Somerset remain favourites to claim their maiden County Championship title but face an agonising wait on the final day of the season after beating Nottinghamshire by 325 runs at Taunton. Chris Rogers' side are in the driving seat with title rivals Middlesex and Yorkshire destined for a draw, but a contrived result at Lord's could yet deny them a maiden success in English cricket's top flight.
A stalemate between Middlesex, who are aiming for a first title for 22 years, and Yorkshire – bidding to claim a third championship in a row – would be enough for Somerset to prevail, but the champagne is very much on ice in the West Country. Victory inside three days was set up by Rogers' second century of the match, which helped set Notts 540 to win.
Billy Root hit an unbeaten 66 but wickets tumbled around him as Jack Leach (4-69) and Roelof van der Merwe (3-59) did the damage, to bowl Nottinghamshire out for just 215. Victory by 325 runs sees Somerset temporarily top of the table but an anxious wait follows before they can begin celebrating their first major success in the four-day format.
Yorkshire kept themselves in contention to win three titles in a row for the sixth time in their history after claiming a crucial fourth batting point against Middlesex, whose hopes of breaking a hiatus of over two decades without the championship appear increasingly distant. The holders put on 186 for the final four wickets which included an unbeaten century from Tim Bresnan (142 not out), either side of a rain delay which threatened to curtail both side's chances.
The visitors led by 110 after being bowled out for 390 and Middlesex had barely begun attempts to restore parity when Sam Robson (0) and Nick Compton (1) were both dismissed cheaply. But Middlesex showed some fighting spirit with Nick Gubbins (39 not out) and Dawid Malan (37 not out) putting on 79 for the third wicket to reduce the arrears to 39 and keep all three championship challengers guessing heading into the final day of an exhilarating domestic campaign.