NOTTINGHAMSHIRE needed just over two hours to take the seven Durham wickets they needed to be confirmed as Division Two champions on the final day of the LV= Insurance County Championship season at Trent Bridge.
England’s Stuart Broad, in his first appearance for his county since May, finished with three for 36, left-arm spinner Liam Patterson-White took three for 41 and South African seamer Dane Paterson two for 27.
Durham, for whom David Bedingham was unable to bat because of a dislocated shoulder, were dismissed for 114 to lose by 462 runs.
Barring defeat here, Nottinghamshire were effectively champions already after seven first-innings bonus points meant they could no longer be overtaken in the Division Two standings, yet they had wanted to end on a winning note and gave spectators free admission to witness their triumph.
Resuming on 14 for two after Nottinghamshire, who stacked up a formidable 662 for five declared, had declared their second innings on 121 for two, Durham suffered their first loss in the fourth over of the day as Broad angled one in to have Scott Borthwick leg before.
Patterson-White claimed the second scalp of the morning in his first over as Liam Trevaskis’s top-edged sweep looped to slip.
Chris Benjamin, the wicketkeeper on loan from Warwickshire, came a cropper when Broad returned for his second spell, edging to second slip.
Patterson-White bowled Ben Raine, Paterson had Matthew Potts edging to second slip, where Matt Montgomery, whose magnificent 178 had been the largest component of Nottinghamshire’s 662, took his second catch of the innings. Before Patterson-White enjoyed the decisive moment as Jonathan Bushnell, sweeping off balance, was leg before.
Nottinghamshire began the season as favourites to win the division, not on the basis of their form the last time the Championship was played in two divisions, pre-Covid, in 2019, when they were relegated without a win, but on their performance in 2021, the campaign of the conference format, when they were in contention for the title right up to the last round.
They felt slightly miffed that this year’s divisions were configured on the basis of what happened three years ago, but the ECB quite reasonably felt they had to maintain the integrity of their competition.
In any event, they have clearly justified their short odds, winning more matches and more bonus points than any of their rivals. The only defeats suffered were against Glamorgan in their first home match in April, and at Worcester last week.