Warwickshire claim county title

The Bolton News: Warwickshire's Chris Wright, right, celebrates taking the wicket of Worcestershire's Joe Leach Warwickshire's Chris Wright, right, celebrates taking the wicket of Worcestershire's Joe Leach

Warwickshire have wrapped up the LV= County Championship title with a comprehensive win over midlands rivals Worcestershire at New Road.

The Bears eased to victory by an innings and 202 runs to finish top of the table for the first time since 2004.

Having bowled out Division One's bottom club for just 60 on the opening day, Warwickshire declared at 471 for eight on Wednesday before Worcestershire reached stumps on 100 for two in their second innings. The demolition job continued on Thursday with Warwickshire claiming the eight wickets required to wrap up the one-sided win shortly after lunch.

Only Moeen Ali's unbeaten 72 provided any resistance to Warwickshire's march towards the title, but when he ran out of partners his spirited defence was brought to an end.

Chris Wright finished as the pick of the Warwickshire attack in the second innings, finishing with figures of four for 65, including all three wickets after lunch.

Warwickshire's nearest challengers Sussex endured a difficult morning at the crease as they lost six wickets before lunch against Somerset at Hove. Resuming on 186 for two, they lost centurion Chris Nash (126) with their score on 230, before losing five more wickets for the addition of just 40 runs to reach the interval on 270 for eight.

Alfonso Thomas did the damage for the home side, claiming five wickets at the cost of just 64 runs on Thursday morning, including those of Nash and Murray Goodwin (77).

Relegation-battling Lancashire continued to make inroads into Middlesex's lead at Lord's but victory appears an unlikely prospect for the Red Rose with just five sessions left in the match.

At lunch the visitors were on 327 for five in reply to Middlesex's 446, with Ashwell Prince removed on 71.

At the Oval, Surrey made a stuttering start to their second innings with three wickets lost before the interval. After establishing a first-innings lead of 42 on Wednesday, Surrey lost Zafar Ansari (four), Arun Harinath (14) and Rory Burns (44) as they put up 81 for three at lunch.

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