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Page last updated at 13:27 GMT, Friday, 4 September 2009 14:27 UK

Somerset title bid ruined by rain

Durham 272 drew with Somerset 174 and 41-0
(Durham 9pts, Somerset 6pts)
1-4 September 2009

Durham v Somerset

Somerset's already slim hopes of taking the County Championship title were all but ended by rain at the Riverside.

For the second successive day, all play was washed out in Somerset's clash with Championship leaders Durham.

And, to add to third-placed Somerset's frustrations, they even had a point deducted because of a slow over rate.

Durham are now 33 points ahead of Somerset, who have only two games left and therefore left with no realistic chance of the Division One title.

With heavy rain falling in the morning, there was never much prospect of play on the final day. But, the umpires waited until after the scheduled lunch time before actually abandoning the game.

Somerset failed to gain any batting points against Durham for the second time this season, the leaders having dismissed them for just 69 down at Taunton way back in April.

That meant, with their one-point deduction, Somerset emerged from the match with just six points, compared with their hosts' nine.

Durham, who still have three games left, now lead the Championship by 38 points from second-placed Nottinghamshire, whose current game with Yorkshire is not due to finish until Sunday.

But, if Notts fail to win that, then Durham would have the chance to clinch a second successive County Championship title as early as next week when the two sides meet at the Riverside (9-12 September).

And they will be helped by having Shivnarine Chanderpaul available for the rest of the season following the breakdown of talks in the West Indies to resolve their senior players' dispute over contracts.

Had it been sorted out, there was a chance Chanderpaul would have had to go to the Champions Trophy in South Africa barely a month after arriving in Durham.

Durham director of cricket Geoff Cook said:

"We've got a very big game coming up against Nottinghamshire.

"It's going to be absolutely crucial and it's really important we are tuned into playing good, positive, aggressive cricket.

"It's a slight concern that Notts are in a good run of cricket and we haven't played much recently, especially after losing two days here."

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