Surrey move closer to County Championship title after more Morkel magic

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Warwickshire and Kent strengthened their promotion claims in Division Two.

Morne Morkel produced a deadly spell of bowling for champions-elect Surrey

Morne Morkel edged Surrey closer to victory against Worcestershire and their first Specsavers County Championship title in 16 years.

The former South Africa pace bowler took five wickets for five runs in 38 balls as bottom-placed Worcestershire collapsed from 154 for two in their second innings to 203 all out.

Surrey will resume on 70 without loss on the final day, needing another 202 for victory, with openers Rory Burns and Mark Stoneman unbeaten on 33 and 37 respectively.

Earlier, Surrey, who will be crowned champions for the first time since 2002 if they avoid defeat, were all out for 268 in their first innings, with Burns adding 19 runs to his unbeaten 103 overnight.

Ben Coad claimed four for 14 from 10 overs to put Lancashire on the ropes as they pursue 230 to beat Yorkshire in their relegation battle at Headingley.

The Red Rose county, in severe danger of dropping out of Division One, suffered a nightmare final hour on day three, slipping from 66 for two to 95 for seven, before closing on 109 for seven.


Yorkshire had earlier resumed their second innings on 127 for three, a lead of 84, with Gary Ballance (85) and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (63) helping them reach 272 all out.

Essex need 135 runs to win against Nottinghamshire with nine second-innings wickets remaining after reaching 147 for one at Trent Bridge.

Simon Harmer took six for 87 as Notts were bowled out for 337 in their second innings, leaving the defending champions chasing 282. India’s Murali Vijay will resume on 73 not out.


Keith Barker’s five-wicket haul helped keep Warwickshire on course for the Division Two title as they wrapped up a comprehensive innings victory inside three days against Leicestershire at Grace Road.

Barker (five for 40) and skipper Jeetan Patel (four for 67) restricted the hosts’ second innings total to 196 all out after Warwickshire had ensured maximum bonus points by declaring on 400 for nine, Chris Woakes finishing on 73 not out.

Sam Billings played a captain’s cameo innings of 31 not out as Kent boosted their promotion hopes and dented those of their rivals by securing a nervy three-wicket win on day three at Lord’s.

Kent resumed under floodlights on 104 for four, requiring a further 52 runs for victory, and skipper Billings wrapped up his side’s ninth win of the campaign with a streaky inside-edged boundary to take his side to 157 for seven.

Durham secured their fourth victory of the season, thrashing Sussex by 186 runs at the Riverside after the visitors were all out for 135 in their second innings.

Chris Rushworth (four for 49) added another four wickets to his eight-wicket haul in the first innings as Sussex fell way short of their daunting 322-run chase.

Bottom club Glamorgan appear set for their ninth defeat of the season as they lead Gloucestershire by 18 runs with just one second-innings wicket in hand.

Second-bottom Northamptonshire’s match against Derbyshire is more evenly poised going into the final day.

Northants lead Derbyshire by 231 runs with two second-innings wickets remaining.

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