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Page last updated at 17:44 GMT, Wednesday, 15 September 2010 18:44 UK

County Championship finale - day three as it happened


To get involved, e-mail (with 'For Stephan Shemilt' in the subject), use 606 or text us your views on 81111 (UK) or +447786200666 (worldwide) with "CRICKET" as the first word. (Not all comments can be used. Messages will be charged at your standard operator rate)

By Stephan Shemilt

1840: That's it from me folks. Steve Marshall will be here in the morning to guide you through the final day, when the new County Champions will be crowned.

1839: Here's how I think we stand tonight:

Division One
Somerset 211
Notts 205
Yorkshire 203
Lancashire 176
Durham 170
Hampshire 157
Warwickshire 150
Kent 135
Essex 126

Division Two
Sussex 235
Glamorgan 199
Worcestershire 192
Leicestershire 183
Gloucestershire 172
Northants 167
Middlesex 155
Surrey 142
Derbyshire 134

1832: And that is stumps. Two lots of four byes take Durham to the close on 171-2, a lead of 31, but Somerset will still return tomorrow feeling optimistic that they can take the County Championship for the first time in their history. Updated tables to follow.

1826: We're meandering towards the close at Chester-le-Street. Durham are 163-2, a lead of 23. Michael di Venuto has moved to 84.

Lancashire coach Peter Moores: "There's a responsibility to make the sure the integrity of the game and competition is kept. We'll cross all those bridges tomorrow when you sit down with the captain, look at conditions, the pitch and then take it from there and then make your call."

Notts director of cricket Mick Newell: "Our only chance is Somerset (and Yorkshire) not winning. We need nine points, which we could get in bonus points. Or we could have some sort of run chase with Lancashire tomorrow."

From cb on 606: "As a Durham fan who wants Somerset to win the league, let's have rain everywhere tomorrow."

1803: That's the close at Headingley. Yorkshire are 51-1 and lead by 10. Adam Lyth has 26 and Anthony McGrath is unbeaten on four. The Tykes are going to have to score quickly in the morning and then bowl Kent out if they are to win the title.

Wicket falls
1801: Somerset have the wicket they were desperate for. Gordon Muchall has been bowled by Peter Trego for 33. 141-2 at Chester-le-Street. The bad light has forced stumps to be drawn at Bristol.

1757: Durham are into the lead. Michael di Venuto has 65 and Gordon Muchall 33. The outgoing champions are 141-1 and are not lying down against Somerset. A quick correction to the previous post, Surrey have employed Tim Linley as a nightwatchman, so Pietersen will have to wait until tomorrow.

Bad light stops play
1755: Mark Ramprakash has gone for 33 at Bristol, leaving Surrey 55-2. Kevin Pietersen should have been striding to the middle, but they've gone off for bad light.

1754: It's all over at Wantage Road, with Northants 10-1 in their fight to save the game against Leicestershire. The visitors eventually declared on 448-9, a first-innings lead of 198.

1752: Bit of breaking news for you. Dimitri Mascarenhas has been banned for 14 days from the beginning of next season after his Twiter rant against national selector Geoff Miller. I'll bring you more when we have it.

Wicket falls
1748: James Tredwell strikes with his first ball to trap Jacques Rudolph lbw, Yorkshire are 40-1. Stumps are draw at New Road with Sussex 102-2, that's a lead of 138.

1747: The close has been called at The Rose Bowl. Hampshire did not get the chance to begin their second innings and will begin tomorrow 85 behind Warwickshire.

1744: Adam Lyth is put down in the slips by James Tredwell. The Tykes trail by just one run. Somerset continue to strive for that breakthrough at Chester-le-Street, Durham have moved onto 129-1, just 11 behind.

1735: That's the first close of the day. Derbyshire are 234-8 in Cardiff, 68 in front of Glamorgan. The battle for promotion from Division Two is very much on. Welsh nerves must be fraying slightly. Bad light has intervened at The Rose Bowl and Northampton.

From BBC London's Mark Church at Bristol: "Surrey 49-1, lead by 129. Mark Ramprakash has gone past 15,000 first-class runs for Surrey.

Get involved on 606
From Whitsa1 on 606: "Somerset need some luck. How many times have they been runners-up in the various leagues and cups over the last few seasons?"

1724: Five overs in and Yorkshire have reached 13-0 at Headingley. There's 10 overs left in the day.

1719: No news is bad news for Somerset fans. Durham continue to progress nicely at Chester-le-Street and have reached 105-1. The Cidermen lead by 35.

From Mark, in the TMS inbox: "It's playing in Lancashire that makes Lancashire who they are. If Lancashire played in Yorkshire then they would be called Yorkshire Second XI.

Wicket falls
1714: Andrew Miller edges James Tomlinson to Liam Dawson to see Warwickshire bowled out for 303. The Bears will have to wait to confirm their Division One survival.

From Phil in Southport, in the TMS inbox: "As a Lancashire fan I do believe we would be the most successful team in first-class cricket if we played anywhere else."

1707: Warwickshire go past 300 and earn another bonus point against Hampshire. If they were to scrape to 350, their safety would be assured.

1706: There's 15 overs of play remaining today at Headingley. Durham have moved to 99-1 at Chester-le-Street. The stand between Michael di Venuto and Gordon Muchall is worth 66, the hosts are 41 behind.

1704: Game on at New Road. Worcestershire have struck twice to leave Sussex 31-2, a lead of 68. At Cardiff, Derbyshire continue to frustrate Glamorgan.

Wicket falls
1658: Yorkshire have finally wrapped up the Kent innings. Steve Patterson traps Dewald Nel lbw to leave Alex Blake unbeaten on 105. The visitors have made 302, a lead of 41. At The Rose Bowl, Imran Tahir falls to Danny Briggs. Warwickshire are 294-9.

From Nick in Stockholm, in the TMS inbox: "Re: Barnaby (see 1638) - Did the story have a sting in the tail? I'll get my coat."

He's reached 100
1653:Alex Blake brings up his maiden first-class hundred and takes Kent to another batting bonus point. The visitors continue to frustrate Yorkshire at Headingley on 302-9. At Chester-le-Street, Durham have progressed to 78-1.

Wicket falls
1645: Warwickshire are wobbling at The Rose Bowl where James Tomlinson has Rikki Clarke caught behind before Keith Barker edges Danny Briggs into the safe hands of Dominic Cork at slip. The Bears are 264-8 and have plenty of work to do to get the batting point that might just keep them up.

1638: It's now looking much simpler in Division Two. A Glamorgan win sees them go up, but should they draw or lose, Worcestershire can go up with victory. Whatever happens in Cardiff, a draw will not be enough for the men from New Road.

From Barnaby in the TMS inbox: "My mate once rung a taxidermist at three in the morning about getting a wasp stuffed. It did not go down well."

1632: Could this be the fatal blow to Notts' title hopes? Play has been abandoned for the day at Old Trafford without a ball being bowled. Chris Read must be cursing the Manchester weather, just 27 overs have been possible in the entire match.

1630: Kent now have a lead over Yorkshire at Headingley. Durham have progressed to 49-1 at Chester-le-Street and are gradually nibbling into Somerset's lead. At Cardiff, Derbyshire have an advantage of 22 runs over Glamorgan on 188-7.

From BBC London's Mark Church at Bristol: "Gloucestershire have declared 106-5. Surrey have a lead of 80 and we might have a game our hands."

Wicket falls
1625: Adil Rashid traps Simon Cook lbw at Headingley. 260-9. At The Rose Bowl, Warwickshire have their second batting point on 250-6. If Kent get bowled out for less than 300, The Bears need 300 to guarantee survival.

From Gareth in the TMS inbox: "Re: Ben (see 1544) - It is a taxidermy museum of some quality, with many killer animals on static display. The highlight, however, has to be a flea in a magnified cabinet dressed up in full Victorian dress."

1615: Alex Blake, who his unbeaten on 61, takes Kent past 250 to earn the visitors a second batting bonus point. At 251-8, they trail by just 10 runs.

From BBC Hereford & Worcester's Dave Bradley at New Road: "Has someone done their sums? Rumour has it there could be some collusion on the last day."

From Ben, in hope of a resilient Durham defence, in the TMS inbox: "Re: Gareth in Tring (see 1544) - "Your animal reference reminded of a taxidermy museum that exists in your homeland. With free entry I'd recommend any man pay a visit, if not just to witness the giant crab and world's smallest dog. I believe the canine to be of Russian origin."

1606: Keen to force a result, Worcestershire have declared on 201-9 against Sussex. The hosts have given up a first-innings deficit of 36 at New Road.

Wicket falls
1603: And now Yorkshire have wickets at Headingley. Moin Ashraf removes James Tredwell and Matt Coles to leave Kent 240-8. The youngster has got his first five-wicket haul in just his second Championship game.

Wicket falls
1600: The news Somerset fans have been waiting for. The first breakthrough has come at Chester-le-Street. Mark Stoneman has gone lbw to Ben Phillips to one that might have kept a bit low. Durham 33-1.

1558: Worcestershire have managed to scrape a batting bonus point at New Road. Ben Cox has dragged them to 201-9.

From Brian in the TMS inbox:"I think we have had enough skulduggery already this season. I am a Lancashire fan and we have already given Notts one undeserved win with a generous declaration which enabled them to beat us three weeks ago. It is that win which kept them top going into the final game. No contrived finish please, Somerset deserve the crown."

1553: The title contenders who are lucky enough to be out on the park have so far gone wicketless. Durham have moved to 22-0 against Somerset, while Kent are sniffing another bonus point on 238-6 at Headingley. Richard Johnson has been caught behind off Simon Jones at The Rose Bowl. That's four for Jones now - a late bid for the Ashes tour?

1550: More good news for Glamorgan. They've completed the signing of Derbyshire all-rounder Graham Wagg.

Wicket falls
1548: Glamorgan have their sixth wicket in Cardiff, with Robin Peterson falling to Dean Cosker to leave Derbyshire 142-6. That's a second bonus point for Welsh side, which knocks Leicestershire out of the Division Two promotion race. At The Rose Bowl, Simon Jones has finally shifted Ian Bell. Warwickshire are 223-5.

1544: Off the pitch, Owais Shah, who is leaving Middlesex, says he is in talks with four counties.

From Gareth in Tring, in the TMS inbox: "Some horseplay would be great, but Notts must be careful as a Somerset win means they must get six bonus points and win the game, so it have to be extremely contrived given the limited amount of time left in the game."

1538: We are underway at Headingley. Kent are 228-6. Yorkshire need wickets quickly.

1533: Durham are underway in their second innings at Chester-le-Street. They've resumed after tea at Cardiff and Gloucestershire have moved to 101-2 against Surrey at Bristol. Will Porterfield is unbeaten on 51.

From Stuart, a Notts fan clutching at straws, in the TMS inbox: "What are the ethics, rules or laws around Notts and Lancashire concocting some sort of result?"
Good question. Personally, I'd be up for some skulduggery, but I'm the sort of bloke who doesn't walk when he nicks it.

1530: News from Headingley. Yorkshire and Kent will resume at 1540.

From Pickles91 in the TMS inbox: "Unfair on Bell to say he's got more important being injured, he's been very good recently for England and is getting better all the time."

From a frustrated Notts fan, in the TMS inbox: "Can the newly refurbished Old Trafford be re-planned to include a roof as well?"
I'm constantly told by Lancashire fans that it is the Manchester weather that is the main reason for the long wait for a County Championship title of their own. Maybe next year's move to Liverpool will improve their fortunes. More drizzle at Old Trafford.

He's reached 100
1516: Ian Bell brings up his century at The Rose Bowl to further strengthen Warwickshire's survival bid. The Bears are 217-4 at tea. Worcestershire have lost a couple more wickets at New Road and are now 180-7 against Sussex. That's good news for Glamorgan.

1513: Tea is also taken at Cardiff, with Derbyshire 127-5. They're off for rain at Northampton, where Leicestershire have gone to 365-4. They've missed out on a fifth batting bonus point though.

Wicket falls
1511: Murali Kartik skies a catch to Ian Blackwell to bring the Somerset innings to a close. The leaders are 426 all out and lead by 140. With that they take tea at Chester-le-Street. Could Somerset be just 10 wickets away from the title?

Wicket falls
1506: Alfonso Thomas, by virtue of a drink from the 12th man, gets the message to play some shots and has his timbers tickled by Ruel Brathwaite. Somerset are 423-9.

1503: Warwickshire have collected their first batting point as tea approaches at The Rose Bowl. The Bears are 200-4, with Ian Bell, who seems to have got more important to England by merely sitting injured on the sidelines, unbeaten on 84.

From Guy, pretending to do work in Warwick, in the TMS inbox: "Surely Hildreth has got to be in contention for England. He has been getting steadily better for the past two years and has notched seven centuries and well over 1000 runs this summer. Much better than what Pieterson has been doing lately."

1456: More wickets have gone down in the Division Two promotion race, but this time they are at New Road. Sussex have removed Vikram Solanki and Alexei Kervezee to leave Worcestershire 146-5.

Wicket falls
1452: Derbyshire have lost another wicket in Cardiff. Wes Durston has been caught behind off James Harris to leave the visitors 117-4. At Headingley, they are to take an early tea and inspect at 1530.

Wicket falls
1447: I arrive with news of a wicket. James Hildreth has been bowled by Ruel Brathwaite to depart for 105. Somerset are 407-8 and lead by 121. Can you hit manual refresh for me please? Thanks.

By Steve Marshall

1441: That's all from me for today folks, but I'll be back with you in the morning for the final and decisive day of the Championship season. Stephan Shemilt will guide you through to the close.

He's reached 100
1438: Double celebration for Somerset. James Hildreth pulls Liam Plunkett for four to bring up his century - his seventh in the Championship this summer. And soon afterwards Alfonso Thomas hits the runs that take Somerset past 400 to secure maximum batting points. They're six points clear at the top now.

From Richard Short in the TMS inbox: "Why do the team keep saying "Good news" when there is play underway at Chester-le-Street. It's not good news if you are a Notts fan. With Somerset having the weather on their side in the T20 finals, surely it should be feeling a bit sorry for Notts right now."

No doubt about it, Notts have had the rough end of the stick this week, but surely the fact they're playing cricket is good news is it not? After all, that's what we're here for.

1428: Quick Division Two update where Leicestershire have a third batting bonus point and are 311-4. At Cardiff, Robert Croft has trapped Chris Rogers leg before to leave Derbyshire 98-3. And at New Road, Moeen Ali shoulders arms and loses his off-stump to Luke Wright. Worcestershire are now 138-3.

From BBC Radio Nottingham's Dave Bracegirdle at Old Trafford: "Still not great at OT but the umpires have given us an outline as to their thinking: Tea at 1515 followed by an inspection straight afterwards and then perhaps some play shortly after that! Lots of work in store for the groundstaff!"

1424: Well, they're not playing through it anymo... and then the rain stops again and the groundsman begins to drive off in his tractor.

From BBC Radio 5 Live Sport Extra's Kevin Hand at Headingley: "They're off again and we've just had the heaviest rain of the match so far. It is starting to get brighter but the mopping up process will take a little while after this one and that's not to say that the rain will not return. Again that local forecast this morning said the rain would not clear fully until 1500."

The rain has started again at Chester-le-Street, but at the moment they're playing through it. The feeling must be that it's going to blow over.

From Tim Price, in Hove, in the TMS inbox: "Best way to do a team of the year is out of English qualified players, picking the highest run scorers, wicket-takers and most dismissals (and a decent average), with an all-rounder with the biggest gap between his bat and bowling average. So I make it Trescothick, J Adams, Ramprakash, Lyth, Hildreth, Rashid, Read, Hussain, Collymore, Masters, Chapple. Coach of the year to Steve Rhodes for guiding Worcestershire's youth team to within sight of promotion, even though the members tried to hound him out the club earlier in the season."

From Dave in Yeovil in the TMS inbox: "Sitting in my office in Somerset, I am hoping that Alison can spy something beginning with R."

Wicket falls
1407: Jim Troughton, grandson of one-time Dr Who Patrick Troughton, has been exterminated by Simon Jones. Ok, so he's given Michael Carberry a catch off the former England paceman to leave Warwickshire 140-4. At Bristol, Chris Tremlett has struck twice in four balls, and Gloucestershire are now 33-2.

1403: Of course, good news has to be followed by bad news... and that is that it's raining pretty heavily at Headingley and we could be in for another lengthy delay. There's mixed news for Leicestershire fans too as James Taylor has completed his century, but Paul Nixon is out for 65. Foxes now 297-4.

1400: Good news, the rain has stopped at Chester-le-Street and they're due to resume at 1410. At Old Trafford, the mopping up process is in full swing and apparently BBC Radio 5 live sports extra's Alison Mitchell is passing the time by playing 'I spy' on Twitter. How does that work, especially when she works in radio?

Wicket falls
1357: What Bell can't do, of course, is influence what's going on at the other end. He can only watch as Danny Briggs bowls Darren Maddy for 40 to end a stand of 96 and leave the Bears 135-3.

That's 50
Rain delay
1353: News of two half-centuries to bring you. Ian Bell has certainly helped shore up Warwickshire's flimsy batting line-up and pulls Simon Jones to go to 50 off 117 balls. Alex Blake also has his maiden first-class 50 for Kent at Headingley... but as he is raising his bat the rain starts again and the players wander off, with Kent 228-6.

1348: Cameron might have been taking a liking to Panesar... but not any more because he's been run out for 49. Worcestershire now 93-2. Meanwhile, at Cardiff, Derbyshire at currently 63-2 in reply to Glamorgan's 166. I fear Leicestershire might fall short of maximum batting points, though, as they've only got 20.5 overs to get another 116. They have a platform, though, at 284-3 if they fancy going into Twenty20 mode.

From BBC Hereford and Worcester's Trevor Owens at New Road: "Worcestershire's James Cameron taking a liking to the bowling of Monty Panesar - four boundaries in recent overs including a towering six into the D'Oliveira stand. The onus is on the home side to make something happen if they are to keep alive their promotion hopes - what odds a declaration to try and force the issue? Worcs 77-1 in reply to Sussex's 237 all out."

1340: Thank you Stephan and afternoon all. And I can immediately bring you another weather twist as rain has struck at Chester-le Street, with BBC Radio 5 live sports extra's Kevin Howells reporting dark skies all around. But as they troop off, with Somerset 375-7, we are finally underway at Headingley. And although we've fixed the automatic update thingy, a manual refresh right about now would go down a treat.

By Stephan Shemilt

1336: Somerset have moved onto 371-7, with James Hildreth unbeaten on 84. The players emerging at Headingley, so it seems like a good time to leave you in the hands of Steve Marshall.

From Charlie Parry in the TMS inbox:"I have been reliably informed by a friend of mine, who is playing for Yorkshire today, that they had steak for lunch today. Gone are the days of crisps and fairy cakes. I think today is a very sad day for the sport."

1332: Good news all round. Play will begin at 1440 at Headingley, the umpires have ordered a mopping-up operation at Old Trafford and we have fixed our automatic refresh problem. Huzzah!

1326 Bell and Maddy continue to build for Warwickshire at The Rose Bowl. Their partnership is now worth 66, much better than Bears' average third-wicket stand of 13 this season. For the frustration that Yorkshire must be feeling at Headingley, Kent must be feeling the same seeing the progress Warwickshire are making.

From BBC London's Mark Church at Bristol: "Surrey all for 186. No runs added after lunch for the wickets of Dernbach and Meaker."

From Rob in the TMS inbox: "The players at our club have to take it in turns to provide the teas. Our chairman owns a restaurant and presented our amazed opposition with a massive buffet including smoked salmon, smoked roast pork, home made bread and piles of salad stuff with bread and butter pudding. They could barely move in the field after eating all that."

1317: I'm aware that the page is not automatically updating at the moment, we've got the our best men looking into the problem. In the mean time, I'll need your help with some manual refreshing. Somerset have gone past 350 to earn another bonus point and inch further ahead of Notts. There's an inspection at 1330 at Headingley.

1315: Back on at Chester-le-Street. Ben Harmison's hat-trick ball was wide enough to be left alone by James Hildreth. They've resumed at The Rose Bowl and at all the games in Division Two.

1304: Good news for Yorkshire fans, the covers are coming off at Headingley. Still drizzling at Old Trafford though.

From 5 Live Sport Extra's Alison Mitchell at Old Trafford: "I spoke to Notts captain Chris Read a few minutes ago, who said he was starting to feel a touch of resignation about the way this match and the Championship is going."

From Lee in Somerset, in the TMS inbox: "Paul (see 1209), don't panic, your vision of copious amounts of homemade fruit cake being consumed by cricketers does at least happen at village level. In fact, it is one area of the game where I feel I could have played at a much higher level."
In club cricket, I've noticed something of a change in attitude towards teas. Cucumber sandwiches and sausage rolls seem to have given way to cold pizza, garlic bread and pasta. The cake remains though, with that one extra slice always making it harder to keep wicket later in the day.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide) - messages charged at your standard operator rate
From Nick, usually Windsor but working in Manchester this week, via text: "Looking out of my office window right into Old Trafford, the covers are on and the drizzle is coming down. Surely Notts' prospects have vanished on this grey day. Come on the Cidermen."

From 5 Live Sport Extra's Kevin Hand at Headingley: "The umpires came out for a look at 1220 but it started to rain. It's stopped again now but we're still a fair way from a start. The local forecast this morning suggested we'd have to wait until 1500 for this rain to clear. Fortunately, the rain hasn't been heavy or prolonged today so hopefully the outfield will be ready to go as soon as things settle down in sky."

From William in Chatteris, in the TMS inbox: "As far as chunky bowlers are concerned, surely we need look no further than Ian Austin, formerly of Lancashire and England? I'm sure he could be tempted out of retirement with the promise of a pork pie-laden lunchtime spread or two."

From Jim, a Notts member hoping for a one-innings game, in the TMS inbox: "At Derbyshire, in 1989, the players were once served Cumberland sausage and chips for lunch. As the scoreboard operator, I tucked in. So did John Morris (now head of cricket). One ex-player - now with another team - threw his against the changing room wall, saying he was a sportsman and not a lorry driver."

1236: We complete our lunchtime score updates with the race for promotion in Division Two. Derbyshire are 29-1 against Glamorgan in Cardiff and Worcestershire are 54-1 against Sussex at New Road.

1233: The bails are removed at The Rose Bowl with Warwickshire 92-2. In Division Two, Leicestershire are 270-3 against Northants, with James Taylor unbeaten on 88 and Paul Nixon 51 not out. At Bristol, Surrey have gone to the break on 186-8.

Wicket falls
1229: Could we have a twist in the tale? Phillips goes first ball, again lbw to Harmison, with the batsman looking less than pleased with the decision. Somerset go to lunch on 348-6 (not 448-6 as I wrote in the previous post).

Wicket falls
1227: Somerset have lost their second wicket of the day at Chester-le-Street, as Jos Buttler is given out lbw to Ben Harmison for 39. The Cidermen are 348-6 and lead by 62. They need two more for another point. Ben Phillips is the next man in.

From Voyporustedes on 606: "Paul (see 1209) has described a typical Saturday afternoon tea in the South Notts League (and probably most others as well) so yes it absolutely does happen."

From Baggy in Zummerset, in the TMS inbox: "Steffan Jones, ex-Somerset, now of Derbyshire is a top bloke but also a bit of a salad dodger. He's been known to generate a bit a pace when running downhill on a full belly."
On the chunky quick bowler front, we've also had a lot of nods towards Tim Bresnan, Luke Fletcher and Mitch Claydon.

1216: Hildreth and Buttler have taken their sixth-wicket stand past 50. The Somerset lead is up to 55. Leicestershire have taken the lead at Northampton, James Taylor and Paul Nixon have added 89 for the fourth wicket.

From Paul in the TMS inbox: "You asking for info on what cricketers have for lunch is endangering my long held dream that both teams sit together around a long, white linen covered, rectangular table, munching away at piles of scotch eggs, sandwiches and pork pies, before devouring huge slabs of home made fruit cake.
Has that ever happened anywhere?

1209: Another sign that it might be Somerset's year. Jos Buttler has been put down by Durham debutant Ruel Brathwaite on 25. The Cidermen are 330-5 and continue to make progress while Notts and Yorkshire twiddle their thumbs.

1206: Ian Bell and Darren Maddy are slowly building for Warwickshire at The Rose Bowl. The Bears are 73-2. Maddy has been dropped twice but maybe he deserves some luck after having his lid rattled by Simon Jones. Lunch is underway at Headingley, they're still waiting for play at Old Trafford.

From Tomo in the TMS inbox: "Picking up on cricketers carrying an excess pound or two, surely we can get a chubby Championship team of the season. I'll suggest Key, Cosgrove, McGrath, Patel, Maddy, Blackwell, Stevens, Croft. Need a portly keeper and a couple of chunky quicks to complete the team - any suggestions?"

Wicket falls
1200: Some cheer for Glamorgan as James Harris traps Wayne Madsen lbw to leave Derbyshire 1-1. Leicestershire have moved to 229-3 against Northants and Surrey are 168-6 at Bristol.

1158: Worcestershire have moved on to 32-1 against Sussex at New Road, but the more interesting news is coming from off the field. Sussex have made an approach for Worcestershire all-rounder Gareth Andrew.

1152: Somerset's progress may have slowed since Peter Trego's departure but they have gone past the 300. That point takes their lead over Notts to four. James Hildreth is ticking along on 57. Glamorgan are 166 all out against Derbyshire in Cardiff.

1138: The weather has forced an early lunch at Headingley. The players will now tuck into their soup and sandwiches at 1200. Obviously I'm only guessing that soup and sandwiches are on the menu, if anyone knows for certain what cricketers have for lunch then I'd be keen to hear.

From Jamie Wood in the TMS inbox: "Re: David Craven (1117) - Why should the fact that Samit Patel is slightly overweight stop him from appearing in England squads? He has a very successful record in all forms of cricket and, in my opinion, should be in the England team."
To be fair, David left him out of the County Championship team of year on weight grounds, but I can only presume that would apply a similar selection criteria if he was picking the England side.

1130: At 287-5, Somerset now have a one-run lead over Durham. Darren Maddy has been dropped by Jimmy Adams off James Tomlinson at The Rose Bowl. Warwickshire are 52-2. Glamorgan are now 161-9 in Cardiff after the departure of James Harris and seem unlikely to gain a batting bonus point.

From Leonard Martin in the TMS inbox: "Mark (see 1052) must be completely insane to leave out Adam Lyth, he's got 250 runs more than Michael Carberry at a better average. My team, with extra consideration for players who have had a breakthrough year in first-class cricket, would be: Lyth, Trescothick, Rudolph, Ramprakash, Hildreth, Buttler, Rashid, Harris, Adams, Roland-Jones, Hussain."

1126: In the battle to win promotion from Division Two, Glamorgan have lost Robert Croft to be 159-8 against Derbyshire at Cardiff. Worcestershire have lost their first wicket against Sussex. Daryl Mitchell departs to leave score at 4-1.

Wicket falls
1121: Liam Plunkett has switched to the Lumley End and has disturbed Peter Trego's leg stump. The tattooed all-rounder departs for 69. Somerset are 284-5. Jos Butler, who has not got off the mark in his last three Championship innings, arrives at the crease. Still no play in Leeds or Manchester.

1119: Trego and Hildreth have taken their fifth-wicket stand to 100 at Chester-le-Street. Somerset are 281-4.

That's 50
1117: Warwickshire have gone past 50 at The Rose Bowl, while James Taylor has a half-century of his own at Northampton. Leicestershire 190-3.

From David Craven in Bolton, in the TMS inbox: "I've deliberately picked players who could be selected by England: Lyth, Carberry, Adams, Hildreth, Gale (c), Davies (wk), Rashid, Woakes, Hussain, Harris, Patterson. Darren Stevens only left out on age grounds. Samit Patel left out on weight grounds."

1110: Somerset will soon be moving into the lead at Chester-le-Street. At 265-4, they are just 21 behind Durham. Stand between Peter Trego and James Hildreth is now worth 85.

From 5 Live Sport Extra's Kevin Hand at Headingley: "Oh dear, rain has hit us now and it looks as though we'll be in for a fair wait. Not wanting to be pessimistic, but if this keeps going it may be an early lunch. The strong wind may save us though."

From ToffeeMo on 606: "Hildreth and Kartik have got to be in the team of the year. Superb consistency."

Wicket falls
1102: Apologies to Glamorgan fans, but Jim Allenby has gone for 57, bowled by Jonathan Clare. The Welsh county are 154-7 and the Division Two promotion race is hotting up.

1059: Somerset must be beginning to think that things are going their way. Peter Trego has been dropped by Durham wicketkeeper Phil Mustard. With no play yet at Old Trafford or Headingley, could the title be destined for Taunton?

From Pete in Stevenage, in the TMS inbox: "You'd be incredibly foolish to leave out Glamorgan's Jim Allenby, certainly from a Division Two perspective, for his contribution with bat and ball."
Allenby is still going well at Cardiff. He's 57 not out and his stand with James Harris is worth 84. Glamorgan are 150-6.

1054: Simon Jones has rattled Darren Maddy's lid with a rapid bouncer. Nice to see Jones bowling with some pace, although I'm not sure Maddy would agree with that.

Wicket falls
1052: A few wickets to tell you about in Division Two. Gareth Andrew has mopped up the tail at New Road, with Sussex all out for 237. Greg Smith has finally gone for 104 at Northampton. Leicestershire are 168-3.

From Mark in the TMS inbox: "Trescothick, Carberry, Ramprakash, Rudolph, Hildreth, Allenby, Read, Rashid, Chapple, Hussain, Collymore."

That's 50
1047: Peter Trego has gone to 50 off just 46 balls. Somerset have moved to 249-4, one more run for another bonus point.

Wicket falls
1044: Warwickshire have lost two wickets, both lbw. Varun Chopra has fallen to Simon Jones, to give the former England man his first wicket for Hampshire, and Ian Westwood has been done by James Tomlinson. 39-2.

1041: Andrew Hodd has been bowled by Gareth Andrew for 52 at New Road. Sussex are 236-8. No alarms for Somerset so far at Chester-le-Street.

From 5 Live Sport Extra's Kevin Hand at Headingley: "There's a small amount of drizzle in the air at Headingley, so the roll-on cover is still in place, but I'd imagine we'll be on sooner rather than later."

From BBC London's Mark Church at Bristol: "Wicket at Bristol from the third ball of the morning. Kevin Pietersen edges Gemaal Hussain to second slip to depart for his overnight 40."

1035: They are up and running at The Rose Bowl, Northampton and New Road.

From a biased and nervous Somerset fan in London, in the TMS inbox: "Trescothick, Lyth, Ramprakash, Hildreth, Rudolph, Buttler, Read, Rashid, Adams, Kartik, Willoughby."

1030: Underway at Chester-le-Street. The new County Championship leaders resume on 226-4, 60 behind Durham. Delays at Old Trafford and Headingley.

From BBC WM's Mike Taylor at The Rose Bowl: "Lovely fresh day in Southampton. Mathematical investigation shows that Warwickshire need to pick up one more batting bonus point than Kent to survive. It's all too much for the scoreboard here though. It's conked out again."

1021: I have a little task for you today. At some point over the next few days we will be picking our County Championship team of the season, so I'm looking for your nominations. Give it some thought, don't rush into selections that you might regret later.

From BBC Hereford & Worcester's Dave Bradley at New Road: "The sun is out and there's stiff breeze. Play starting on time."

From Rich_Owl on 606: "Somerset looking favourites at the moment. Notts needs lots of rain in Leeds and Durham."

From 5 Live Sport Extra's Kevin Hand at Headingley: "Only the roll on covers are on at Headingley, but the first rain clouds of the day have been spotted. Very bright over the city of Leeds but to the west it looks gloomy. It's also the coldest morning so far by my non-scientific reckoning, probably the wind chill."

From BBC Radio Nottingham's Dave Bracegirdle at Old Trafford: "There's plenty of drizzle along with some heavy wind. Overnight some of the advertising boards have been scattered onto the outfield. The square is entirely covered and a delayed start is inevitable."
Maybe I spoke too soon.

From BBC London's Mark Church at Bristol: "Blue skies and the sun is out. We should get a full day's play."

1000: The weather has so far done its best to spoil the end of the County Championship, but I've got a suspicion that today the players will spend more time on the pitch than they will playing cards in the pavilion.

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see also
County Championship 2010 climax
12 Sep 10 |  Counties
County cricket commentaries
26 Mar 10 |  Counties
Guide to county cricket
06 Apr 11 |  Cricket
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket

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