Warwickshire finished Somerset ruthlessly to win the LV = Insurance County Championship and propel Lancashire to the title on the last day of the season.
The Red Roses eyed Emirates Old Trafford nervously after biting their nails against Hampshire on Thursday night to give themselves a chance, but they were powerless to prevent the silverware being snatched from them in Edgbaston.
Liam Norwell sacked Jack Brooks just before 4:30 p.m. to seal a 118-race victory and, with it, the first Warwickshire Championship triumph since 2012 and only the eighth in their history.
Skipper Will Rhodes made a competitive statement after just over an hour of play to give his team 79 overs to take all 10 wickets, prompting the Cidermens to chase 273 at a required rate of 3.45.
But with the Division One title on the line, Warwickshire was not to be turned down on the pitch as they dismissed the visitors for 154 in 52 overs.
Nottinghamshire had already claimed a five-wicket victory over Yorkshire in their last game, but ultimately missed the Bob Willis Trophy final.
After completing their own seven-overs game in the afternoon session, they had to wait for the outcome of Warwickshire’s clash against Somerset, but the Bears’ victory ensured it would be them and Lancashire to make it into the final season’s end of Lord.
Nottinghamshire would head to Lord’s themselves if they hadn’t lost four points less than a third at bat here when they were knocked out for 296 in their opening innings, needing only 18 additional points with three wickets in hand.
Kent won the Division Three title after a morning of drama at Canterbury, where they beat Middlesex by two wickets.
Kent finished with 375 for eight, but they struggled early on after Toby Roland-Jones brilliantly beat Tawanda Muyeye for 89, having started day four with 275 for five, needing another 98 to win.
They also lost Darren Stevens for 14, before Marcus O’Riordan (26) and Grant Stewart (37 not released) revived them with a stand of 48 and Matt Milnes hit the winning points.
Also on Friday, Ollie Pope hit a career-high 274 and Hashim Amla 163 as Surrey’s Division Two match against Glamorgan at the Kia Oval ended in a draw.
Surrey finished with 722 for four declared, his highest in the first class against Glamorgan, who himself made 672 for six declared in his own opening innings as the batters dominated.
This game saw a number of batting records set with a total of 1,394 more points and just 10 wickets lost over the course of four days, none of them sewn.