So at the end of all that, congratulations to Notts and Worcestershire, commiserations to Somerset, Yorkshire, Kent and Glamorgan. Next season the County Championship will have a very familiar look to it too, with the two sides who went up last season, Essex and Kent, being replaced by the two that went down, Sussex and Worcestershire.
It just leaves me to bring you the final tables.Division One:
Notts - 214 pts (champions by virtue of winning more games)
Somerset - 214
Yorkshire - 203
Lancashire - 182
Warwickshire - 166
Hampshire - 157
Kent - 151
Essex - 126Division Two:
Sussex - 235 pts
Worcestershire - 208
Glamorgan - 203
Leicestershire - 199
Gloucestershire - 172
Northants - 167
Surrey - 159
Middlesex - 155
Derbyshire - 138
Worcestershire fans, your wait is over. It's stumps at Cardiff where Derbyshire have closed on 123-5, 37 short of victory. But in holding out for a draw it is Worcestershire who will go up at the Welsh county's expense. The men Worcestershire have to thank are Dan Redfern and Robin Peterson, who put on an unbroken 60 for the sixth wicket to frustrate Glamorgan. Oh, and Sussex for setting up the run chase at New Road, I guess.
WORCESTERSHIRE ARE PROMOTED TO DIVISION ONE 1727:
Notts showed some bottle didn't they? Well beaten by Durham and Yorkshire in their previous two games, they were being accused of choking. But to play just 28 overs in the first three days at Old Trafford and come out and play like they did today took some nerve and no little skill. Adam Voges played beautifully but I think it was Samit Patel's 96 in 91 balls, with 11 fours and a six, that really gave them the momentum.
All eyes now on Cardiff then and whether Glamorgan can beat Derbyshire. Everyone at New Road will be on tenterhooks.
It's all over at Bristol where Gloucestershire have been bowled out for 250 to hand Surrey victory by 10 runs. There were four wickets apiece for Jade Dernbach and Chris Schofield, while opener Chris Dent top scored for Gloucestershire with 94.
From Rob the Bear, in Brighton, in the TMS inbox:
"A cracking week's cricket with more to come. How much could today's results affect Somerset's and Warwickshire's performances at Lord's on Saturday?"That's a very good question, Rob, because the Bears have now won six on the bounce in all competitions, while you would imagine Somerset's chins are on the floor right now after coming so close again.
From Jonathan, in Manchester, in the TMS inbox:
"As a Lancashire fan can I only apologise for out ineptness again. Very embarrassing and shows that under pressure we bottle it big time!"
Not everything is done and dusted, though, because the Division Two promotion race is still to be decided. At the moment it's going Worcestershire's way because Derbyshire are now 100-5 in Cardiff. A grandstand finish is also on the cards at Bristol where Gloucestershire need 21 more to win with two wickets left.
Adams charges in, finds the edge of Chanderpaul's bat and Samit Patel takes the catch at second slip to leave Lancashire 11-3 and win the title for Notts. That also signals the end of the game, with the match drawn. Both Notts and Somerset finish level on 214 points, with Notts winning the title by virtue of having won more games. What a finish!
NOTTINGHAMSHIRE HAVE WON THE COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP
All Notts need is one more wicket as Andre Adams finds Chilton's edge and Chris Read gleefully grabs it. It's Horton and Shivnarine Chanderpaul standing between Notts and the title. I can't think of anyone who Somerset would want more in the middle now than Shiv.
That's what Notts wanted! Sidebottom, having switched ends, angles one across Karl Brown, finds the edge and Alex Hales keeps his nerve to hold the catch at first slip. Lancashire captain Mark Chilton marches out to face 11 hungry visitors.
From Disgruntled Tyke in the TMS inbox:
"C'mon Lancashire declare with two wickets down, I dare you."
It looks like being a nervous wait for Worcestershire fans because Cosker has trapped Greg Smith lbw. Derbyshire, chasing 160, are 70-5.
It's all over at Chester-le-Street where the sides have shaken hands, with Somerset 48-3. Now it's all down to Notts...
Sidebottom, playing his last game for Notts, has a good, old attacking field, with four slips, a gully and a short leg. Sidebottom has Paul Horton playing and missing at one before he gets off the mark off the final ball of the over.
We're about to get back underway at Old Trafford. Ryan Sidebottom will take the new ball.
Worcestershire have beaten Sussex by four wickets. Only a Glamorgan win can now prevent the New Road outfit from returning to Division One at the first attempt.
Darren Pattinson finds the gap and takes the single that takes Notts to a fifth batting point. Now it's the bowlers' turn. They need three wickets in 16 overs to win their side the title. Somerset are 39-3 and have given up their run chase with nine overs left at Chester-le-Street.
The curse of the commentator hits Durston as Dean Cosker traps him lbw for 38 and Derbyshire are 49-4 in Cardiff. Remember, with Worcestershire on the brink of victory, Glamorgan must win to secure promotion. At Old Trafford, Notts are 399-9.
Is Somerset's run chase over? Trego comes down the pitch to Taunton old boy Blackwell and is stumped by Mustard. Somerset 32-3.
In Division Two, Worcestershire are back on course to beat Sussex at New Road. They are 283-4 and need only 18 more. At Cardiff, Derbyshire are 48-3, but Wes Durston is going well on 38 not out.
Massive, massive wicket to lose for Somerset as Trescothick slaps Ruel Brathwaite to cover. Somerset, chasing 181 in 17 overs, are 28-2. Notts are now six away from maximum batting points.
Wickets at Chester-le-Street and Old Trafford. At Durham, Ian Blackwell bowls Craig Kieswetter, who never settled, to reduce Somerset to 20-1. But, with Peter Trego walking out, Somerset are still going for it. At Manchester, Andre Adams has an ugly mow across the line at Kerrigan and gets bowled middle and off. Notts are 390-9 and need 10 more from their last pair to pick up maximum batting points.
Notts' scramble to 400 suffers another setback as Adam Voges holes out to a diving Steven Croft off Simon Kerrigan. The Australian departs for 126. Notts are 386-8.
Is there a twist in Division Two on the horizon as well? Monty Panesar bowls Cameron and Yasir Arafat has Moeen caught by Ben Brown soon after. Worcestershire are 261-4.
From Lee Jameson in the TMS inbox:
"So nervous here at work, every time my boss comes over I have to click over. Please Somerset get the runs needed! If they do I will run naked down the Lambeth walk!!"
Somerset are coming out to bat, with Craig Kieswetter partnering Trescothick. They're off and running straight away as Tresco edges the first ball between wicketkeeper Phil Mustard and a wide first slip for four.
At New Road, Worcestershire's run chase continues apace, with both Cameron and Moeen going to their centuries after tea. At 255-2, the Pears needs 46 more to win.
The twists are coming thick and fast as Steven Mullaney cuts at Kerrigan, gets an edge and Gareth Cross takes the catch. Notts 365-7 - 35 short of maximum batting points.
We may just have a grandstand finish on our hands at Chester-le-Street. Charl Willoughby finds the edge of Dale Benkenstein's bat and Marcus Trescothick takes the catch. Somerset need 181 to win, but will it be off 16 or 17 overs?
From nervous Jon, in Taunton, in the TMS inbox:
"Ummm... I've lost trace here. Can you give us a top of the table, as it stands please?"Well, as you've asked nicely. Somerset have 211pts, Notts 209. If Notts get two more bonus points and both sides draw then the title goes to Trent Bridge by virtue of Notts having won more games. A Somerset win and the title is theirs.
How many more twists are there going to be? Chris Rushworth top edges Trego and Craig Kieswetter takes a running catch. Durham are 315-9 and lead by 175.
It's raining pretty heavily at Chester-le-Street, but the umpires are keeping them on for the time being. Durham's lead now 167.
From BBC Sussex's Kevin Smith at
"Has there ever been a game where two batsmen walk off at an interval, each on 99 not out? Explosive batting from these two. The stand is worth 194 in 32 overs. Worcestershire are going to cruise this and it will all depend on whether or not Derbyshire are bowled out in 37 overs."
Tea being taken at all three of our Division Two games. Derbyshire, chasing 160 to win, are 16-2 in Cardiff. It looks like Glamorgan will need to win because Worcestershire are racing along on 237-2, 64 short of their target, with both James Cameron and Moeen Ali on 99. Finally, at Bristol, Gloucestershire are 145-4, chasing 261.
Nottinghamshire move past 350 to pick up a fourth batting point. But, in the pursuit of quick runs, Chris Read top edges Kerrigan to Hogg at long-off and Notts go into tea at 353-6.
What was I saying? Charl Willoughby raps Liam Plunkett on the pads and the umpire's finger goes up. Durham now 294-8, a lead of 154. Could we be in for a 20-over run chase?
Another twist at Chester-le-Street where Peter Trego yorks Scott Borthwick to leave Durham 289-7. Another quick wicket or two and it could get interesting.
Game on in Cardiff where James Harris has removed both Wayne Madsen and Chesney Hughes to reduce Derbyshire to 8-2.
Back underway at Chester-le-Street. The sun is shining on the ground, but the cloud is banking up again. It's getting edgy for the Cidermen.
Thanks Stephan. Anyone got any finger nails left? If you have, you won't by the end of play. A manual refresh will take your mind off it. Thanks.
It seems like we're going to get quite a finale, so I'll hand you back to Steve Marshall
to take you through to the close.
And that leaves the door open for Notts, who have raced past 300 - and third batting bonus point - thanks to the big-hitting of Samit Patel and Adam Voges completing an excellent century. They have just lost Patel, caught by Kyle Hogg at long-off off Simon Kerrigan, for 96 off 91 balls but he has given his side one heck of a platform.
Ian Westwood and Varun Chopra knock off the 48 runs Warwickshire required without a problem to ensure their survival, and confirm Kent's relegation. Tea is being taken at Chester-le-Street, with Durham 287-6, a lead of 147. But with only 27 overs left, a draw is starting to look inevitable.
WARWICKSHIRE BEAT HAMPSHIRE BY 10 WICKETS - KENT ARE RELEGATED 1437:
The Notts players on the balcony at Old Trafford are looking more and more optimistic. After days of frustration they are sensing their chance. Glamorgan have declared in Cardiff, Derbyshire need 160 to win.
Glamorgan have rocketed up to 269-3 at Cardiff. Gareth Rees has completed one of the more meaningless centuries of his career. Derbyshire wicketkeeper Tom Poynton has bowled eight overs for 96. He has bagged two wickets though.
A let off for Samit Patel. He swipes at Gary Keedy but top edges towards mid on. Mark Chilton dives like a winger for the try line, but can't hold on. Good effort. Leicestershire have beaten Northants by 10 wickets.
Back on at Chester-le-Street. Warwickshire are 22-0 at The Rose Bowl needing 48 to stay up.
Has the balance of power switched to Notts? Do Somerset have enough time to force a result at Chester-le-Street? Will they rue that decision to play more on the first three days so they can get to Lord's earlier? When will Notts declare? So many questions. I'm glad I'm neutral. If was a Notts or Somerset fan, I'd be pretty nervous right now. As it is, I'm just quite excited.
Bad news if you're a Somerset fan. It's raining at Chester-le-Street and the players are coming off. Durham are 275-6. There are 33 overs left in the day, with roughly one over lost four every four minutes lost.
From Jordan in the TMS inbox:
"I have an ever increasing sense of despondency about this. Somerset are getting nowhere today and a chance of victory has all but gone. With Notts cruising towards maximum batting points, who would bet against them easily picking up at least 3 wickets before the close? Looks like it may be another year at least to wait unless something drastic starts happening soon?"
Samit Patel brings up his 50 with a drive to the cover boundary. He and Voges have added 88 for the fifth wicket and the runs are now flowing. There are 48 overs left in the day.
Notts have their second point at Old Trafford. They are 253-4 with Patel and Voges going well. Anyone nervous?
It looks like Glamorgan are trying to contrive a result with Derbyshire in Cardiff. Derbyshire wicketkeeper Tom Poynton is bowling and Glamorgan are feasting on the buffet. At New Road, Worcestershire are 106-2 in their pursuit of 301.
Somerset fans, celebrate a little. Alfonso Thomas has trapped Phil Mustard lbw. Durham are 275-6 and lead by 135.
So, we are down to two. Somerset, the leaders, are still chasing wickets at Chester-le-Street. Durham have moved to 275-5, that's a lead of 135. If Somerset can't force victory, Notts will need nine points at Old Trafford - three for the draw and six bonus points. At 243-4, they need to get a move on.
1359:KENT BEAT YORKSHIRE BY FOUR WICKETS
Thanks Steve, but enough pleasantries, I arrive with two rather large pieces of news. Kent have finally got over the line at Headingley to end Yorkshire's title bid. The visitors scraped to victory with six wickets down but it doesn't look like being enough for them to avoid relegation because Hampshire have now been bowled out for 132 at The Rose Bowl. Warwickshire need 48 to win. Can you hit manual refresh for me please? Thanks.
Phew, that's been quite a start to the day, has it not? I'm heading for a short break so I'll leave you in the hands of Stephan Shemilt.
We'll be giving you our Championship team of the year later this afternoon so keep sending us your selections.
Make that 82-6 as Adil Rashid bowls first innings centurion Alex Blake for a second ball duck. Surely it's too late for Yorkshire?
And another one gone, another one gone, another one bites the dust. Van Jaarsveld smashes Adil Rashid for successive sixes but the leg-spinner gets his revenge next ball by having the Kent batsman caught at slip. Kent almost there on 82-5.
Patterson has another wicket as Geraint Jones departs for a fifth-ball duck after looping a catch to Moin Ashraf at mid-on. Kent are now 70-4.
Three days, one session into their game at Old Trafford and Notts have their first point after passing 200. Somerset's lead is down to five points.
Yorkshire have a wicket, but it looks like it's going to be too late. Steve Patterson has Rob Key caught by Anthony McGrath to end a stand of 62 with Martin van Jaarsveld. Kent are 68-3 but need only 22 more to win.
Out of the carnage of the Hampshire innings, Sean Ervine is giving Kent just a glimmer of hope. The big-hitting Zimbabwean has gone to 50 off 44 balls. He's the only Hampshire batsman to reach double figures and has taken his side to 123-8, a lead of 38.
From roverpete1981 on 606:
"What odds will you give me on Notts getting the batting points they need then Lancashire losing a third wicket with the last ball of the season?"
Adam Voges has gone to 50 for Nottinghamshire, while Warwickshire will have to bat again as Hampshire have moved on to 100-8. Glamorgan fans will also delight in the news that Yasir Arafat has removed the dangerous Vikram Solanki and Worcestershire are now 49-2.
From BBC WM's Mike Taylor at
The Rose Bowl:
"A nice touch this morning with players forming a guard of honour for umpire Barry Dudleston, retiring after 27 years on the first-class list. And re Kevin Hand's query, what about Pat Pocock's famous spell in the last 20 minutes of the match, and five in the final over?"
From a disgruntled Glammy fan, stuck in the office near the Swalec Stadium, in the TMS inbox:
"Very annoyed with Sussex declaring so early in the day and setting a low target of a mere 300. Just hope for plenty of rain up there and Glamorgan get promoted."
From Barney Trafford in the TMS inbox:
"Hampshire really have put the nails in Kent's relegation coffin. Snatching a last-gasp victory last week and now capitulating on the final day to hand Warks an easy survival win."
We are back underway everywhere folks. Now will anyone bat properly this afternoon?
From Richard in Portsmouth in the TMS inbox:
"Hampshire's failure to win (in fact retain) the title in 1974 was even more of a hard luck story than Mark Mitchener suggests. In the penultimate match we were playing Somerset, like the Yorkshire game, at Bournemouth. From hazy memory, we had scored a decent first innings total, bowled Somerset out for not too many and asked them to follow on. By the end of the second day they were, I think, 20-5, but with one batsman injured, so effectively 20-6 and still behind. So a Hampshire win looked a probability, to say the least. The third day didn't happen, for the same reason the Yorkshire match didn't happen. Four days in a row washed out, and so really it was the Somerset match which cost us the Championship. I seem to remember being particularly (though illogically) peeved because although they were home matches, by that time Bournemouth had just become part of Dorset."
From BBC Radio Nottingham's Dave Bracegirdle at
"83 runs in 55 minutes play before lunch, coupled with events elsewhere, has rekindled Nottinghamshire's title aspirations. Losing Mark Wagh - and then Ali Brown to the final ball before the interval - have been huge setbacks but there are still enough batters - and more than enough reason - for Notts to grab another 228 runs and then take three wickets! All fingers are crossed for the Robin Hood county!"
You know that lunch round-up I promised... well here we go. We know where we stand at Chester-le-Street, Old Trafford and Headingley, but at The Rose Bowl, Hampshire went to the interval on 81-8, needing four more to make Warwickshire bat again. In Division Two, Glamorgan are 53-0, still trailing Derbyshire by 57. The Welsh county might be agast at events at New Road, where Worcestershire, chasing 301 to win after offering up some buffet bowling this morning, are 37-1 after losing captain Daryl Mitchell lbw to Monty Panesar to the last ball of the morning. Northants are still 90 short of making Leicestershire bat again on 108-7. And at Bristol, Gloucestershire, chasing 261, are 33-1.
1245: BBC Sport's cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew has just confirmed that Andrew Flintoff has retired from all forms of cricket. Gives you something else to talk about this afternoon... 1243:
Right, I've just had a few technicals and noticed that an entry I posted at 1209 hasn't shown up. But a quick manual refresh now will do the trick. Thanks. Give me a sec and I'll got through the rest of the lunch scores.
Suddenly it's all going right for Somerset as Saj Mahmood wins an lbw decision against Ali Brown to reduce Notts to 172-4, although the ball looked to hit him above the pad. We've also gone about half an hour without a wicket in Leeds as Kent go to lunch on 49-2, needing 41 more to win.
Double breakthrough for Somerset just before lunch as Peter Trego finds the edge of Michael di Venuto's bat and Kieswetter takes the catch to dismiss him for 129. Then, in the following over, Ian Blackwell pops up a catch to short leg to give Murali Kartik a wicket and Durham go to lunch on 255-5, a lead of 115. The new ball is available to Somerset two overs after the interval.
Just to bring you up to speed in Division Two, Sussex declared on 264-4, setting Worcestershire 301 to win. Worcs are currently 22-0. Leaders Glamorgan are 32-0 in the second innings against Derbyshire. Meanwhile, Northants are 105-6 at Wantage Road and Gloucestershire, chasing 261 to beat Surrey, are 25-1.
BBC Radio 5 live sports extra's Kevin Hand
"Can anyone tell me what is the most number of wickets to fall in an hour in a first-class match? Richard Blakey is convinced that this will be right up there. And again the 11 wickets fell in 50 minutes of play if you remove the 10 minutes for the turnaround."Let's throw it out there...
Notts look like they're going down the bonus point route, but they've lost Mark Wagh, bowled by Saj Mahmood for 32. Notts are 144-3 and Lancashire have the first point in the match.
Something's clearly in the water at Headingley and The Rose Bowl that means batsmen just don't fancy hanging around. Maddy has Dominic Cork caught by Rikki Clarke and Hampshire are now 59-7.
BBC Radio 5 live sports extra's Kevin Hand
"The last nine Yorkshire wickets fell in exactly nine overs for 37 runs. 11 wickets overall fell for 43 runs in exactly an hour and remember there was a 10-minute turnaround for the change of innings. Astonishing morning."
From BBC London's Mark Church at
"Surrey 180-3... and they declare. 261 for Glos to win on the final day."
Warwickshire are clearly not playing for a draw at The Rose Bowl because Darren Maddy has trapped James Vince leg before to leave Hampshire 44-6. No Hampshire batsman has reached double figures yet... but no one has a duck either. Very odd.
Maybe I spoke too soon at Headingley because Kent are 6-2, with Joe Denly and Sam Northeast trapped lbw by Moin Ashraf and Ajmal Shahzad respectively. That's 11 wickets down in about an hour at Headingley this morning.
Wickets are going down everywhere and steam is coming off my keyboard. At The Rose Bowl, Woakes has had both Liam Dawson and Michael Bates caught behind to reduce Hampshire to 40-5, still 45 behind. In Division Two, Dean Cosker trapped both Steffan Jones and Tom Poynton leg before to bowl Derbyshire out for 276, a first innings lead of 110. Surely Glamorgan can't win from there? That turns attention to New Road where Luke Wright is 94 not out off 56 balls as Sussex have raced to 264-4, a lead of 300, in a game that Worcestershire must win. Northants are now 67-5 against Leicestershire and staring an innings defeat in the face. Oh, and Surrey, in the end-of-season knockabout at Bristol, are 180-3.
Breakthrough for Somerset where Ben Harmison gets the faintest nick on a leg-side Alfonso Thomas delivery and Craig Kieswetter takes the catch. Durham are 214-3, a lead of 74.
About 40 minutes ago Yorkshire were 93-1. Now they're all out for 130 as Tredwell has Ajmal Shahzad stumped and Moin Ashraf caught at second slip by Van Jaarsveld to finish with stunning figures of 7-22... at Headingley! Kent need 90 to win. Now we've got at least 10 minutes without a wicket in Leeds I'll give you a quick round-up in a mo.
We're going to have some play at Old Trafford. And the sun's out... but is it the right type of sun?
From BBC London's Mark Church at
"Surrey 99-3...Tim Linley goes for 16... and bowling being served up to get a game on."Clearly, as Rory Hamilton-Brown has helped himself to 42 off 24 balls and Surrey are now 160-3.
This is becoming a procession as Steve Patterson gets a thick inside edge to a big-turning Tredwell off-spinner and Sam Northeast takes a fine catch at short leg. Yorkshire are 123-8 - effectively 82-8.
Can we rule Yorkshire are out of the title race? Adil Rashid edges Dewald Nel to Martin van Jaarsveld at second slip. Yorkshire, who were going so well half an hour ago, are 118-7, a lead of 77. At Chester-le-Street, Somerset are still striving for a breakthrough as Durham move past 200.
It's all happening at Headingley where Jonny Bairstow gets a leading edge to mid-wicket to give Tredwell his hat-trick. But although Kent are doing all they can, it's going wrong for them at The Rose Bowl where Hampshire have slumped to 23-3, with Michael Carberry, Jimmy Adams and Phil Hughes all gone, Adams and Hughes to Chris Woakes. They've since recovered to 29-3. In Division Two, Leicestershire are well on the way to giving
coach Tim Boon a winning send off
after reducing Northants to 30-3.
1116: Tredwell has a hat-trick!! From BBC Radio Nottingham's Dave Bracegirdle at
"1135 start, with 80 overs in the day... if there's no more rain."
It's all going wrong for Yorkshire. James Tredwell sees Adam Lyth chop on to his leg stump before having Gerard Brophy stumped off the very next delivery. Yorkshire are 99-5, a lead of only 58 - and Tredwell will start his next over on a hat-trick.
From Lloyd, in Notts, wondering how Somerset control the weather Gods, in the TMS inbox:
"It's the bonus point route for me. We stitched Lancs royally at Trent Bridge when they had to give us an easy chase to try and stay in the Championship race. I can't see Lancs wanting to do us any favours! I see Newell was talking about a target of 270 off about 70 overs if they go the 'chase' route. That sounds like a walk in the park to me. Interesting times. Come on Durham!"
From Guy, a nervous Somerset fan in Warwick, in the TMS inbox:
"Does anyone have any tips on how to celebrate a wicket falling discreetly whilst at work? I'm desperately hoping for Somerset to clinch the title and don't know if I could suppress a celebration at the big moments!"
One brings two for Kent has Andrew Gale gets a thick edge on to his own stumps to give Nel a second wicket. Yorkshire are suddenly 95-3.
Michael di Venuto hasn't found it easy this morning, particularly facing Charl Willoughby. But he's still hung around long enough to get to his century. Durham are 193-2, a lead of 53. Remember, there are 12 less overs at Chester-le-Street today because Somerset have a flight to catch to London for Saturday's CB 40 final.
Yorkshire aren't hanging around this morning, adding 42 in the first 22 minutes without taking a ris... then Dewald Nel catches the shoulder of Anthony McGrath's bat and the ball loops through to Geraint Jones. Yorkshire 93-2.
From Jack in the TMS inbox:
"Not a Notts fan so I guess I'm impartial, but the only choice must be to take the score to 400 in 75 overs leaving 15 or so to get three wickets."
From Christian, crossing his fingers in Cornwall, in the TMS inbox:
"I awoke this morning from a quite wondrous dream in which I played for Somerset and we won the County Championship. The only odd part was that due to the weather the match was moved inside to a gym and used old school rules where catches were allowed off the walls but only if taken one handed. Maybe this is something the ECB should consider for future rain-affected title deciding matches."
First wicket of the morning comes at New Road where Alan Richardson has Ben Brown caught by skipper Daryl Mitchell without adding to his overnight 37. Murray Goodwin has been scoring freely, though, to go to his half-century, with his side now 119-3.
From Rich_Owl on 606:
"With a delayed start Notts have to go for the declaration/win scenario. They're running out of time for getting these bonus points, and they'll mean nothing anyway if Somerset win..."
BBC Radio 5 live sports extra's Kevin Hand
"Why would Rob Key get involved in any discussions with Andrew Gale this morning? Yorkshire have to get on with it and declare not long after lunch setting Kent a reasonably low total to win with a good number of overs to score them. Surely Key will leave them to do that."
BBC Radio 5 live sports extra's Kevin Howells
reckons what might happen today is akin to events after the general election, with Marcus Trescothick cast as the man in possession, Gordon Brown, and Chris Read and Mark Chilton as David Cameron and Nick Clegg respectively, looking to collude to thwart Somerset.
So, what do you do Notts fans? Another delayed start and you need nine points to stand a chance of winning the title. Do you go down the bonus points route and try and score as quickly as you can to get to 350-400 and then take three or six wickets and draw the game? Or do you try and agree a run chase with Lancashire and risk losing the match and therefore the title? It's a toughie and from what I hear the Notts camp is split down the middle.
The news from Chester-le-Street and Headingley is that we will be underway on time.
BBC Sport's Mark Mitchener has been digging through the history books to see how rain has affected the title race in the past:
"Nottinghamshire's title hopes are threatened by rain which has only allowed 28 overs in three days at Old Trafford - but it is not the first time the Championship has been decided by the weather in the final round of matches. In 1974, Hampshire (the defending champions from 1973) led Worcestershire by two points with one game left. But persistent rain prevented a single ball from being bowled in Hampshire's game against Yorkshire at Bournemouth. Rain also fell at Chelmsford, but Worcestershire stayed on the field long enough to pick up four bowling points against Essex - and even though the second and third days were washed out completely, that was enough for Worcester to win the title by two points."
Division Two is slightly more straightforward. If Glamorgan can somehow beat Derbyshire then they're up. If not Worcestershire can pip them, but only if they beat Sussex.
Would a reminder of where we are be useful? Let's start with Division One. If Somerset complete a win over Durham then a first County Championship title is theirs. Slip up and draw and that could let Notts or Yorkshire in. Notts would then need at least nine point to pip Somerset by virtue of having won more games, but if Yorkshire beat Kent then the title would go to Headingley. At the other end of the table, Warwickshire only need to draw with Hampshire and Kent will be relegated no matter what they do.
Welcome to the day of County Championship destiny. Anyone not sleep last night because of the excitement? Anyone got butterflies in the stomach this morning? Both? Well, you're going to have to put up with a lack of sleep and nervousness for a while yet because I reckon this title race is going to the wire.