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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 Mark Mitchener' in the subject), text 81111 (with "CRICKET" as the first word) or use 606. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Mark Mitchener

1812: That's about it from us - thanks for all your e-mails and texts today, sorry if we weren't able to use yours. If you want to continue the debate, check out 606.
Join the debate on 606

Here are the scores as they stand:

Notts 211 v Hants 203 & 376-5
Kent 225 & 159-5 v Durham 500-8 dec
Somerset 202 & 227 v Lancashire 248 & 122-0
Sussex 207 & 118-2 v Yorks 400-9 dec

And here's the table as it stands:

Notts 182
Durham 176
Somerset 174
Hampshire 164
Lancashire 156
Sussex 155
Yorkshire 155
Kent 154
Surrey (already relegated and not playing today) 124

I'll be back tomorrow to bring you the final day's action. Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel. Until then, enjoy your Friday evening (which may be easier if you're from Durham than if you're from Kent).

Text in your views on 81111
"Re: Rob (1753). I accept the challenge. One word - Glamorgan?"
Steve, via text on 81111

Durham
Kent
1806: Close of play at Canterbury - we're not entirely sure why they played on so long, but Kent have staged a mini-recovery. Having been 58-5, they've ended the day on 159-5 thanks to a century stand by South African "Kolpakkers" Justin Kemp and Ryan McLaren. But Durham are still 116 runs ahead going into the final day - and you have to say they must be in the driving seat as far as the title is concerned.

Hants
Notts
1801: Close of play at Trent Bridge - Samit Patel gets some turn in the final over, which will be music to the ears of Hampshire spinner Imran Tahir, who hasn't even needed to get changed today. Hampshire end on 376-5, with Pothas on 104 not out and Dawson unbeaten on 48. They're a mammoth 368 runs ahead of Notts, whose title hopes have been slowly fading throughout the day.

He's reached 100
Hants
1753: Eventually, Nic Pothas brings up his 23rd first-class hundred with a firm, off-driven four off the bowling of Samit Patel. He's also added over 100 with young Liam Dawson, and lifts both arms aloft - revealing some large tattoos. Hampshire now lead Notts by 363.

"Can someone tell all the despairing Kent supporters to put a sock in it? I'm a Gloucestershire supporter and I challenge anyone to find a county that has had a worse season than us"
Rob, Manchester, in the TMS inbox

Durham
Notts
"I can tell Jim [1655] why Harmison can play but Broad can't (the ECB explained this weeks ago). Any player who played the majority of the international season can't play for their county for the rest of the season, but those who didn't play much international cricket can. That is why Harmison is allowed to play (one Test) and Broad (6 Tests) can't. Pattinson (one Test) IS playing for Notts, but Collingwood (6 Tests) ISN'T allowed to play for Durham. Seems like the ECB are being pretty consistent"
Shaun, Durham, in the TMS inbox

1749: Pothas nearly has a mad moment on 99, calling for a run which was never there and having to rush back.

Hants
1745: One of the boundaries at Trent Bridge has been brought in to accommodate their recently-built new stand - Hampshire's Nic Pothas is closing in on a century, and looking to plunder the unthreatening gentle seamers that the splendidly-bearded Shafyat is sending down to him.

1743: They're still playing at Canterbury, and there's some interesting news of an England player, from Simon Mann...

Simon Mann
"Steve Harmison has left the field. He was struck on the left forearm earlier while fielding in the gully. He's been bowling with a bandage on his left arm. No England player wants to get injured with that flight to Antigua coming up"
BBC Radio 5 Live's Simon Mann at Canterbury

Yorks
Sussex
1739: Close of play at Hove - Sussex are 118-2 against Yorkshire, still trailing by 75 runs. Yardy has moved on to 60 not out, with Murray Goodwin on 15. This game had been billed as a relegation decider - but Kent's rapid collapse against Durham looks like it could render the result of this game as meaningless.

Lancs
Somerset
1736: Close of play at Taunton - Lancashire are 120-0, chasing 182 to win, with Mark Chilton (76 not out) and Paul Horton (43 not) looking well set. Somerset's title challenge appears all but extinguished.

Hants
1734: Hampshire skipper Dimitri Mascarenhas is all smiles on the balcony, and it's no surprise as his side are gradually bowling Notts out of contention. With the visitors 350-5, captain Chris Read turns to the occasional medium pace of opening batsman Bilal Shafayat, who has four first-class wickets in seven years.

Yorks
"Am surprised at Yorks enforcing the follow-on - I would have gone for a quick 150 and put Sussex back in by lunchtime tomorrow if we wanted to go for the win, or else aimed to bat out a draw knowing that Kent need an unlikely-looking win"
Yorkie Dave in the TMS inbox

BBC Radio 5 Live
"There is a resigned look about the Notts fielders now, with thoughts drifting back to last season when Lancashire were in their position and needed 489 on the last day to win the title. They made 464 then of course but on this pitch and in these conditions, the East Midlanders will struggle against the clock too to amass a massive target"
BBC Radio 5 Live's Martyn Hindley at Trent Bridge

Lancs
1720: Lancashire are racing towards victory - and survival - at Taunton - having reached 101 without loss chasing 182. The official close-of-play time is 1730 BST for all the games apart from Notts-Hants which started late - could we see the extra half-hour claimed anywhere if there's a chance of a result?

Text in your views on 81111
"Is Mr Key going to blame his home pitch for Kent being 58-5 and demand the pitch inspectors? Hoping Kent can hang on so I can make a trip to Canterbury tomorrow"
Peter, Durham fan in Tonbridge, via text on 81111

Text in your views on 81111
"Paul Bradley [1711] - do you remember that Hants were facing relegation and playing for bonus points in that game? That's why Dimi chose to play out a draw"
Anonymous, via text on 81111

Notts
"I cannot understand how Notts have threw this game away. Before this round of fixtures we looked certain to finish top and walk away with the title. After a huge batting slump and poor bowling performance we look very nervous out in the field. Come on Outlaws!"
Antony Bullen in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
Sussex
1711: Sussex have lost their second wicket - Carl Hopkinson didn't last long, making just two before he fell lbw to David Wainwright. They're 98-2, just under 100 runs behind.

Hants
"Regarding Hampshire's elimination from the title race - I wonder if Dimi regrets his decision to play out a draw in the game against Lancs in July? A poor captaining decision that could cost them the Championship if/when they beat Notts?!"
Paul Bradley, a disgruntled Hants fan, Flagstaff, AZ, in the TMS inbox

That's 50
Sussex
1704: Mike Yardy has reached his half-century at Hove. Meanwhile, at Trent Bridge, having been in the field all day and having taken just four wickets, Nottinghamshire - collectively and individually - look absolutely shattered.

Durham
Kent
"Kent have got reason to feel aggrieved this season. Durham escaped sanction for a shocking Riverside pitch, when a few years ago Kent were docked points and had Maidstone scrapped from the circuit for something similar"
Gareth Pugh in the TMS inbox
REPORT (June 2005): Kent penalised for Maidstone wicket

That's 50
Lancs
1658: Lancashire opener Mark Chilton has reached 50 against Somerset - the Red Rose men are 73-0 at Taunton in their second innings, chasing 182. Meanwhile, Hampshire are cruising along nicely at Trent Bridge - the most trouble captain Dimitri Mascarenhas has is when the TV camera alights on him and a team-mate makes "rabbit ears" behind his head. They're 323-5, now 315 ahead, with Nic Pothas and Liam Dawson coping well with the Notts spin attack of Swann and Patel.

Wicket falls
Sussex
1655: Sussex have lost their first second-innings wicket - having hit 106 earlier today, Chris Nash has been caught by Jacques Rudolph off the bowling of Adil Rashid for 27. The defending champions are 88-1, still 105 runs behind Yorkshire.

Yorks
Sussex
"I'm amused to see Nick from Leeds [1548] is so hung up on Chris Adams. I'm pretty sure Grizzly will be happy to retire having won five major trophies which by my counting is a few more than the Yorkshire captains from the last 20 years have to rub together"
Rohan, London, in the TMS inbox

Simon Mann
"If the light holds, Durham could wrap this up this evening. Not easy claiming the extra half-hour in late September though - they'll be playing in the dark. Mind you, Kent have been playing in the dark all match"
BBC Radio 5 Live's Simon Mann at Canterbury

Notts
"Mixed emotions - good that the Notts game will go into the fourth day - didn't look like doing so at one stage - so I will be able to go tomorrow. But maybe the ECB can answer why Durham went unpenalised for the two-day pitch, and why Harmison can play for Durham but not Broad for Notts"
Jim, disappointed Notts member, in the TMS inbox
[Mind you, if all centrally contracted players could play, Notts might be bowling to Pietersen now! MM]

"Arguably the three best Twenty20 sides in the country this year (Middlesex, Essex and Kent), will all be playing in the second division of the County Championship next season. Is this not more than enough proof that kids learning to blast the ball in true Twenty20 fashion will not succeed in the far greater spectacle that is Test cricket?"
Mark Healey in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
Kent
1643: Another wicket at Canterbury - and Callum Thorp's still on to take all 10, after inducing Darren Stevens to nick one to centurion Gareth Breese at slip. Kent in dire straits at 58-5.

"Regarding 'Extraordinary Declarations' [1449] - exactly this situation has scandalised the Doncaster League this year which operates a very complicated scoring system based on batting and bowling bonus points. The final game of the season saw the top of the table playing the only side who could overhaul them. The table-topping side (knowing that the oppo needed several bonus points to leap rog them) batted first and collapsed to 55-7 before declaring. The shockwaves of this continue to rock the local cricket community"
Simon Rogerson in the TMS inbox

"I have to agree with Jon E [1521], Ali Brown was desperately unlucky to miss out on England Test call-up especially when you consider most of the Surrey team got a chance - even Ian Ward got five Tests!"
James, Chester, in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
Kent
1635: A fourth Kent wicket has fallen - and the man to go is Geraint Jones, who was at the heady heights of number three in the order but has fallen lbw to Callum Thorp, who has taken all four wickets to fall so far. They're 57-4 and like some of those fluffy little animals Rolf Harris helps look after on "Animal Hospital", the fear is they might not make it through to tomorrow morning...

1623: A little round-up for you - Sussex are plodding along at Hove, with Yardy and Nash having reached 57 for no wicket, while Mark Chilton and Paul Horton have taken Lancashire to 45 without loss, chasing 182 at Taunton. Hampshire are in no hurry at Trent Bridge, pushing their lead gradually towards 300, and Kent have recovered from 17-3 to 46-3 at Canterbury.

"In response to Paul Mayes [1509], Anthony McGrath got his runs and wickets against Zimbabwe!"
D Gaunt (Yorkshire born and bred) in the TMS inbox

1620: Just spotted another news item today which may be of interest to those of you who have been e-mailing in asking for more cricket on terrestrial TV - Culture Secretary Andy Burnham has said that the list of "protected" sporting events reserved for free-to-air television is to be reviewed. It's been 10 years since domestic Test cricket was removed from the list of protected events, although the ECB last month signed a new four-year deal with Sky.
REPORT: Free-to-air TV sport reconsidered

Kent
"The best Kent can hope for is that their game is rained off and somehow Yorkshire force a victory"
Roger Butcher, Croydon, in the TMS inbox

That's 50
Hants
1611: Hampshire wicket-keeper Nic Pothas reaches 50, having played a crucial role for his side. And the Durham fans have been texting in on 81111...

Text in your views on 81111
"Durham fans, doff your caps in the direction of the south coast. A Hampshire favour will do the business for us"
Michael in Wolves
"Where is Bob Willis when I need him - you know the fella who predicted Durham would go down this season"
Aidan in Whitley Bay

Durham
1607: Durham's Mark Davies has had to leave the field at Canterbury after suffering a nasty blow on the knee while fielding. Kent have reached 32-3 - still 243 behind Durham - with Geraint Jones and Darren Stevens attempting a rebuilding job after those three early wickets.

Sussex
1605: Sussex captain-elect Mike Yardy's off to a flier, scoring 26 of Sussex's first 30 runs in their second innings, and off only 32 balls. But they need another 164 runs to make Yorkshire bat again.

BBC Radio 5 Live
"Just received some disgruntlement from Notts fans for my 1530 report on Five Live. They informed me that as Notts would chase down any target on day four, then they wouldn't be regretting their afternoon of madness with the bat yesterday. Furthermore, 'if we were allowed Broad and Sidebottom, it wouldn't have got this far.' You always know a team is struggling when their fans scrabble the depths for excuses"
BBC Radio 5 Live's Martyn Hindley at Trent Bridge

Kent
"Shameful capitulation which may not have been quite so inevitable had Walker and Dexter been available (or rather selected)"
Tony Quarrington (appalled Kent member) in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
Hants
1554: Sussex have begun their second innings after following on against Yorkshire, Lancashire have begun their run chase at Taunton and England one-day spinner Samit Patel makes the breakthrough for Notts as Hampshire's Chris Benham is bowled for 66. Hants are 276-5, 259 runs ahead.

Kent
1548: It doesn't get any better for Kent skipper Rob Key, where Durham are concerned - he's been reprimanded and fined 1,250 for comments he made about an ECB pitch panel (which he called "a bit of a muppet show"). Durham weren't deducted any points, despite a match which finished in just over two days.
REPORT (8 August): Key rages after Durham beat Kent

"What a sweet moment - Sussex captain Chris Adams, in his last game, against the county that he left in the lurch, losing his wicket, and giving Yorkshire another bonus point!"
Nick, Leeds in the TMS inbox

Simon Mann
"Kent could not have had a worse day. All three batsmen in their second innings have been caught in front of square. Second Division cricket beckons for the first time, possibly this evening. Durham could get to Trent Bridge tomorrow in time to watch Hampshire win the Championship for them"
BBC Radio 5 Live's Simon Mann at Canterbury

1526: It's tea at Trent Bridge - and time to review the scores on the doors.

Notts 211 v Hants 203 & 262-4
Kent 225 & 22-3 v Durham 500-8 dec
Somerset 202 & 227 v Lancashire 248
Sussex 207 v Yorks 400-9 dec

And here's the table, now we're finished with those pesky bonus points:

Notts 182
Durham 176
Somerset 174
Hampshire 164
Lancashire 156
Sussex 155
Yorkshire 155
Kent 154
Surrey (already relegated and not playing today) 124

Lancs
Somerset
"It's all over for the season for the Cidermen with the bat, but our friend Mr Willoughby can hold his head high after staying unbeaten. Instead it was Alfonso Thomas who was Somerset's last wicket to fall as Gary Keedy completed a five-for courtesy of Oliver Newby's catch. But even if Andy Caddick rolls back the years with the ball and skittles the Red Rose it's looks highly unlikely that it will be enough for Somerset with Durham so well placed"
BBC Sport's Steven Marshall, keeping an eye on Somerset-Lancs

Wicket falls
Lancs
Somerset
1521: Somerset are all out for 227, with Alfonso Thomas the last man to fall and Gary Keedy finishing with 5-56. Lancashire need 182 to win - like Sussex, they just need to avoid defeat to stay up, barring an unlikely Sussex-Yorkshire tie!

"In answer to Rick L (1306) - Ali Brown was unluckier than Chapple. He had the highest first-class average of English players for a couple of seasons (some year ago now) and never got a look-in for the Test side as people mistakenly viewed him solely as a one-day player. Bye Lordy - you'll be missed"
Jon E (NW3) in the TMS inbox

Text in your views on 81111
"Painful - watching your team get slowly yet inevitably relegated. No miracle rescue for Kent. It won't happen. Even by our standards this is a terrible way to throw it away"
Rob, London, via text on 81111

Somerset
1518: "Maybe I'm underestimating Charl Willoughby's talents - he's just lofted Gary Keedy out of the ground for six! And there was the BBC Radio Lancashire commentary team giving him a Courtney Walsh-style build-up as he walked to the crease"
BBC Sport's Steven Marshall, keeping an eye on Somerset-Lancs

Wicket falls
Somerset
1515: "The end of the Somerset innings is nigh. Gary Keedy raps Andy Caddick on the pad and Alan Jones' finger goes straight up, much to the former England paceman's disgust. And with only a traditional number 11 in Charl Willoughby to come, expect another update from Taunton soon"
BBC Sport's Steven Marshall, keeping an eye on Somerset-Lancs

Wicket falls
Kent
Sussex
1509: A significant trio of wickets - Sussex's Mohammad Sami departs, having scored just one, and last man Jason Lewry follows him for a second-ball duck. Sussex are all out for 207, so that's a third bowling point for Yorkshire, and bad news for Kent. Sussex may also be asked to follow on. And no more bonus points are available, which makes things a little simpler. Kent will now go down if they lose. And they've lost a third wicket, with Martin van Jaarsveld becoming Thorp's third victim. They're 17-3 and staring down the barrel.

Notts (1 batting point, 3 bowling points) 182
Durham (5 bat, 3 bowl) 176
Somerset (1 bat, 3 bowl) 174
Hampshire (1 bat, 3 bowl) 164
Lancashire (1 bat, 3 bowl) 156
Sussex (1 bat, 3 bowl) 155
Yorkshire (5 bat, 3 bowl) 155
Kent (1 bat, 2 bowl) 154
Surrey (already relegated and not playing today) 124

Remember it's 14 points for a win, seven for a tie and four for a draw.

"Unlucky England-qualified Test players [see 1306]? Anthony McGrath from Yorkshire has a test batting average of over 40, and four wickets at 14 apiece - not bad stats!"
Paul Mayes in the TMS inbox

"I'm somewhat biased, as a follower of Leicestershire, but Paul Nixon's been pretty unlucky. We saw what he could do when he finally got a proper shot at the international game, at the World Cup, but by then it was too late for much chance in the Test side. What might've been. Same could be said for Chris Read too, I think"
Rob in the TMS inbox

That's 50
Hants
1502: Hampshire's Chris Benham has reach a composed fifty, and suddenly I'm the only person left typing in the room as our editor has called a departmental meeting...

Wicket falls
Yorks
Sussex
1500: Sussex lose their eighth wicket - Robin Martin-Jenkins falling lbw to Adil Rashid for six. Yorkshire are one wicket away from a third bowling point - which would increase the pressure on Kent. If Yorkshire earn that point, a defeat for Kent would sent Kent down whatever happens in the other games.

Text in your views on 81111
"All this theory about bonus points will be irrelevant if Yorkshire really do something radical like try and win the match from here. C'mon Yorks"
Richard, Leeds, via text on 81111

BBC Radio 5 Live
"Whilst every team in Division One seems to be jittery about something or other right now, Hampshire seem to be playing with freedom knowing they can neither go down nor win the title. They had taken 67 points from four matches prior to this one and with a half-decent start, they could have been at the head of this Championship shake-up. Nic Pothas is helping to hold Notts up now and has the highest first-class average of the Hampshire regulars in first-class cricket this season"
BBC Radio 5 Live's Martyn Hindley at Trent Bridge

Wicket falls
Kent
1453: Another Kent wicket at Canterbury, as opener Joe Denly gives a return catch to Callum Thorp. It's not looking good for Kent, who are reeling at 11-2...

1449: Tim Weston in the TMS inbox has pointed out a little-known County Championship rule - the "Extraordinary Declarations" rule (Rule 42). My ever-helpful assistant editor Paul Grunill has dug out the rule in question:

"An Extraordinary Declaration... is a declaration aimed primarily at denying the bowling side the opportunity to acquire further bonus points in that innings, but without enhancing the batting side's prospects of winning or saving the match. Such a declaration may, depending on the particular circumstances, be deemed as bringing the game into disrepute, penalties for which may include the deduction of points from the offending team."

Sussex
1445: Notts take the new ball, which is handed to Charlie Shreck. And Sussex have reached 200, earning a batting point - so as previously explained, Sussex will now stay up if they avoid defeat. High time for another updated table:

Notts (1 batting point, 3 bowling points) 182
Durham (5 bat, 3 bowl) 176
Somerset (1 bat, 3 bowl) 174
Hampshire (1 bat, 3 bowl) 164
Lancashire (1 bat, 3 bowl) 156
Sussex (1 bat, 3 bowl) 155
Kent (1 bat, 2 bowl) 154
Yorkshire (5 bat, 2 bowl) 154
Surrey (already relegated and not playing today) 124.

Yorkshire can take one more bowling point if they take two more wickets, while Sussex can theoretically take up to five batting points if they were to reach 400 by 130 overs (currently 200-7 in the 62nd). And remember it's 14 points for a win, seven for a tie and four for a draw.

Wicket falls
Kent
Sussex
1442: A couple of important wickets fall - Sussex opener Chris Nash is out for 106 to leave them 193-7, while at Canterbury, Durham have an early scalp as Kent lose captain Rob Key to a golden duck, caught by Shivnarine Chanderpaul off Callum Thorp off the first ball of the second over of their second innings - needing 276 just to make Durham bat again.

Yorks
Sussex
1438: A very interesting point has been made by David Lloyd (no, not Bumble, this a chap in the TMS inbox) - who points out that once Sussex reach 200 (and hence earn a batting point), Yorkshire will no longer be able to overtake them on bonus points (even if they take a ninth wicket). Thus, a draw will be sufficient for Sussex to stay up, as they'd finish equal on points with Yorkshire, having won the same number of games but having lost fewer games. (Mind you, Sussex still need to reach 251 to avoid the follow-on).

Simon Mann
"Twenty-five runs came off the last over of Durham's innings. Robbie Joseph was donating no-balls, sixes and fours. If Kent bat with the same sort of charity, Durham will canter to victory"
BBC Radio 5 Live's Simon Mann at Canterbury

Kent
"Kent are incapable of batting for a draw. That's one of the reasons why they are in relegation trouble"
Paul, Kent member, London, in the TMS inbox

Durham
1429: Having bashed their way to 500-8, Durham have declared with a first-innings lead of 275. A nervy afternoon for Kent's batsmen. Meanwhile, Sussex are still nudging towards their first batting points, and Hampshire are nudging towards a lead of 200.

Wicket falls
Durham
Somerset
1426: Somerset and Durham both lose their eighth wickets. At Taunton, Steffan Jones is caught behind off Keedy. Somerset are 189-8, "net" 143-8. And at Canterbury, Paul Wiseman is caught by a substitute fielder off Robbie Joseph for a rapid 34. Durham are 486-8, 261 ahead.

1424: At Trent Bridge, Benham survives a stumping appeal off Swann which is referred to the third umpire - a bonus side-effect of the game being on television is the presence of a third ump.

Durham
1419: Durham are still piling on the runs at Canterbury - they're 475-7 and now lead by exactly 250. Breese is still there, on 120 not out, and number nine Paul Wiseman has 28.

Kent
"The relegation battle may appear close, but Sussex will almost certainly draw with Yorkshire and they will amass over 250 runs. Kent will lose to Durham so Kent will get relegated and it such a disappointment after such a great season up until mid-August - when we have lost another cup final, lost out on promotion in the Pro40 and capitulated in the Championship. Rob Key has a lot of explaining in releasing Matt Walker before the end of the season - surely he could have offered more hope than the woeful Justin Kemp. Why not take a gamble and bowl Tredwell and Van Jaarsveld? Let's tempt them into some big shots. We cannot rely on anyone else to get us out of this mire"
Will Burgess (in Sunny Dublin) in the TMS inbox

He's reached 100
Sussex
1416: Sussex opener Chris Nash reaches 100 - they're pushing towards a batting point. At the other end, England one-day man Luke Wright has hit a rapid 27 off 32 balls.

Lancs
Somerset
1413: "Oh dear, oh dear! Somerset's title hopes appear to be walking off with Ian Blackwell. The bulky left-hander lets his concentration slip for a split second and edges Oliver Newby to Luke Sutton for 55. Lancashire look firm favourites to secure the win that will guarantee their Division One status now and Somerset's wait for a title looks set to drag on"
BBC Sport's Steven Marshall, keeping an eye on Somerset-Lancs

Wicket falls
Somerset
1412: The commentator's curse strikes as Blackwell departs for 55, being caught behind off Oliver Newby. Somerset are 186-7 - so they're "net" 140-7.

That's 50
Somerset
1409: Ian Blackwell has got his fifty at Taunton, while at Trent Bridge Chris Benham hoicks Swann to the boundary with a couple of reverse-slog-sweeps in the manner of his occasional county team-mate Kevin Pietersen (but not a true switch-hit as he doesn't change his hands over).

Durham
Kent
"As a Kent member and Durham supporter, I don't know where to look or what to applaud. Is there any way Durham can win the Championship and Kent stay up? Grateful for any advice"
Duncan in the TMS inbox
[As far as I can make out, this scenario could still happen - but it would need Durham to beat Kent, Notts to fail to win, and either Sussex or Yorkshire to lose while not taking any more bonus points. Kent would then finish above Sussex or Yorks, with the same number of points but having won more games - MM]

1358: The 130th over of Durham's first innings has finished... the significance is that it's Kent's last chance to garner a third and final bowling point. And with just seven wickets taken - it's just two bowling points for Rob Key's men. Time for an updated table:

Notts (1 batting point, 3 bowling points) 182
Durham (5 bat, 3 bowl) 176
Somerset (1 bat, 3 bowl) 174
Hampshire (1 bat, 3 bowl) 164
Lancashire (1 bat, 3 bowl) 156
Kent (1 bat, 2 bowl) 154
Sussex (3 bowl) 154
Yorkshire (5 bat, 2 bowl) 154
Surrey (already relegated and not playing today) 124.

Yorkshire can take one more bowling point, while Sussex can theoretically take five batting points if they were to reach 400 by 130 overs (currently 159-6 in the 51st). And remember it's 14 points for a win, seven for a tie and four for a draw.

Wicket falls
Hants
1352: Hampshire lose their fourth wicket at Trent Bridge as Sean Ervine, trying to take the attack to Mark Ealham's medium pace, only succeeds in nudging him to the towering figure of Will Jefferson at slip for 11. They're 182-4. New batsman is Nic Pothas.

"You have to say that Somerset only have themselves to blame. If you prepare a 'green-top' to force a result in a game, you always run the risk of losing the toss and therefore being on the back foot. Still all is not lost for them as all of us Lancashire fans have seen the great county snatch defeat from the jaws of victory plenty of times before!"
Stuart, Leicester, in the TMS inbox

Lancs
Somerset
1350: "More trouble for Somerset as Craig Kieswetter is trapped leg before by Oliver Newby for 20. That one might be tough for Justin Langer's men to swallow as BBC Radio Lancashire's commentary team reckon it was slipping down leg side. But Alan Jones didn't think so, raised his finger and Kieswetter sloped off. Somerset need some heroics from someone with the bat now. Could Ian Blackwell, still there on 45, be that man?"
BBC Sport's Steven Marshall, keeping an eye on Somerset-Lancs

"I'm a Surrey fan and I greatly resent Jack Byrne's comment [1157] that Lancashire are the 'joke of the land'. Surely we've earned that particular title this year?"
Gudge75 in the TMS inbox

BBC Radio 5 Live
"The atmosphere is gradually returning now: shouts of encouragement from the crowd to the Notts bowlers with each stifled appeal or false stroke. The wicket of Brown has given them hope of a 'gettable' fourth-innings target. The cricket is scintillating and after the weather problems of the morning, we finally have the sunshine to match"
BBC Radio 5 Live's Martyn Hindley at Trent Bridge

Wicket falls
Somerset
1345: Somerset have lost their sixth wicket - Craig Kieswetter departs, lbw to Oliver Newby for 20.

1343: Swann is tossing the ball up to new batsman Sean Ervine at Trent Bridge, but the left-handed Zimbabwean despatches a short ball through the leg side for four.

Simon Mann
"They've obviously been saying their prayers in Canterbury Cathedral. A miracle has happened. Kent have taken a wicket. Phil Mustard caught on the boundary. But time is running out for Kent to take a potentally vital third bowling point. It's not going to happen"
BBC Radio 5 Live's Simon Mann at Canterbury

"Listen Yorks fans, let's do a deal. You and Sussex secure the bonus points you need to go above Kent, and we'll declare (robbing them of the chance to earn those valuble bonuses) and force Kent to go for the win. Deal?"
Steve, Durham, in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
Hants
Durham
1340: More wickets fly as Durham's Phil Mustard falls for 83 to leave them 429-7, and Hampshire's Michael Brown is trapped lbw by Graeme Swann for 93. Hampshire are 165-3.

Out for a duck
Sussex
1335: It could be the end of an era at Sussex as captain Chris Adams is out for a duck in possibly his last innings as skipper - giving Pyrah another catch, this time off Tim Bresnan. It's joy for Yorkshire as the sixth wicket earns them a second bowling point - three teams are now locked on 154 points.

To repeat from earlier, if sides finish level on points, there's a series of tie-breakers, in this order: most wins, fewest losses, most points in contests between the two sides level on points, most wickets taken, and most runs scored.
INTERNET LINK: ECB - County Championship rules & regulations

He's reached 100
Durham
1331: Durham continue to push on at Canterbury, reaching 425-6 - Gareth Breese has reached his century, while Phil Mustard is 81 not out. Over at Taunton, Blackwell and Kieswetter have reached their fifty partnership.

"Would it be churlish to say that, being a Northants fan, I am hoping that neither Somerset or Durham win the Championship? The group of perennial underachievers who have never won the Championship need to stick together"
Neal McKenna in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
Sussex
1329: Wicket at Hove... Matt Prior is caught by Richard Pyrah off Steven Patterson, to leave Sussex 124-5 against Yorkshire, who are one wicket away from a second bowling point. Nash is 77 not out and is joined by Chris Adams.

1328: Notts turn to BBC Sport columnist Graeme Swann for some spin, although Swanny also faces a battle against his county colleague Samit Patel for the England one-day spinner's role in the upcoming Stanford match.

"Sarah T (1115) if you're from Middlesbrough why aren't you supporting Yorkshire? It's because of people like you that no one accepts I'm a Yorkshireman"
Phil, Middlesbrough, N.Yorkshire, in the TMS inbox
[I sense a Teesside turf war approaching - MM]

Monty Panesar
"Saw Monty pick up a '5 for a lot' yesterday, who are the best spinners out there to challenge him? Swann, Rashid, and surely overseas spinners such as Kaneria and Kartik may be stopping good young spinners coming through - mind you Australia aren't exactly turning to youth"
Steve in Nottingham in the TMS inbox

Durham
1321: Bad news for any Yorkshire, Sussex or Lancashire fans hoping for a Durham declaration to deny Kent a third bowling point - they're batting on, although Kent only have another 11 overs to take the three wickets they need.

Darren Pattinson
1317: Looking for a breakthrough after lunch, Notts turn to everyone's favourite Aussie-roof-tiler-turned-England-seamer Darren Pattinson - but he's immediately whipped through mid-wicket for a couple of boundaries by Michael Brown. It would be unfair to speculate on whether Pattinson will ever play for England again, but in a live text commentary for one of the latter Test matches of the summer, I described George Lazenby as "the Darren Pattinson of the James Bond films"...

BBC Radio 5 Live
"In keeping with a week of ebbing fortunes, the crowd feel that lunchtime brought an end to the Arctic conditions, substituted for tropical ones. Off go the coats and one guy has just walked in front of the commentary box in shorts. I'd love to have his foresight! Should make for the best batting conditions of the match as the afternoon session gets underway"
BBC Radio 5 Live's Martyn Hindley at Trent Bridge

1315: And if you thought the rebranding of the Uefa Cup was the craziest football story you'd read today, Newcastle have appointed Joe Kinnear (remember him?) as their interim manager... No, really!
REPORT: Magpies name Kinnear interim boss

Private Frazer from Dad's Army
"By my calculations Lancs are down. The inevitable second-innings collapse will condemn them to defeat and strand them on 156 points; Durham are far too cautious to make a quick declaration and will bat for too long to be able to force a win leaving an inevitable draw; so much time has been lost between Yorks and Sussex means that a draw is also inevitable. Lancs needed 300 in the first innings for safety, they're doomed I tell you, doomed"
Antony Melvin (or possibly Private Frazer) in the TMS inbox

"Corrrection to Nigel Sproat's comment [1134] - If Kent, Yorks and Sussex draw and Lancs lose - then it's Lancs that capture that coveted second relegation spot!"
Dave C in the TMS inbox

1306: While the players finish their lunch, I can tell you that elsewhere in the world of cricket today, all-rounder Graham Wagg has signed a two-year contract extension with Derbyshire, while Worcestershire have handed new deals to Daryl Mitchell, Gareth Andrew, Josh Knappett and Chris Whelan.

"A challenge for all the other county cricket fans out there; which current England-qualified county players have been unluckier in their international careers than Glen Chapple?"
Rick L in the TMS inbox

Simon Mann
"Durham are playing like champions. Nearly everything has gone their way today. Here... and at Trent Bridge. Kent won't take a wicket if they bowl all winter."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Simon Mann at Canterbury

Lancs
Somerset
"Lunch at Taunton and it's been a painfully slow rebuilding job for Somerset, but Ian Blackwell and Craig Kieswetter have ground out an unbeaten sixth-wicket partnership of 36 to keep Somerset's flame of hope flickering. But for how much longer?"
BBC Sport's Steven Marshall, keeping an eye on Somerset-Lancs

1235: Here are the lunch scores:

Notts 211 v Hants 203 & 140-2
Kent 225 v Durham 401-6
Somerset 202 & 130-5 v Lancashire 248
Sussex 112-4 v Yorks 400-9 dec

And the table, as it stands - Durham are the only team to have taken any points today:

Notts (1 batting point, 3 bowling points) 182
Durham (5 bat, 3 bowl) 176
Somerset (1 bat, 3 bowl) 174
Hampshire (1 bat, 3 bowl) 164
Lancashire (1 bat, 3 bowl) 156
Kent (1 bat, 2 bowl) 154
Sussex (3 bowl) 154
Yorkshire (5 bat, 1 bowl) 153
Surrey (already relegated and not playing today) 124.

LUNCH INTERVAL

Durham
1229: Durham have their fifth and final batting point, reaching 400-6. Notts opt for an over of spin from Samit Patel before lunch, with the huge Will Jefferson forced to crouch down at silly point, but Hampshire survive.

"Hangover + Cricket Tension = Painful Friday"
Calvin Stewart (suffering in more ways than one) in the TMS inbox

Sussex
1224: A minor milestone as Sussex reach three figures - Nash and Matt Prior have taken them to 104-4, but they'll need to reach 200 if they are to get any batting points. And the permutations at the bottom are tying some of you in knots...

"Hypothesis - if Sussex struggle to 200 then their 8th wicket goes down should they (a) pray for rain (b) declare to deny Yorks their final bowling point and take their chances on a better 2nd innings (c) bat on in the hope that the last 2 wickets can make some runs - but when does that ever happen?"
Bob (how did this happen?) in the TMS inbox

That's 50
Durham
1219: Durham duo Breese and Mustard are still, er, breezing towards 400 and have completed a century stand for the seventh wicket, while The Colonel has reached his fifty. The north-easterners are 383-6 in the 114th over - needing just 17 for that fifth batting point, while Kent have 16 overs left if they are to pick up any more bowling points. (Bonus points can only be gained in the first 130 overs of each first innings).

Lancs
"Mark, like many lovers of the great game, thanks for this coverage. Tell the powers that be that we want (nay demand) this coverage throughout the cricket season - the licence fee is better spent on this than 'celebrity ex-cricketer on ice dancing for a musical in the West End' or the likes. Word up for Chappy (Glen Chapple). Without him this season we'd have been lower than Surrey and that is low"
Mark D, Lancs fan in London, in the TMS inbox

Hants
Notts
1214: Cap'n Read has posted two Notts fielders in the position I like to call Reasonably Short Extra Cover, as Shreck tries to slant the ball away from the two Hampshire right-handers, but they're not biting. Plenty of time for Hampshire to set a good total - they can't win the title, but know a win would put them in with a good shout of the prize money for second place. Adams is off and Mark Ealham is going to have a trundle.

Text in your views on 81111
"Lee Gowland [1157] has missed the point - it's in Durham's interest to declare before they lose nine wickets. They need to win. Denying Kent a bonus point would stop them batting for a draw"
Anthony, Oxford, via text on 81111

Durham
"The best finish to a season for as long as I can remember and the coverage across national channels and news is poor. I cant believe I'm sat here at work following a game of cricket via BBC text website, thanks all the same lads, it adds a little bit of flavour to my working day. Come on Durham, you deserve this win and ultimately the title!"
Graham Donkin, Durham, in the TMS inbox

That's 50
Sussex
1209: Sussex opener Chris Nash has reached his fifty at Hove, they're 83-4. Elsewhere, Somerset are desperately trying to dig in against Lancashire, with burly all-rounder Ian Blackwell and keeper Craig Kieswetter trying to steady the ship.

Hants
Notts
1207: Hampshire's Chris Benham is leading a charmed life here - he edges a Shreck leg-cutter through to keeper Chris Read... who puts the one-handed chance down. Chris Read the Notts captain must be gutted with Chris Read the keeper for that one.

Yorks
Sussex
Kent
Lancs
"Mark, never mind the permutations at the top, the bottom is much more interesting! According to my calculations if Kent bowl Durham out, and Yorkshire bowl Sussex out for between 200 & 250, all three teams would finish level on points. If the games at Canterbury and Hove are drawn, they will all finish on 159 points. On the tie-break rules, Kent will survive first - four wins to two for the others - then Sussex will survive - only two losses to Yorkshire's five. Therefore, as a Yorkshire supporter, we need to bowl Sussex out for less than 200, or Durham need to be only eight wickets down after 130 overs. Hope this helps!"
Ian Pollard - getting very nervous - Worksop (a Yorkshire supporter doing missionary work in Notts!)

1157: Hampshire momentarily break away from their Tavare-esque crease occupation as Michael Brown cover-drives Shreck for their first four of the day.

Lancs
"Lancashire are the joke of the land. One of the biggest grounds, we used to have stars in our team. Now look at us, Karl Brown batting at three? My 14-year-old brother is better than him. Mark Chilton has had his time and has done nothing. It's time for Watkinson to walk the plank, he's had long enough with no success!"
Jack Byrne, Stockport, in the TMS inbox

"Mark, why is everyone crazy? Why would Durham declare [see earlier] so Yorkshire can stay up or Kent can get a draw? Durham to get 450 and bowl Kent out and win the game, then hopefully win the league! Crazy people. Crazy"
Lee Gowland in the TMS inbox

Kent
"It is looking likely that the relegation shoot-out is going to be more exciting than the race for the title. At this stage there are still 4 sides in it, and it really is going to go to the wire. My money is on Kent going down if Durham can bat them out of the match today"
Nick, Leeds, in the TMS inbox

Simon Mann
"The Kent supporters are beginning to lose interest in their own team. They're more concerned about Sussex's progress against Yorkshire at Hove. Durham's excitement is growing. They have had a great first hour or so. Kent don't look like taking a wicket."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Simon Mann at Canterbury

Durham
1150: As Chris Benham replaces Lumb at the crease at Trent Bridge, down at Canterbury Durham have raced to 350-6, earning them a fourth batting point. Breese is now 73 not out, having hit 10 fours, with The Colonel unbeaten on 34. Durham are now a point ahead of Somerset, and going great guns.

Wicket falls
Hants
1148: And another one - Hampshire's Michael Lumb is trapped lbw by Andre Adams. Umpire Trevor Jesty has a long, long look at it before finally lifting the "slow finger of death" in the manner of Rudi Koertzen. Hants are 110-2 - so they're "net" 102-2.

Wicket falls
Sussex
1146: The wickets are coming thick and fast now - Sussex's Murray Goodwin'sout at Hove, stumped down the leg side off Steven Patterson. They're 64-4.

Somerset
1145: "The sun may be out at Taunton, but it's not shining on Somerset. This is threatening to become a procession as Peter Trego comes down the wicket and holes out to Oliver Newby off Gary Keedy. In the situation, and with Somerset chasing their first-ever county title, it seems pretty brainless as it leaves the Cidermen 96-5, leading by only 50 and seemingly needing snookers to pip Notts or Durham now."
BBC Sport's Steven Marshall, keeping an eye on Somerset-Lancs

Wicket falls
Somerset
1144: The wheels are truly off for Somerset, with Peter Trego the fifth man out with a top-edge to extra cover off Keedy.

1143: While the score inches along in all four games (just seven runs in half-an-hour from Hampshire), I'd recommend a look at Kevin Howells' Team of the Season on the TMS Blog, where you can also have your say on the season as a whole.
TMS BLOG: Kevin Howells' team of the season

"Sorry for Surrey [see Jonny G's comment at 1050]? I find that rather difficult, and not just because I am a Hampshire fan. Talking to a friend and former Surrey member, the club has an air of arrogance & disregard for loyal members, especially when it comes to pricing and allocating tickets for International matches. In the end he has cancelled his membership and was dancing on their grave last weekend!"
David in Dorset in the TMS inbox

1137: Some crazy news from elsewhere in the world of sport - in football, the Uefa Cup will be renamed the Uefa Europa (sic) League from next season. Catchy title, that. Will they bring in yet another entirely spurious group stage?

Get involved on 606
"There's a few Yorkshire supporters who might like Durham to declare as well. If they declare then all Yorks need to do is bowl Sussex out (and avoid defeat, but I can't see that being an issue since the time was lost on Weds). Come on Durham, only 30 overs to survive! I seriously don't think I've ever been so tense following county cricket before. This is great"
JuanCarlosII on 606
Join the debate on 606

Wicket falls
Somerset
1134: "Are the wheels starting to fall off Somerset's title challenge? Zander de Bruyn departs for 33 as Gary Keedy finds the edge and Luke Sutton gleefully snaffles the chance. Somerset are in trouble at 94-4"
BBC Sport's Steven Marshall, keeping an eye on Somerset-Lancs

Durham
"Tasmanian Michael Di Venuto was back to his sparkling best yesterday, just 10 short of a century and has given Durham as good a chance as anyone of overhauling Notts this weekend. But with plenty of overs left to play at Canterbury, Di Venuto says the players are focused on the job of beating Kent before harbouring any title aspirations. 'If we start looking too far ahead of ourselves then this game might turn on its head,' he told BBC Radio Newcastle. 'The wicket is turning and showing signs of breaking up so it could be tough chasing any sort of target in our second innings. We've got to get as big a lead as possible and then bowl really well in the second dig.'"
BBC Sport's Matt Newsum in the north-east

Somerset
"By my calculations, Durham passing 300 means Somerset now have to hope both Notts and Durham fail to win"
Mike Whitaker in the TMS inbox
[Yes - technically Durham are now ahead of Somerset as even if they finish level, Durham have more wins - MM]

Durham
"Would it not be in Durham's best interests to declare with eight wickets down? Otherwise Kent can play for a draw. As things stand Yorkshire go down if they draw with Sussex and Kent draw with Durham unless Kent fail to get the last bonus point. Surely Durham should force Kent to play for a win"
Nigel Sproat in the TMS inbox

Notts
1120: The bearded Andre Adams is getting a bit of early swing against Hampshire's Michael Brown - there's a huge shout for a slip catch as it flicks off Brown's thigh but umpire and ex-Hants all-rounder Jesty shakes his head. They're going to go on until 1800 BST tonight to make up the time we lost earlier.

BBC Radio 5 Live
"Overcast is an understatement as we get under way at Trent Bridge. Only four overs lost despite the 45-minute delay and the conditions overhead are seamer-friendly. But this surface has a history of getting better to bat on as the game progresses so we are sure to have a gripping third day"
BBC Radio 5 Live's Martyn Hindley at Trent Bridge

Somerset
"Never mind Hampshire [see 1050] - some of us have been waiting all our lives for Somerset to win the championship and it looks like defeat may be snatched from the jaws of victory. The most important game in history and Langer and Trescothick manage 33 runs between them in two innings and Caddick isn't being used enough!"
Ian Hird (former captain of my cricket team) in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
Somerset
1116: "That watchful start has been ruined by James Hildreth being trapped lbw by Glenn Chapple - 78-3 and Somerset's lead is only 32"
BBC Sport's Steven Marshall, keeping an eye on Somerset-Lancs

1115: Umpires Trevor Jesty and Richard Kettleborough are out at Trent Bridge, followed by the Notts fielders (almost all, to a man, in hefty sweaters) and the Hampshire batsmen. Charlie Shreck will take the first over.

"So it's day three and I start my daily game of 'Let's see how quickly I can run my mobile battery down by constantly refreshing the BBC scores page'. It's a fun game. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the mighty Durham, there's still a chance we can do it, if Hampshire are nice to us. They owe us a favour after cruelly beating us in Basingstoke. Back to work I go, break over"
Sarah T, Middlesbrough, in the TMS inbox
Cricket scores on your mobile

Sussex
1109: Sussex are making a steady start at Hove - Matthew Hoggard hasn't managed to add to the two wickets he picked up yesterday evening, and they've moved on from 25-3 overnight to 53-3, with Chris Nash and Murray Goodwin at the crease.

Yorks
"Like all Yorkshiremen, I'm sure I'm thinking we're still favourites to go down. In fact, I expect every fan of all the endangered counties is thinking the same. The table you posted was helpful - any chance of a similar thing at lunch and tea, provided there's any change in anything"
Marco, Maidstone, in the TMS inbox
[Consider it done - MM]

Lancs
Somerset
1104: "You get the feeling Somerset know just how important this morning's session is going to be to their title chances. The Cidermen are batting circumspectly and have added just eight to their overnight total in the first eight overs, four of which have been maidens. You could almost cut the tension with a knife. Gripping stuff!"
BBC Sport's Steven Marshall, keeping an eye on Somerset-Lancs

Text in your views on 81111
"Being a Kent fanatic living and working in Sussex I am feeling physically sick with what has gone on over the past few days - would not have missed it for the world! Roll on today's dramas !"
Cookie, via text on 81111

That's 50
Durham
1058: Durham have a third batting point - a half-century from Gareth Breese, with some sterling support from Phil "The Colonel" Mustard, has pushed their total beyond 300 - they're now 308-6, and level with Somerset on 174 points.

Sussex
"I cannot believe that Sussex are fighting to stay in the top flight, we won the Pro40 and were champions last year and to cap it all we have only lost twice this season. I just hope the boys can hold out for the day and Grizzly plays a last captain's innings"
Sussexman in the TMS inbox

1050: Notts must be frustrated at this delay - there will be a further inspection at 1100 with a view to starting at 1115. While they kick their heels in the pavilion, their rivals are all in progress.

Bad light stops play
Has the weather ever decided the title? The final round of matches in the 1974 County Championship season saw Hampshire (the defending champions from 1973) leading Worcestershire by two points. However, rain prevented Hampshire from even getting onto the field against Yorkshire at Bournemouth - not a ball was bowled. Meanwhile, Worcestershire managed to pick up four bowling points from a rain-affected game with Essex at Chelmsford (Norman Gifford took 7-15 as Essex were bowled out for 84), and won the title by two points.

Simon Mann
"What a finish. Biggest day in Durham's short first-class history? Someone help me on this one but I think Kent need Sussex not to make 250"
BBC Radio 5 Live's Simon Mann at Canterbury

Lancs
"Will Lancs ever win the title again? How many broken promises can Mike Watkinson get away with? He has to go? Keep up the good work - How can I explain the tension to my non cricketing colleagues? They cannot understand the strained expression on my face!"
Dave C, Warrington, in the TMS inbox

"Does anyone feel a bit sorry for Surrey? Coming into this round of matches the top four were in contention for the title and then there were the teams placed 5th to 8th who were fighting to avoid the drop. And then there's Surrey, not playing and already relegated. A bit like the kid in the playground whose left till last when picking the footy teams and he's told to go away because he's the odd number at the end"
Jonny G in Bournemouth, in the TMS inbox

1045: The Trent Bridge ground staff are trying to clear the surface water off the outfield, by the time-honoured method of one bloke standing on the square holding a rope, and another bloke on a tractor driving said rope around the boundary.

"I have a feeling it will be Durham's day today, then again I had a feeling Newcastle would push for Europe this season - ho hum..."
Glen (hungover but happy) in the TMS inbox

1041: A few of you have asked then (very valid) question about what happens if sides finish level on points. There's a series of tie-breakers, in this order: most wins, fewest losses, most points in contests between the two sides level on points, most wickets taken, and most runs scored.
INTERNET LINK: ECB - County Championship rules & regulations

Lancs
Somerset
"Mist might have engulfed Trent Bridge, but BBC Radio Lancashire reports that the sun is beaming down at Taunton where they're under way on time. Somerset will hope it stays out too because they need good batting conditions to rescue themselves from the pickle they've put themselves in"
BBC Sport's Steven Marshall, keeping an eye on Somerset-Lancs

Somerset
"A good day to bat in Taunton - clear blue skies as it was last Friday when I got a chance to bat at the County Ground. Sadly I was run out for eight denying me the chance century at a first-class ground, it wasn't my call and I am still bitter!
Jon in Taunton in the TMS inbox
INTERNET LINK: Jon's run-out on YouTube [We're under way at Taunton too now - MM]

1031: It's still treacherous under foot at Trent Bridge where the start has been delayed, but we're under way at Canterbury (where there's been a dot ball) and Hove (where Sussex have added one run to their overnight total).

Kent
"Mark, why does a season that at one point promised so much for Kent, (in two finals, second in Pro40, and challenging for the Championship) suddenly descend into a chaotic scramble for survival and no silverware?! Who's your tip to go down?"
Andy in Tooting in the TMS inbox
[I thought Kent looked a good side when I saw them on Twenty20 finals day - I'm sure they can't explain their slump either. As for who to go down... Sussex and Kent look up against it at the moment. There are enough Yorkshiremen in the office to lynch me if I suggest the Tykes are in danger... MM]

Get involved on 606
"I can't help feeling that Lancashire might regret not posting the two extra runs that would have earned them another batting point. One point could well make all the difference given that they are unlikely to draw"
Northern_and_proud on 606
Join the debate on 606

1019: As before, I'll need your help on the e-mails and texts as the day progresses - you can e-mail us at tms@bbc.co.uk (with "For Mark Mitchener" in the subject line), text in on 81111 (with "CRICKET" as the first word - it helps us find your texts quicker as we share the number with Radio 1 and others), or join in the debate on 606.

Trent Bridge, as seen on  the morning of day three
"Those players who bemoan the lengthening of the county season have more ammunition as they arrive at Trent Bridge for day three with visibility poor due to morning fog. Furthermore, the dew on the ground is so notable that the Hampshire players are producing footprints on the ground during their game of morning football. Still, the conditions are not enough to excuse a poor fresh-air shot from Imran Tahir with goalkeeper Chris Tremlett well beaten..."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Martyn Hindley at Trent Bridge
[I can imagine Chris Tremlett being a good keeper, considering his height - MM]

1000: Morning, everyone. After some sterling work by Pranav Soneji and Sam Lyon over the last couple of days, I'll be your genial guide to the denouement of the County Championship season for days three and four. Right, here's the match situation going into day three:

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 400-9 dec

By my calculations, that makes the table as follows (including bonus points accrued so far):

Notts (1 batting point, 3 bowling points) 182
Somerset (1 bat, 3 bowl) 174
Durham (2 bat, 3 bowl) 173
Hampshire (1 bat, 3 bowl) 164
Lancashire (1 bat, 3 bowl) 156
Kent (1 bat, 2 bowl) 154
Sussex (3 bowl) 154
Yorkshire (5 bat, 1 bowl) 153
Surrey (already relegated and not playing today) 124.





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


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