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Page last updated at 17:00 GMT, Friday, 27 August 2010 18:00 UK

Nottinghamshire beat Lancshire to extend lead at top

Nottinghamshire 203-5 dec & 261-7 beat Lancashire 319 & 143-1 dec by three wickets
Nottinghamshire 20pts, Lancashire 4pts
Match scorecard

Nottinghamshire batsman Alex Hales
Hales was out in the 90s twice on the final day

Nottinghamshire strengthened their grip on the County Championship title race by winning their rain-affected clash with Lancashire by three wickets.

After the whole of day three was lost to rain, captains Chris Read and Glen Chapple opted to contrive a result.

Notts declared on 203-5 before Lancashire raced to 143-1 to set the hosts 260 in 64 overs to win.

Alex Hales hit 93 and Ali Brown 65 as Notts reached their target to go 16 points clear at the top of the table.

Somerset remain Notts' closest challengers after their draw with Durham, with Yorkshire a further three points behind, but crucially both have played a game more.

It leaves Notts in the box seat to claim the title after they all-but ended Lancashire's own hopes with this win.

It was brave of Chapple to agree to setting Notts a target, but victory for his side would have put them in the thick of the shake-up themselves.

Notts, who had resumed on 178-4, lost Hales only two short of a century as they picked up a batting bonus point before declaring.

Tom Smith then smashed 76 off 79 balls as Lancashire set the game up for an exciting finish.

Notts began their run chase nervously, with Matt Wood and Mark Wagh falling in the first seven overs.

Samit Patel responded to that by counter-attacking with a rapid 37 before losing his middle stump to a shooter from Sajid Mahmood.


But Hales and Brown steadied the ship to add 84 in 21 overs to put their side well on course for victory before Hales edged Gary Keedy to Luke Sutton to fall in the 90s for the second time in the day.

Read quickly followed, before Steven Mullaney hit two sixes and three fours in an aggressive cameo to keep his side on course.

Kyle Hogg removed Brown and Paul Franks in successive balls with eight required, but Mullaney kept his cool as Andre Adams hit two boundaries to see Notts over the finishing line.

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see also
Notts & Lancs frustrated by rain
26 Aug 10 |  Counties
Hales-led Notts hit back at Lancs
25 Aug 10 |  Counties
Lancs top order frustrates Notts
24 Aug 10 |  Counties

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