Warwickshire claimed a 74-run victory over the Norwich Union League First Division champions, Glamorgan at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff yesterday. The visitors' Dominic Ostler hit 97 off 84 balls, including 11 fours and a six, while Ian Bell scored similarly quickly to reach 72 as Warwickshire set a target of 275 for 9.
Matthew Maynard was trapped leg-before on 54 to become the first of Mike Powell's three victims of the day, and once Alan Dale was caught and bowled for 31, the Welsh county's lower order slumped from 158 for 5 to 201 all out. The result gave Warwickshire third place in the championship.
Worcestershire ended the season as runners-up after a narrow win against Leicestershire at New Road. Kadeer Ali, with 57, and 60 not out by David Leatherdale helped Worcestershire reach 255 for 8.
Leicestershire's Trevor Ward was out for a duck first ball, but consistent scoring down the order, including Darren Stevens' 54, made for a close finish with the Foxes all out for 227 from 44.2 overs.
Yorkshire's season of disappointment finished with an Anthony McGrath-inspired win over Kent at Headingley. After suffering relegation from the top flight of the County Championship a year after winning the title, Yorkshire at least knew they would be playing in the First Division next summer.
Matthew Elliott made an unbeaten 115 in an unbroken 198-run stand with McGrath, who finished with 85 not out in Yorkshire's 299 for 3.
McGrath then went to work with the ball and returned 3 for 39 from his nine overs after Andy Gray had done plenty of damage to finish with 4 for 34 from his eight-over spell.
Relegated Somerset bowled out Durham for 79 in 21.2 overs to record a 175-run win at Taunton. Matthew Wood cracked an unbeaten 88 and Michael Burns 54 in just 42 balls as Somerset closed on 254 for 6. Their bowlers then proved too hot for Durham, who will also be playing in the Second Division next season.
Simon Francis (2 for 34), Matthew Bulbeck (2 for 25) and Keith Dutch (2 for 0 in 3.2 overs) all claimed a brace of wickets, with Peter Trego picking up 3 for 14 in just four overs.
With the promotion positions filled in the Second Division, the only issue left to be resolved is the make-up of the bottom four, who will play each other in the third round of the C&G Trophy next year. Three of those places have been taken by Hampshire, Sussex and Middlesex, but Northamptonshire and Derbyshire were both looking for wins to leave the final spot to the inactive Lancashire.
Despite a gallant effort from Derbyshire against Hampshire, it was Northamptonshire who secured the points to finish fourth by beating the bottom club, Middlesex, by 22 runs.
England's Graham Thorpe continued his good form to hit 114 in Surrey's 79-run win over Gloucestershire at The Oval.
Essex, who clinched the County Championship Second Division title with a victory over Nottinghamshire on Saturday, beat Sussex yesterday at Chelmsford where Aftab Habib hit his second half century of the weekend, finishing with 53. Essex were bowled out for 189, but Sussex were not so strong with the bat, Murray Goodwin's 55 was their top score as they ended all out for 158 in 38.3 overs.
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