And the first wicket of the day to fall is at New Road, where Ed Pollock is caught behind off Tim Murtagh opening offering. Worcs 0-1.
And, with autumn swilling round the players’ nostrils, off we go!
At Canterbury, Edgbaston and Hove.
Good morning from Birmingham, where contrary to popular belief the weather isn’t always piña coladas by the pool. Cold with the odd sprinkling of rain or sunshine is the current situation as Warwickshire try to pull of an escape – needing to win and other results go in their favour – and Hampshire, well, they’re looking to win their 10th match of the season which in another year wouldn’t see them already preparing the maid of honour speech. Oh, as I write this (10 am) some additional covers have come on for the bowler’s run-ups and no toss is taking place … won’t lie, doesn’t look like top-level professional cricket is going to break out in half an hour.
1 Surrey 247
2 Hampshire 220
3 Lancashire 201
4 Essex 181
5 Northants 151
6 Somerset 145
7 Yorkshire 135
8 Kent 134
9 Warwickshire 120
10 Gloucestershire 95
1 Nottinghamshire 218
2 Middlesex 209
3 Glamorgan 200
4 Worcestershire 183
5 Durham 182
6 Derbyshire 171
7 Sussex 117
8 Leicestershire 84
The top two will be promoted
Canterbury: Kent v Somerset
Old Trafford: Lancashire v Surrey
Wantage Road: Northants v Essex
Edgbaston: Warwicks v Hampshire
Headingley: Yorkshire v Gloucestershire
Derby: Derbyshire v Leicestershire
Trent Bridge: Notts v Durham
Hove: Sussex v Glamorgan
New Road: Worcs v Middlesex
Good morning, good morning! Welcome to the final fling, the last knockings, the coda of the season. Four days to go, the Championship already decided in favour of the best team – Surrey – but desperate scramblings ahead to go up – and avoid the drop. As we’ve come to realise over the last few days – this relegation/promotion battle is vital should the Strauss report be accepted by the counties. If it is, then Division Two status next season will give no chance of promotion – as the top six for 2024 will be culled from top six finishers in Division One 2023.
In the mix for promotion are Notts – long time favourites but who stumbled badly last round – Glamorgan, 18 points behind them, and Middlesex in second. Notts entertain Durham at home, Glamorgan get the free pass at Hove, and Middlesex travel to New Road.
Possibles to join Gloucestershire for the drop are last year’s champions Warwickshire – who need a win against Hampshire and results to go their way round the grounds – Kent, who take on now-safe Somerset, and Yorkshire, at home to nothing-to-play-for Gloucestershire.