Liam Norwell saves Warwickshire from being relegated to Division Two by Yorkshire

Yorkshire were relegated from LV= County Championship Division One under almost miraculous circumstances when Liam Norwell’s bowling excellence outlived Warwickshire by beating Hampshire.

Norwell’s career-best nine wickets for 62 carries sealed a five-round win against Hampshire on a thrilling final day of the season at Edgbaston, meaning White Rose County drops to Division Two.

Hampshire, who had set a win target of 139 to secure second place and relegation the 2021 champions, were eliminated at 133 as Norwell, returning at the end of an injury-plagued season, in several spells from the pavilion great bowled finish to keep Warwickshire above the relegation trapdoor in the final moments of the season.

They resumed at 62 to two on the final day of the campaign but seemed to give up hopes of survival as they collapsed to 177.

Hampshire had 72 overs to equal their total but slumped to 91 for seven and despite Nick Gubbins’ steadfast 46 they came just short of an agonizing loss.

Simon Harmer took six wickets for 49 to turn Essex to a 47-run win over Northamptonshire at Wantage Road to finish this year as the leading wicket-taker in Division One.

Harmer pulled out an amazing turn to run through Northamptonshire’s middle and lower order after Sam Cook set up the win by three wickets in two overs to shatter the hosts’ hopes of chasing 211.

A snappy 30 from Ricardo Vasconcelos boosted hopes for home fans before six wickets fell for 29 runs. Despite a struggling 39 from Gareth Berg – Northamptonshire’s highest individual result in that game – the hosts were eliminated on 163 points, meaning they sit sixth in the Championship, which is their highest in 27 years.

Harmer finished the season with 59 wickets, one ahead of Hampshire’s Kyle Abbott, while Cook passed 50 with a season average of just 16.2.

It took Nottinghamshire just over two hours at Trent Bridge to pick up the seven Durham wickets they needed to be crowned Division Two champions.

England seaman Stuart Broad finished with three for 36 in his first appearance for his county since May, left-armed spinner Liam Patterson-White took three for 41 and South African seaman Dane Paterson won two for 27.

Durham, for whom David Bedingham was unable to bat due to a dislocated shoulder, was sent off 114 to 462 runs.

Middlesex’ promotion to Division One was confirmed after rain washed away the final day of their clash with Worcestershire at New Road.

They’d effectively ensured they finished in the top two after a maximum haul of five batting points on day three.

Thursday’s gap meant Middlesex picked up the extra eight points for some of the loot, ensuring they finished ahead of nearest challengers Glamorgan.

Ali Orr narrowly missed double hundred, while Tom Haines 177 and Dan Ibrahim had an unbeaten century as Sussex struggled through the final day to draw against Glamorgan.

Orr was dismissed for 198 when Sussex amassed 554 for eight in their second innings at the 1st Central County ground. The players shook hands shortly after Ibrahim, 18, reached his first century.

Rehan Ahmed scored a superb first century to save Leicestershire from defeat by Derbyshire at the Incora County Ground.

The England Under-19 all-rounder impressed with a stunning 122 from 113 balls on the final day of the game, making for a memorable finale to a miserable season for the bottom of Division Two.

It was also a record-breaking performance as he became the first Leicestershire player to score his opening hundred and score his first five-wicket draw in the same game.

The 18-year-old was well supported by Lewis Hill, who hit 60 balls from 157 and shared a fourth wicket count of 163 in 35 overs with Ahmed.

Harry Swindells (48) and Tom Scriven (30) added 70 and although Sam Conners celebrated his county cap by taking his 50th championship wicket, Leicestershire were 86 ahead at 405 for seven when Regen leveled the game to a tie led with 20 overs remaining. Liam Norwell saves Warwickshire from being relegated to Division Two by Yorkshire

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