumb in the slips. The wicketkeeper falls for just five and that's Hampshire's second bowling point as the hosts fall to 192-6.

AS IT STANDS at 1442:
Notts 192-5 v Hampshire 203
Kent 225 v Durham 150-2
Somerset 202 v Lancashire 202-8
Sussex v Yorks 275-8

1438: Thanks, Sam. Good afternoon folks - it seems like I've taken over with proceedings really hotting up.

By Sam Lyon

1434: Right, as things start to get a bit interesting, I'm going to let Super David Ornstein take you through to tea. Be gentle with him folks, he's only a wee pup.

Wicket falls
Lancs
1432: Breakthrough for Somerset, Steffan Jones snaffling Glen Chapple for 36 to leave Lancashire 195-8, 10 runs behind. That looks like being a one-innings match, that, and Somerset absolutely must win it if they are to have any chance of overhauling Notts.

Wicket falls
Notts
1424: Graeme Swann goes! Suddenly Notts's grip on the title does not seem quite as tight as my ol' mucker and England all-rounder Swann tries to cut an Imran Tahir delivery that is too close to him and he edges it behind to Nic Pothas. Notts are 183-5, 20 short of parity, and Chris Read and Ashwell Prince need a stand here to get the hosts up to 300-odd.

"Adil Rashid really is something special. For a young lad to show this much grit and determination is exceptional - well done to Bresnan and David Wainwright as well, they have pulled Yorkshire from the brink. You have to say that Kent are now relying heavily on Sussex winning to stay up."
sgtpotter89 on 606
Join in the chat on 606

Yorks
1414: And that's a second batting point for Yorkshire, as Rashid continues to display his huge potential with the bat, leading his side to 250-8.

Wicket falls
Notts
1409: Samit Patel goes! James Tomlinson induces a false shot from the all-rounder and the England man pushes it straight to Tremlett at cover. His cameo knock of a run-a-ball 70 comes to an end with Notts 172-4 and still 31 behind. Graeme Swann comes to the crease.

"Is it just me, or does it constantly look like Myra Hindley is reporting from Trent Bridge - and apparently working for 5 Live?"
st_brendy on 606
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Simon Mann
1403: "Michael Di Venuto is keeping Durham in the title race, but it is hard not to be distracted by events at Trent Bridge. Durham are helpless without some quick Notts wickets. The two games are in similar positions. Notts on top. Durham on top."
Five Live's Simon Mann at Canterbury

Durham
Yorks
Lancs
1402: Lancashire are closing in on Somerset's total at Taunton - Sutton and Chapple moving them on to 177-7 in reply to the hosts' 202. Adil Rashid, meanwhile, continues to be a thorn in Sussex's side as he moves on to 74 not out with Yorkshire 232-8, and Michael DiVenuto finally looks to have hit some form for Durham as his unbeaten 75 takes them on to 112-1. It could all prove redundant at the top of the table if Notts continue as they are, but Sussex, Yorks and Kent will all be nervously checking the updating table as the relegation issue hots up...

"Lowlight: The fifth day of the first test between England and South Africa at Lords'. The South Africans battered our bowlers all around the park all day long, and only two precious wickets fell in the entire day - I was at the bar buying drinks on both occasions."
Dom at college via the TMS inbox

"Can't believe my brother has won the stingiest cricket fan award for his Pimms story… he's bought shame on the family!!"
Kev "Ashamed of brother Ian" Whadcoat via the TMS inbox

1353: "The sun is breaking through the clouds now, the ball is 35 overs old and the Hampshire fieldsmen look to have some sagging shoulders after losing the impetus they had at 56-3. Since then, their bowling has been average as a unit but Samit Patel just looks better with the bat as the weeks go by and his knock has been classy as well as substantial in the context of the match."
Five Live's Martyn Hindley at Trent Bridge

Notts
1344: Would you Adam it?! Ashwell Prince laces Sean Ervine straight to Tremlett at point - and it's a no-ball! Nottinghamshire's name's on the title, I'm telling you.

Wicket falls
Durham
1343: Breakthrough for Kent against Durham, as James Tredwell's spin does for Ben Harmison and the makeshift opener's 80-ball stand is ended for 26. Michael DiVenuto remains at the crease, though, and the visitors are looking good on 97-1.

"I don't think you can call this a highlight but the most unforgettable moment had to be my wife Nicky knocking over an £8.40 pint of Pimms at Edgbaston without even having a sip while watching Paul Collingwood score a wonderful century against South Africa. It's still giving me nightmares (the Pimms incident not Collingwood's ton!)"
Ian 'wishing I was at Trent Bridge cheering on Notts to the title instead of being at work' Whadcoat via the TMX inbox
(And the winner of the Stingiest Cricket Fan of the Year award goes to... haha. SL)

Yorks
1338: Yorkshire bring up their first batting point! They would still go down as it stands, but they are only four points behind Kent now... Yorks 204-8.

"Highlight of the season... My dad falling asleep in the Pro40 match against Worcs at Horsham in August and being rudely awakened when Vikram Solanki slapped RMJ straight into his lap for 6."
yorker_129-7 on 606
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Notts
1333: Another drop from Hampshire! Ashwell Prince pings one at Michael Carberry short cover off Sean Ervine, but the big man can't get down quite quickly enough on the dive and it bounces out of his hand. Is it Notts' day after all?

"My season highlight can be summed up in three words " Murray Goodwin. Six!" (to win the Pro40 off the last ball)."
Simon Hart via the TMS inbox

"Surely the highlight of the domestic season has to be Graham Napiers 152 off 58 balls in the 20/20?"
Ian Palmer in Exeter via the TMS inbox

"Middlesex's Strauss is out on 172, missing his highest first class score of 177. Foster is unbeaten after recording his third century of the season for Essex. Monty Panesar has three wickets for 73 so far for Northants, Warks' Ambrose hit 86. Also, congradualations to Warwickshire for taking the div two title."
Division Two update from allrounder02 on 606
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Wicket falls
Lancs
1328: "Early breakthrough for Somerset after lunch as Ian Blackwell traps Lancashire's Mal Loye leg before for 61 after having another lbw appeal turned down earlier in the over. The Cidermen look favourites to claim a first-innings lead now and the speed with which this game is progressing cranks up the pressure on Nottinghamshire."
Steve Marshall watching Somerset-Lancs

Yorks
Durham
Notts
1325: Samit Patel races past his 50 and this could just be a title-winning knock from the England all-rounder, Notts moving to 131-3. Michael DiVenuto does likewise as Durham pile on the runs against Kent, while Adil Rashid also brings up his half ton as Yorkshire dig deep against relegation rivals Sussex. About time the batsmen stepped up after a day and a bit of wickets tumbling isn't it?

"Season's highlight for me was watching the 'young guns' of England cricket engage in the race to become part of the Standford 20-20 game. Any surprise that England's one-day fortunes have seen an up-swing? I think not!"
Mark B via the TMS inbox

"Lowlight of the season has to be the attempt by my brother to get tickets for the England v SA one-day game at headingley... a year too late!!"
Andy in Tooting via the TMS inbox

"Best match of the season was both KP and Freddie battering the South Africans all over the place at Headingly. Just simply brilliant."
Ss Edinburgh via the TMS inbox

"That kid dancing at Twenty20 finals day summed up the whole idea of cricket... in fact the finals day as a whole was fantastic."
David Marshall via the TMS inbox

BBC Radio 5 Live
1314: "Hampshire just haven't built enough pressure compared to the Notts bowlers yesterday. 100 championship wickets between Tomlinson and Tahir in 08 but lacking control today thus far."
Five Live's Martyn Hindley at Trent Bridge

1310: Back under way at Trent Bridge and Sean Ervine will take the first over. And here's your 'hot topic' for the next bit: I want your season highlights - domestic, international or just anecdotal - hit me via TEXT on 81111, on 606 or email me at tms@bbc.co.uk putting 'For Sam Lyon' in the subject line. Lovely.
Join in the chat on 606

"Have they got a helicopter howering somewhere between Taunton, Trent Bridge and The Riverside, ready to deliver the trophy to the winning team, like happened in the football? Or does it just get posted 2nd class in County Cricket?"
Paul in Lancs via the TMS inbox

AS IT STANDS:
Notts 114-3 v Hampshire 203
Kent 225 v Durham 62-0
Somerset 202 v Lancashire 135-6
Sussex v Yorks 184-8

1240: Right, I'm off for a bit of lunch with the Championship rather nicely poised. When I return I want plenty of chat on all things cricket, as well as the 'hot topics' listed below - and feel free to come up with some areas of debate of your own... You know you want to...

Simon Mann
1238: "Not sure what these teams have been eating for breakfast at Canterbury, but both sides have clearly been rubbing butter into their fingers at the dining table.

"Michael Di Venuto and Ben Harmison have both been dropped, while Durham themselves missed five chances when Kent were batting. Durham are in control of the game but James Tredwell has got the ball to turn. A bit of hope for the anxious hosts."
Five Live's Simon Mann at Canterbury

Yorks
Durham
Lancs
1234: Mal Loye remains the thorn in Somerset's side as he passes his half-century in helping Lancashire to 135-6 at lunch at Taunton, a deficit of 67 runs. Durham, though, are doing all they can in their pursuit of the title, with Di Venuto and Ben Harmison still together at the top of the order with the score on 62 at lunch, meaning they trail by 163 with 10 wickets remaining. Yorkshire reach lunch at 184-8, Adil Rashid unbeaten on 51.

"Sorry Durham and Somerset fans, we're starting to let you down a little bit here. Don't know what Tommo and Tahir are doing."
st_brendy on 606
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Notts
1230: Aaanndd that's lunch at Trent Bridge, with honours perhaps just leaning in Notts' favour with the hosts on 114-3, a deficit of 89.

Notts
1227: Imran Tahir is taking a bit of tap at Trent Bridge, and Ashwell Prince and Samit Patel have brought up their 50 partnership in faster than a run-a-ball. Notts' deficit is now less a hundred and this is proving a hugely valuable stand.

Wicket falls
Yorks
1223: And it's starting to look a little desperate for Yorkshire down at Hove as Robin Martin-Jenkins strikes to remove Richard Pyrah for seven and reduce the visitors to 178-8. Adil Rashid remains unbeaten on 49 at the other end... I wonder if he might be in the mix of the England team by the time the Ashes come around?

"Has anyone noticed that if Yorkshire go down along with Surrey this year, then none of the 2009 Ashes matches will be played at the grounds of teams in the top division. Assuming the bulk of the England Test team is selected from the county teams in the top division, won't this undermine the 'home advantage'?"
James via the TMS inbox
(Apart from Warwickshire's Edgbaston ground mate, SL)

Durham
1217: Durham, lest we forget, are bang in the mixer along with Somerset should Notts slip up against Hampshire and they are doing exactly as they should down in Canterbury. Having bowled out Kent for 225, Michael di Venuto and Ben Harmison have put on an unbeaten 52 for the first wicket ... and if they can rack up the batting bonus points, they give themselves a cracking chance of overhauling Somerset...

"I have a subject to talk about - "Mike Atherton's Captive Cricket", a brilliant game I played when I was younger but can't find it anywhere anymore. Can anyone remember it or did I dream it?"
Danny in Doncaster via TEXT on 81111

"For the 'hot topics' to talk about, can we discuss the issue of how many county cricketers are blinged up to the max with earrings. Just watching Hampshire's Dimi and Carbs sporting more ice than 50 Cent."
Luke Daniel via the TMS inbox

Notts
1210: Imran Tahir is on bowling for Hampshire, but Samit Patel is launching a remarkable counter-attack, the Nottinghamshire all-rounder currently on 26 from 14 balls. Someone might want to point out he's not batting in the Stamford Twenty20 just yet.

"Sorry to be pedantic but re: 1141 entry, surely the big man wanted bigger feet so they were behind the line?"
Rob Totnes via TEXT on 81111
(You and a dozen others Rob, good shout)

Warks
1202: And that's the Division Two title for Warwickshire as Chris Woakes takes the Bears' third wicket - and therefore earning them the bowling point they needed - to reduce Glamorgan to 32-3. They overhaul Worcestershire at the top of the table, jubbly.

Wicket falls
Notts
1156: Blimey! That's the Championship wide open - bosh, bang, bish. Dimitri Mascarenhas strikes again as he jags one back at Will Jefferson and the tallest man in world cricket is plumb in front. Notts reeling on 56-3.

Wicket falls
Notts
1153: The wickets they are a'tumbling as the in-form Mark Wagh is given out lbw after being trapped in front by James Tomlinson for 29. It looked like it pitched just outside leg, to be honest, but Notts are now 56-2 and that's a good couple of minutes for Somerset, that.

Wicket falls
Yorks
1152: Sussex end a stubborn partnership of 80 at Hove as Tim Bresnan is caught at slip off bat and pad, spinner Ollie Rayner the bowler. Yorkshire are 160-7.

Wicket falls
Lancs
1151: That's Somerset's second bowling point as Steven Croft is bowled by Steffan Jones offering no shot to leave Lancashire 124-6.

1149: Right, I've had a sweep of the office for a set of "hot topics" for to chat about and, seriously, the best people came up with was 1) The fact you can't buy half sizes in most sports footwear shops anymore. 2) Whether or not the 118118 adverts are funny and 3) Whether the new Facebook design is good or bad. I've come to the realisation that the BBC Sports office is not quite as hip as I'd once thought. Hurrumph. Help me out here folks will ya?

Somerset
1141: "Joy to despair for Somerset as Caddick and Trescothick combine again to seemingly remove Mal Loye. There's just one problem - Caddick has overstepped and Loye stays put. How Caddick must wish he had smaller feet!"
BBC Sport's Steven Marshall watching Somerset-Lancs

Notts
1133: Aaaannnddd... that's a let-off for Notts at Trent Bridge as Jefferson gets a thick edge on a Mascarenhas away-swinger, only for Sean Ervine to shell a takeable chance at second slip. How important might that be in the grand scheme of things?

Wicket falls
Lancs
1132: "Breakthough at Somerset where Andy 'golden arm' Caddick takes a wicket in his first over of the morning, Marcus Trescothick snaffling Gary Keedy's edge in the slips. Caddick's touching 40 years of age, but on this evidence there's life in the old dog yet. After a frustrating morning that's a massive breakthrough for the Cidermen. What might have been had Justin Langer bowled him from the start of play..."
BBC Sport's Steven Marshall keeping an eye on proceedings at Taunton

Warks
1127: By the way, earlier Warwickshire took their first-innings total to 315 which means that, barring a disaster to end all disasters, they will be Division Two champions. They need just one more point to overhaul Worcestershire at the top of the table. I know where my money is...

"Just finished my elevenses and looking at the tea leafs in the bottom of my cup I can see a century for Loye, a 70+ for Keedy and safety for Lancs.
Ant in Manchester via the TMS inbox

1119: In the relegation six/24-pointer down at Hove - where it is bright sunshine - Yorkshire pair Tim Bresnan and Adil Rashid are doing a job in rebuilding the Yorkshire innings, the pair so far putting on an unbeaten 43 to take the Tykes up to 123-6. Lancashire, meanwhile, continue to frustrate title hopefuls Somerset, Mal Loye and Gary Keedy digging in on a green surface to edge Lancs past the 100 mark to 105-4. Charl Willoughby and Andy Caddick, by the way, have yet to bowl this morning down at Taunton. Strange...

"Re: 11:11 - it's never too early for an England wicket-keeper debate. Its a national past-time, just like queueing and drinking tea. Shame that all three are rather boring though."
st_brendy on 606
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"What is going on down at Taunton with 12 no-balls from 83 runs? We know Caddick has long legs but he can't have stepped over 12 times!?!"
Will Eden via TEXT on 81111

BBC Radio 5 Live
1111: "It's quite murky out there at Trent Bridge and the umpires are exchanging regular glances, but it's in the best interests of everyone to stay out there as long as they can."
Five Live's Martyn Hindley at Trent Bridge

"James Foster closing in on a century. How did Read keep for Notts? Should Foster get another crack for England? I am an Essex fan so will leave the debate to others!!!!"
Kevin in Reading via TEXT on 81111
(Oh dear, bit early in the day for an England wicket-keeper debate isn't it? Matt Prior. End of. No? SL)

Simon Mann
1107: "Kent's last-wicket pair showed there is not too much in this pitch for the bowlers - Steve Harmison conceded another four boundaries this morning. If Durham bat with discipline, they can build a valuable lead. But Hampshire's bowlers need to help them out at Trent Bridge..."
Five Live's Simon Mann at Canterbury

"Good batting conditions today for Durham and Lancashire, with a bit of cloud cover for Notts to contend with - or am I just an overly-optimistic Durham fan?"
Ian, Durham via TEXT on 81111

Wicket falls
Kent
1101: And that's Kent's innings wrapped up as well - Tredwell's late-order slap ended by Callum Thorp on 38, caught behind, as the hosts fall to 225 all out. Durham will now hope to pile on the runs and put their own pressure on Notts. By the way - Stewart Elder, do not make bets with friends of BBC text commentators, that is the road to misery, embarrassment and poverty.

Wicket falls
Notts
1054: Oops! A few of you were questioning Notts's batting line-up on this wicket and you may well be right. The cries go up from the Hampshire fielders as Dimitri Mascarenhas raps Bilal Shafayat on the pads plumb in front, and the Notts opener has to walk. Notts are 0-1 and that wicket will be greeted equally enthusiastically down in Somerset no doubt...

"Nice updates Sam, but it says ct Read b Swann in the book. What's going on?"
Chris via TEXT on 81111
(Cheers fella, and the book's wrong. Unless Swanny's wearing a curly mop-top wig and bowling fast medium! SL)

"Being a Surrey fan, I have no interest in today's events other than the fact I got rather good odds for a cheeky pound on Patel getting the most runs for Notts. Come on Patel!"
Du-can via TEXT on 81111

"It's looking mightily grey down here in Taunton, but the rain is supposed to stay away into the weekend. I have given up writing an economics essay to follow the BBC coverage! COME ON SOMERSET!"
Henry in Taunton via the TMS inbox

Kent
1046: Hurrah for Kent! Tredwell and Saggers have hung around long enough this morning to bring up the hosts' 200 and in doing so register a potentially vital batting point.

For their part, Yorkshire have still to lose another wicket this morning as they look to rebuild from 84-6, while Loye and Keedy are keeping things together for Lancashire at title hopefuls Somerset.

1038: By the way, Hampshire are now officially out of the running for the Championship as they failed to amass enough batting points. As it stands, they lie 20 points behind Notts and they can't make that up. And then there were three...

"Tell Gina that cakes are the way to a bosses heart! come on Kent!"
David via TEXT on 81111

Wicket falls
Hants
1036: Gone! Well that didn't take long. Charlie Shreck wraps up the Hampshire innings, tail-ender Tomlinson having a swipe at a wide one and succeeding only in edging behind to Chris Read, the visitors all out for 203.

Now the real business of the Notts batting can start. Who's hoping for a collapse? Who's hoping for a run-fest? Who's just hoping to get through the day and edge ever nearer the weekend? Get involved folks, I'll make ya famous.

"Rubbish pitch??? (see below) Have you seen what Notts' attack has done to teams throughout the summer in every form of the game?? Sour grapes and cider methinks!"
mysteriousbrett007 on 606
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1030: Oh my days, we're only under way at Trent Bridge aren't we. Ooh the tension! Darren Pattinson has the ball in hand, Imran Tahir on strike. And the Pakistan spinner immediately picks up the single Hants need to notch their first batting point... they'll need a fair few more runs than that though I'll wager.

"I am trying to persuade my boss to let my work friend Jane and I go to Trent Bridge tomorrow, but he is having none of it (Sussex fan). I am still working on it though - tips anyone?"
Gina in Gloucestershire via the TMS inbox

Simon Mann
1026: "Glorious day. Forget the title race for a moment - Kent could do with 10 more runs and a batting point. Useful insurance against a Yorkie revival."
Five Live's Simon Mann at Canterbury

"I'm 'working from home' today. Which really means I'm hiding out at the county ground nursing the mother of all hangovers after Brighton's heroics versus Man City last night. Good Ol' Sussex By The Sea!"
PPCC36 on 606
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BBC Radio 5 Live
1018: "The Hampshire boys won't be distraught with the overcast conditions and the cool morning at Trent Bridge, but they'll hope their bowlers are better in the middle than in their warm-up game of football on the outfield in which Imran Tahir produced a pearler of a candidate for 'miss of the county season' from two yards.

"In the Notts game, Ryan Sidebottom feigns injury in truly abysmal fashion whilst keeping goal - let's keep that behaviour out of the sport of cricketers' 8-a-side."
Five Live's Martyn Hindley at Trent Bridge

"Should be a thrilling days cricket, it will be a miracle if Durham win, but im believing!"
Ward in Newcastle via TEXT on 81111

"You can't really say who the title is going to at the moment until Notts have had a bat. It's obviously a rubbish pitch, it will be interesting to see who performs today. Come on Somerset!"
Cherub10 on 606
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1010: I must confess, I had a bit of a 'mare this morning. I woke up, stretched out my weary limbs, and relaxed, safe in the knowledge it was a Saturday. Only minutes later did it hit me it was still Thursday - now I wasn't late, my routine (up, shower, in to work, bacon butty) wasn't ruined - but don't you hate that? As far as I'm concerned now, I've been cheated. Anyone ever had that? Course you have. And you can tell me all about it via TEXT on 81111, get involved on 606 or indeed email me at tms@bbc.co.uk putting 'For Sam Lyon' in the subject line. Of course, you could also discuss all things cricket, tis up to you.
Join in the chat on 606

AS IT STANDS:
Hants 199-9 v Notts
Kent 190-9 v Durham
Somerset 202 all out v Lancashire 56-4
Sussex v Yorks 84-6

1000: Morning folks! It may only be day two in the final round of County Championship matches, but today is going to be MASSIVE in terms of where the title goes and in terms of who joins Surrey in dropping out of Division One - trust me.

Nottinghamshire are firmly in the driving seat for the title after reducing Hampshire to 199-9 yesterday - any win for them and they seal the Championship - but Somerset and Durham are keeping themselves firmly in the mixer should Notts slip up with fine bowling performances of their own. For Hants to win the title, they need a turnaround the likes of which haven't been seen since Mike Brearley told Beefy to "have a slap" against Australia at Headingley in '81.
Classic Ashes matches - Headingley, 1981

At the other end, Sussex and Yorkshire are effectively locked in a winner-takes-all match with the victors guaranteed safety and the losers likely to go down. Likely that is, unless Kent continue to shoot themselves in the foot as they did yesterday, with the bat. Batting and bowling points are going to be crucial... stay tuned people.





see also
County finale photos - day two
25 Sep 08 |  Cricket
Championship set for grand finale
23 Sep 08 |  Counties


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