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Page last updated at 18:34 GMT, Thursday, 16 September 2010 19:34 UK

County Championship win is new highlight - Chris Read

Chris Read holds the County Championship trophy
Notts captain Chris Read celebrates his side's title success

Nottinghamshire captain Chris Read says leading the county to the championship title is the highlight of his career.

Notts clinched the title on the final day of the season by virtue of winning more games after they and Somerset finished level on points.

Read, who was part of the 2005 title-winning side, told BBC Radio 5 live: "I rank that as one of the highlights of my career but this has eclipsed it.

"Being captain, it's a great feeling to be lifting trophies."

He added: "It's also because of the nature we have gone about it.

"It's been a real rollercoaster ride and emotions have been running high for a number of weeks."

Nottinghamshire went into their last game against Lancashire two points ahead of Somerset, but saw the Cidermen pick up maximum bonus points to go six points clear while they spent much of the first three days in the pavilion at Old Trafford because of bad weather.

But while Durham launched a rearguard action at Chester-le-Street to frustrate Somerset and hold on for a draw, Notts picked up the six bonus points they needed by scoring 400 and taking three wickets on the final day which, coupled with three points for a draw, handed them the title.

And Read admitted he felt sympathy for Marcus Trecothick and his side.

"My dad is a lifelong Somerset fan so he will have mixed emotions, and I grew up in Devon watching Somerset as a lad," he said.

"For them to come so close to their first ever championship they must feel gutted, but they can take heart from probably being the form side of the summer in all forms of the game.

"It's no mean achievement to have competed as well as they have in the championship, be losing finalists in the Twenty20 and now they've got a chance to pick up silverware at Lord's on Saturday (in the CB 40 final).

"I wish them all the best with that because they deserve some silverware out of this season."

Notts director of cricket Mick Newell said it was obvious early on the final morning that they would have to go for bonus points rather than agree a run chase with Lancashire.

"There were two scenarios to get the points we needed to get and it was obvious that us and Lancashire were not on the same page in terms of a run chase, and that's understandable," Newell told BBC Radio Nottingham.

"They had to uphold the game, play it in the right way and once that was clear we decided this was the way to go.

"To me this is more special than 2005. We've used a lot of different players, we've seen very little of Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann, a little bit of Ryan Sidebottom and having three different overseas players (Hashim Amla, David Hussey and Adam Voges) is not easy.

"Lots of different people have come in and made a contribution but the reason we've won it is because we have the best seam attack in the country and we've managed to get enough runs at important times."

Somerset captain Trescothick said he had chosen not to watch events at Old Trafford after his side had shaken hands on a draw at Durham after giving up on their run chase of 181 in 17 overs.

"The lads are pretty disappointed after a long, hard season and a lot of hard work put in to be second again," he said.

"It's gutting, really. It's terrible and it's something that will live with us for a long, long time to know we were so close - touching distance to the trophy - but so far away when Notts got that third wicket.

"Any time you lose a big cup or a final it's disappointing. Twenty20 finals day still haunts me even though we're six weeks away from it, but with this being the elusive trophy for the club it is going to hurt, no doubt about it."

606: DEBATE

But, despite his disappointment, Trescothick is confident his side can challenge again next season and end their 135-year wait for a championship pennant.

"For our first season with me leading the side we've done well to tie the league on points," he said. "We've got to go one step further next time and get ahead of the game but we're very close.

"With it being our first title we realise how special it will be when we finally get there. To get so close - level on points - is so tough but we'll just have to wait another year now."

Yorkshire also began the final day with title aspirations but collapsed from 93-1 to 130 all out against Kent, who then squeaked home by four wickets after being set 90 to win at Headingley.

That was not enough to save Kent, who were relegated by Warwickshire's victory at Hampshire.

Tykes captain Andrew Gale, at the end of his first season at the helm, hopes his side can learn from the experience.

"I am very disappointed with what has happened, today. In those 45 minutes of our batting collapse there were signs of the old Yorkshire of the last two or three years," he said.

"I thought we had got rid of those jitters but obviously not. That was not the way we have played our cricket this season and it will take a week or two to get over but it has still been a good year and the lads can be proud of their efforts."

"Hopefully, the lads will learn something from it but it is still a bitter pill to swallow.

"Division One of the Championship is a tough division and I think that to win six games is a great effort."



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see also
Notts sneak title from Somerset
16 Sep 10 |  Counties
Notts win Championship commentary
16 Sep 10 |  Nottinghamshire
Somerset draw hands Notts title
16 Sep 10 |  Counties
Tredwell ends Tykes' title hopes
16 Sep 10 |  Counties


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