In the end they just about stumbled across the finishing line, but Nottinghamshire somehow manged to get the points required to claim the County Championship title with a draw against Lancashire at Old Trafford today.
It was Notts title to lose at the end of August. They must have thought they had blown it after their 59 all out disaster against Yorkshire last week, and they then watched the rain and remarkably, good light reduce play to just 28 overs for the first 3 days of this match.
All in all though, and in a similar way to Twenty20 Finals Day, I thought this has been a good advert for county cricket. In a time of dwindling crowds and bad publicity it was good to hear county cricket high up in the sports bulletins for once throughout this week.
The final round of games have been competitive, and the integrity of the county game can also only have been enhanced by the way they have been conducted. No one had any favours done for them, with Durham in particular having nothing to play for, not lying down for Somerset.
And in a time of public scrutiny there was also no dodgy looking declarations in any of the matches.
On a personal note, the highlight of the day for me was seeing my team, Warwickshire, stay up. On 17th August, Warwickshire were bowled out TWICE in the day on their way to an innings and 55 runs defeat to Notts and were rock bottom, of the table and mentally.
The batting was a disgrace (as it has been most of the season in the absence of Trott and Bell) and we were down and out and a cert to be relegated. How Ashley Giles has managed to turn it around since then, I don’t know. But he has, and fair play to him for that.
As I mentioned the batting has been a disgrace this season, and there will be a blog post dedicated to how it took us to the brink of relegation.
At least Ian Bell returned to a score an important century in this match, but prior to that it was the tail that got the runs that won the decisive game with Kent two weeks ago.
And after all that, it’s off to Lord’s for the final of the CB40 on Saturday.
The game could depend on how opponents Somerset respond to narrowly missing out on the county championship. I’m sure no one at the county will admit it, but they must have thought from Tuesday evening onwards that the title was finally coming to Taunton, it will be a big challenge to put this disappointment behind them so quickly.
Obviously I want a Warwickshire victory, but either way, I hope it’s another exciting finish and a good positive advert for the county game.