posted by John Winn
Somerset's timing at Headingley on Thursday morning was perfect for what little resistance they offered ended precisely on the stroke of lunch, apple sponge at the cricket centre, and just as steady rain began. A match that they had been losing since Trescothick lost the toss on Tuesday ended in a win for Yorkshire by an innings and a 126 runs and put into reverse what the Somerset website had called their climb away from the relegation zone. With Hampshire winning at the no longer impregnable Riverside Trescothick's men find themselves just five points above Hants and the two sides meet at Taunton on Wednesday. Worcestershire, having lost to Sussex yesterday, are now bottom and with just two games to play seem most likely to go down.
Since mid June and their victory over Sussex at Taunton which left them at the top of the table Durham have played six and lost five, including four in a row at Riverside and having played a game more than Somerset and Hants are not entirely free of relegation concerns themselves. The introduction of youngsters Clark and Burnham has not had a positive effect on the fragile batting which too many times has asked too much of the bowlers, both with bat and ball. And to compound matters while Hampshire were holding their slip catches Durham were dropping theirs, with Muchall, normally a very safe pair of hands, putting three down in one innings from Onions.
Yorkshire meanwhile march on to what everybody knows but few dare to say will be successive championships and can retain the pennant, proudly fluttering on Brian's photograph on his last posting, at Lord's this week and short of clinching things in front of the Headingley faithful, where better? Six points are all that is necessary and that is based on Middlesex gaining the maximum 48 from the last two games. Do the maths. See you on Wednesday.
I promised further details on the National Club Championship final between Blackheath and Northern. which will be played at Beckenham, six miles from Blackheath and 238 miles from Crosby, the home of Northern, on Sunday 20th September, wickets pitched 11:00. And while we are dealing with national club championships the T20 competition was won by Ealing who beat Exmouth in the final at Cardiff on Tuesday by eight wickets with almost three overs to spare.
Off to Harrogate soon for their game with York but can I urge as many of our readers as possible to sign the online petition resisting the ECB's attempts to reduce the amount of championship cricket played from the current sixteen to fourteen matches. I know I mainly mix with people of my own age and interests but I have yet to meet anybody who welcomes this proposal. Please sign the petition and urge your friends to do so. It was gratifying to hear Yorkshire's chief executive state the county's opposition to this change at the members' forum on Thursday but distressing to hear that the ECB has the power to impose it against the will of the counties. The petition can be found at change.org, just enter To maintain a 16 match County Championship in the search petitions box. And if you are on face book and/or twitter help us go global. 'Cherish the championship'.