Kent seal promotion as Worcestershire’s relegation is also confirmed

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Kent were promoted to Specsavers County Championship Division One after wrapping up an emphatic victory over Glamorgan on a day that also saw Worcestershire’s relegation from the top flight confirmed.

Kent won by an innings and 172 runs with five sessions to spare in Canterbury having bowled bottom side Glamorgan out for 78, with Darren Stevens claiming five for 24 and Matt Henry another four wickets, leaving him with eight in the match.

Their promotion was then sealed as Sussex, third in Division Two, failed to secure maximum batting bonus points in their clash with second-placed Warwickshire at Hove.

Kent captain Sam Billings said: “I’ve never played first division Championship cricket and it’s always been my ambition, so I’m tremendously proud that this team has taken Kent back to the level of English cricket that this great club feels it belongs at.

“It’s been a monumental effort from everyone in the club.”

Warwickshire are themselves closing in on joining Kent in Division One next season. Bad light brought a premature end to the day at Hove with the Bears 141 for none, giving them a lead of 238 in a game they only need to draw to seal their promotion.

Having dismissed fellow promotion-chasers Sussex for 343 for nine – with Tom Haines unfit to bat – Warwickshire’s opening pair of Will Rhodes and Dom Sibley piled on the runs to move them to the brink of an immediate return to the top flight.

Sussex’s own hopes of promotion became increasingly far-fetched as the day progressed.

Worcestershire, who were promoted to the top tier last season, dropped back down to Division Two with a heavy loss to Essex at Chelmsford.

Jamie Porter was the away side’s chief destroyer as the Pears were beaten by an innings and 129 runs, the 25-year-old ending the second innings with figures of four for 57 to earn himself a match haul of 11 for 98.

Simon Harmer also chipped in with four for 76 as Worcestershire were bowled out for 251. It was a quick return to earth for the county, five days after winning the Vitality Blast.

Yorkshire’s Adam Lyth registered a century on a rain-affected third day against Hampshire, whose Division One safety was mathematically confirmed by Worcestershire’s defeat at Essex.

Lyth advanced from 60 overnight to 134 not out as Yorkshire, leading by 27 after the first innings, moved from 172 for four to 287 for five at Headingley, where there was no more play possible after rain arrived during the lunch break.

If Yorkshire win they will also be mathematically safe from relegation.

At Taunton, champions Surrey were frustrated by the weather and some stiff resistance from Somerset, who by the close of a day limited to 49.3 overs by rain and bad light had reached 168 for three in their second innings, requiring a further 171 to avoid an innings defeat.

The match looked set to end inside three days when the second-placed hosts crashed to four for two while following on, having been bowled out for 146, before James Hildreth (60) and Azhar Ali (61 not out) put on 97 for the third wicket.

Middlesex hold the upper hand in their Division Two clash with Derbyshire at Lord’s after Sam Robson’s knock of 73 helped them to reach 199 for seven in their second innings and a lead of 327 runs.

Derbyshire’s Matt Critchley took four wickets, having earlier posted 105 in the visitors’ 295 all out. He was ousted by James Harris, who took four for 83.

Also in the second tier, day three of Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire’s match at Bristol was abandoned because of rain without there having been any play.

Gloucestershire trail by 48 runs after their opponents replied to 125 all out with 173 all out in their first innings.

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