Fleming defends contrived finish to title race

Fleming played on Fulton's own title hopes at Canterbury to negotiate a deal which was heavily in Nottinghamshire's favour - they set Kent 420 runs to win in 70 overs. It resulted in a 214-run victory to confirm the Midlanders' first title since 1987.

Kent could now lose the runners-up position after next week's final match, against Sussex at Hove.

"Dave Fulton is a guy who loves to win," Fleming said, "and is the sort of captain I think needs to be promoted in county cricket."

Fleming heard the crowd's disquiet after Fulton made a surprise declaration and Nottingham-shire set about some part-time bowling to set up the agreed target.

"There were some boos and jeers about what we did," Fleming said. "But it did not only mean we got the result we needed; it meant everyone got a spectacle when there otherwise would not have been one. After England's success this summer, the crowds need to see good games of county cricket."

Fleming went on to praise the Championship. "The history of the competition is superb and winning it and being part of a winning side is something that I'm really excited about," he said.

Hampshire beat Glamorgan by 75 runs at Cardiff yesterday, a win which could help them seal second in the Championship. Set 320 to win in a minimum of 89 overs, Hampshire bowled Glamorgan out for 244 with 27.2 overs remaining.

Sean Ervine was the hero for the visitors, with season's best figures of 5 for 60.

Durham sealed promotion to the totesport First Division when their match against Northamptonshire at Chester-le-Street was abandoned on Saturday.

Chasing 246 in 44 overs in a match they did not need to win, Durham were 38 for 2 after 15 overs when bad light intervened. North-amptonshire agreed to an abandonment, though they needed a win to retain any hope of gaining promotion.

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