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  1. Division One leaders Essex beat Warwickshire by an innings and 56 runs
  2. They will be champions unless Lancashire beat Somerset
  3. Lancashire 247-8 at the close at Taunton, just 45 runs ahead
  4. Yorkshire 59-1 at stumps after following on against Surrey
  5. Leicestershire spinner Callum Parkinson takes 8-148 against Worcestershire

Live Reporting

By Matthew Henry and Paul Grunill

All times stated are UK

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Signing off

Jamie Porter celebrates
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Essex paceman Jamie Porter waits to uncork the bubbly

Phew. That's the end to another thrilling day of County Championship cricket.

To recap, Essex have done their bit. They thrashed Warwickshire by an innings and 56 runs and that means barring an unlikely Lancashire win they will be crowned champions tomorrow.

Lancashire will return just 45 runs ahead with only two wickets left against Somerset.

We'll be back in the morning to keep you right up to date with that one as well as the other big games at the bottom of Division One and top of Division Two.

Make sure you join us to see if Essex's 25-year wait comes to an end.

Close of play scores

Division One

Middlesex 162-7 (59 overs) v Hampshire

Somerset 335 v Lancashire 133 & 247-8 (f/o)

Lancashire need 45 runs and must win or Essex are champions

Surrey 592 v Yorkshire 394 & 59-1 (f/o)

Yorkshire need another 139 to avoid innings defeat

Warwickshire 201 & 112 v Essex 369-9 dec

Essex won by an innings and 56 runs

Division Two

Glamorgan 207 & 320 v Northamptonshire 310 & 42-1

Northants need another 176 for victory

Gloucestershire 385 & 67-0 v Kent 386

Gloucestershire lead by 66 runs

Derbyshire 338 & 322-8 v Sussex 271

Derbyshire lead by 389 runs

Leicestershire 404 & 111-7 v Worcestershire 493

Leicestershire lead by 22 runs

Gloucestershire openers stand firm

Gloucestershire 385 & 67-0 v Kent 386

Gloucestershire make an excellent start to their second innings at Bristol as Chris Dent (41*) and Cameron Bancroft (25*) see off Kent's new-ball attack. The home side lead by 66 and a draw is now the likeliest result, barring a dramatic collapse on the final day.

Kent's Sam Northeast and Joe Denly both made half-centuries to pass 1,000 runs for the season earlier in the day, while Darren Stevens hit an unbeaten 65 off 58 balls.

Derbyshire build big lead

Derbyshire 338 & 322-8 v Sussex 271

An early declaration by Derbyshire on the final day is surely inevitable after they reach stumps with a 389-run lead at Hove - a lead which may spell the end of Sussex's lingering promotion hopes.

Sussex paceman Stu Whittingham takes five wickets in a Championship innings for the first time as Wayne Davis top edges a catch to Ollie Robinson in the penultimate over, but Harry Podmore remains on 66 not out.

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Duckett goes for Northants

Glamorgan 207 & 320 v Northamptonshire 310 & 42-1

Rob Newton hits two fours for Northants in the final over of play at Cardiff as they reach the close needing another 176 for victory. Ben Duckett fell for 23 in the previous over, caught behind off Michael Hogan for 23, prompting the visitors to send out Simon Kerrigan as nightwatchman.

With Worcestershire seemingly heading for victory against Leicestershire, only a win will be good enough here for Northants as the promotion race nears its climax.

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Middlesex struggle at Uxbridge

Middlesex 162-7 (59 overs) v Hampshire

Only 28.5 overs are possible on day three at Uxbridge, but Middlesex lose four wickets in that time. John SImpson is 15 not out and the close, with Ollie Rayner on four, and this is a nailed-on draw unless the captains can contrive something meaningful on the final day.

WICKET Raine (c Mitchell b Ashwin) 10

Leicestershire 404 & 111-7 v Worcestershire 493

The third day's play at New Road ends on a low note for Leicestershire as Ben Raine is caught in the slips off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (2-36). The visitors are only 22 ahead with three wickets standing, despite Callum Parkinson's 8-148 in Worcestershire's first innings.

The home side began the game second in the table and with only one match left to play after this one, victory tomorrow will be a big step towards clinching a promotion place.

Title will be 'highest honour' - Ryan ten Doeschate

Essex beat Warwickshire by an innings and 56 runs

Ryan ten doeschate
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Essex may not be mathematically sure of the title but captain Ryan ten Doeschate says the Lancashire result is "irrelevant"

Only a win for the Red Rose county could prevent Essex lifting the title tomorrow, but Ten Doeschate seems happy to start the celebrations early.

“The last challenge is to go unbeaten this season but we’re going to celebrate first," he said.

"I know it’s not confirmed but I think whatever Lancashire do now is pretty irrelevant.”

“It’s something I’ve thought about every night before I go to bed; how can we get to the top and win the highest honour in county cricket. We’re all exhausted if I’m honest but it’s all worth it”

WICKET Harris (lbw Abbott) 0

Middlesex 154-7 (56.4 overs) v Hampshire

Only one side will be enjoying this mini-session at Uxbridge and it certainly isn't Middlesex. They lose their fourth wicket since the belated start as Kyle Abbott removes James Harris. In their position in the table, Middlesex need to pick up some batting points and that's not looking promising at the moment.

So that means Essex will have to wait until tomorrow at least to be crowned Division One champions.

An unlikely Lancashire win would mean they have to wait another week.

Any other result at Taunton and the title is theirs.

Lancashire cling on at Taunton

Lancashire 133 & 247-8 f/o (117 overs) v Somerset 335

Lancashire survive to the close.

The Somerset players look pretty happy with their days work.

Lancashire lead by 45 with Tom Bailey (7 not out) and Kyle Jarvis (2 not out) at the crease but only have two wickets left.

Lancashire 133 & 246-8 f/o (116 overs) v Somerset 335

Somerset are appealing for everything. They're desperate for more wickets.

Leach is certain he has Bailey lbw but the umpire disagrees. It looked pad first but did the batsman get outside the line?

The bowler definitely doesn't think so. He stands with his hands on his bald head halfway down the pitch.

Leach then lets his frustration get the better of him and serves up a full toss on the final ball of the over which is dispatched for four.

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WICKET Dexter (lbw Ashwin) 48

Leicestershire 404 & 97-6 v Worcestershire 493

They are back at New Road and India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin dismisses Neil Dexter, who is unable to follow his first-innings hundred with a half-century. Leicestershire are just eight runs ahead and barring bad weather on the final day, Worcestershire are looking good for another win to boost their promotion chances.

WICKET Franklin (b Abbott) 0

Middlesex 148-6 (54.2 overs) v Hampshire

Two wickets in quick succession for Hampshire as Ian Holland has Max Holden caught in the slips for 35 and Kyle Abbott removes Middlesex captain James Franklin. It's the South African paceman's first wicket of the game, and 46th of the season.

Somerset push for late wickets

Lancashire 133 & 241-8 f/o (115 overs) v Somerset 335

This is like French cricket now at Taunton.

Lancashire batsman Tom Bailey is standing with both feet pointing back towards the bowler with a host of fielders around the bat.

10 minutes until the scheduled close. A reminder the weather forecast isn't great for tomorrow in the south west. Somerset need all the wickets they can get.

Yorkshire avoid further damage

Surrey 592 v Yorkshire 394 & 59-1 (f/o)

Shaun Marsh (27*) and Alex Lees (19*) survive the final 13 overs at the Oval as Yorkshire reach the close still 139 behind after being asked to follow on. Tom Kohler-Cadmore is the only batsman dismissed, leg-before to Sam Curran. Surrey are the only team that can win this game, and after nine draws and only one victory so far this season, they will be pulling out all the stops on the final day.

for Harry Podmore

Derbyshire 338 & 290-7 v Sussex 271

Well batted Harry Podmore, who takes a single off George Garton to reach the first half-century of his career. He has more than doubled his previous highest score in this innings and partner Wayne Davis celebrates his achievement by belting a six and a four in the remainder of the over.

Clearly Davis is having difficulty seeing the ball - so the umpires take the players off for bad light. Derbyshire are 361 ahead and Sussex are going to have to do something special with the bat on the final day if they are to retain an interest in promotion.

Lancashire 133 & 239-8 f/o (114 overs) v Somerset 335

Less than 15 minutes now until the scheduled close at Taunton.

Remember this game gas huge ramifications at both ends of Division One.

If Somerset win then they could be out of the relegation places and Essex will officially be champions.

The lead is 37.

Essex beat Warwickshire by an innings and 56 runs

Astonishing performance by Essex to win the Specsavers CC (barring a miracle.) first non-Test ground to win it since Sussex (2007.) 🏆🏆🏆

WICKET Parry (c Hildreth b Bess) 12

Lancashire 133 & 238-8 f/o (122.4 overs) v Somerset 335

Lancashire are eight down just 36 ahead!

Off-spinner Dominic Bess is back among the wickets and he takes his third as he finds the inside edge of Stephen Parry which is diverted onto pad and caught close in on the off side.

Again the Lancashire batsman doesn't seem happy with the decision. He stands there at the crease head bowed.

Spin threat to Yorkshire

Surrey 592 v Yorkshire 394 & 53-1 (20 overs)

Championship debutant Freddie van den Bergh starts with a maiden for Surrey after claiming 3-84 in Yorkshire's first innings. He could have a big say in this game on the final day.

Shaun Marsh has 24 and Alex Lees is 16 not out aftre a boundary off paceman Stuart Meaker, with the visitors 145 behind with three of play remaining.

Essex backed for more success

Essex beat Warwickshire by an innings and 56 runs

Former Essex and England spinner John Childs has been speaking to BBC Essex after they all-but secured the title.

Childs was head of the Essex academy for 10 years and brought through a number of the current players.

“Although I was only one piece of the jigsaw it is brilliant to watch these young lads come through and taste success. Hopefully it will lead to more in the future.

“I didn’t want it to take so long (to win first title since 1992). It is one of those things, you find sides have success for a period.

"I am sure our boys will be looking very closely at Taunton to see when they can celebrate."

John Childs
Rex Features
John Childs was a member of Essex's 1992 title-winning side

WICKET McLaren (c Trescothick b Leach) 15

Lancashire 133 & 234-7 f/o (109.4 overs) v Somerset 335

This day just doesn't stop giving.

As Lancashire looked like they could see it out Ryan McLaren falls.

He chips the ball to short leg off Jack Leach and the spinner has a fourth.

Lancashire's lead is just 32.

Somerset pushing for wickets

Lancashire 133 & 230-6 f/o (109 overs) v Somerset 335

More gasps at Taunton.

Stephen Parry first goes back to a straight ball from Leach that keeps a little low and then flirts with one outside off stump but misses.

Short leg has his hands on his head. Slip his hands over his face.

It's tense. Somerset know they really need the points from this game and whisper it quietly, the weather forecast for tomorrow isn't great.

Essex on the brink

If or when Essex do win the title a lot of the credit must go to Division One's leading wicket-taker Jamie Porter.

He took another three wickets earlier to take his total to 64 - one clear of teammate Simon Harmer - as Essex thrashed Warwickshire.

Parry hits boundary off Leach

Lancashire 133 & 228-6 f/o (107 overs) v Somerset 335

Three fielders are around the bat as Stephen Parry faces up to Jack Leach.

It seems the spinner was a tad fortunate with his third wicket of the innings but has been impressive once again.

But that's not his best effort. A full toss and Parry can flick the ball for four.

Lancashire lead by 26.

Glamorgan all out in Cardiff

Glamorgan 207 & 320 v Northamptonshire 310

Alex Winter

BBC Radio Northampton sport

Northamptonshire have been frustrated by some excellent lower-order resistance. At 137-5 and the lead only 34, a three-day win looked likely, but Chris Cooke led the fightback with a controlled 69 and several useful stands have developed to frustrate Northants.

Marchant de Lange belted 39 - his best score for Glamorgan - and there will be work to do now for the visitors to win this game, facing a target of 218. There have been few demons in the wicket today and it's a game Northants must win to extend their bid for promotion.

Rory Kleinveldt (3-77) and Richard Gleeson (3-71) were the pick of the Northants attack.

Rain relief for Foxes

Leicestershire 404 & 59-5 v Worcestershire 493

In the light of events since they began their second innings, Leicestershire are probably content to take a few minutes out of the game as they try to regroup. They are still 30 runs behind, with the prospect of an eighth defeat of the season very much on the cards.

WICKET Voges (c Adams b Edwards) 27

Middlesex 120-4 (45.4 overs) v Hampshire

Hampshire have their first wicket of a truncated day at Uxbridge as Adam Voges is caught low down in the slips by Jimmy Adams. John Simpson is the new batsman for Middlesex.

Can Lancashire tail wag?

Lancashire 133 & 217-6 (104 overs) v Somerset 335

Somerset are into the tail now and must be sensing a huge victory.

It could well see them out of the bottom two by the end of this week's matches.

Essex will sense it too. Is there time for this to be over tonight now the main man Livingstone has gone?

Lancashire lead by 15 with four wickets left.

Highlights: Essex on the brink of title

Essex beat Warwickshire by an innings and 56 runs

Sit back and enjoy Essex fans.

Here are all 10 of the wickets as your side beat Warwickshire to move to the verge of a first title in 25 years.

WICKET Ali (lbw Barnard) 24

Leicestershire 404 & 59-5 v Worcestershire 493

Leicestershire's fifth-wicket partnership comes to an end on 49 as Ed Barnard removes Aadil Ali. Neil Dexter is 24 not out as he is joined by Lewis Hill - and they are still 30 runs behind.

WICKET Livingstone (c Davies b Leach) 57

Lancashire 133 & 215-6 f/o (101.3 overs) v Somerset 335

Breakthrough! And it's the big wicket of Liam Livingstone!

The batsman is furious. Absolutely furious. Livingstone stands there and can't believe he has been given out caught behind off Jack Leach. He has his hands out bemused by the decision.

There was a big appeal but after taking the ball the wicketkeeper looked more interested in the stumping rather than the catch. It is definitely given out caught by wicketkeeper Davies though.

Lancashire are six down and lead by just 13.

Lancashire start to build lead

Lancashire 133 & 215-5 f/o (101 overs) v Somerset 335

Essex are going to be forced to wait even longer.

The Lancashire lead is now up to 13 with Liam Livingstone 57 not out and Ryan McLaren 10 not out.

WICKET Kohler-Cadmore (lbw S Curran) 12

Surrey 592 v Yorkshire 394 & 24-1 (f/o)

Sam Curran
Getty Images

Sam Curran separates Yorkshire's openers with 12 and a bit overs left at the Oval. Tom Kohler-Cadmore is the man to go and the Tykes decide against a nightwatchman, with Alex Lees filling his usual role at number three in the order. They are still 174 behind.

Essex on the brink

Essex beat Warwickshire by an innings and 56 runs

It must be an odd situation for the Essex players.

After thrashing Warwickshire by an innings they have almost secured the title but it is not mathematically confirmed.

Plenty of smiles in the crowd though...

Jamie Porter celebrates
Rex Features
James Foster poses for selfie
Rex Features

for Josh Shaw

Gloucestershire 385 v Kent 386 (97 overs)

Darren Stevens runs out of partners at Bristol, having made an unbeaten 65 off 58 balls, with a six and nine fours, as Josh Shaw claims Kent's last two wickets for figures of 5-118 - only the second time the 21-year-old seamer has taken five in a first-class innings.

Kent's first-innings lead is a single run and they now need something inspired from their bowlers to set up a victory that would keep them in the promotion hunt for a few more days.

for Livingstone and Lancashire lead

Lancashire 133 & 207-5 f/o (97 overs) v Somerset 335

Lancashire are into the lead!

Finally, five wickets down in their second innings, Lancashire have passed Somerset's 335 in the first innings.

It is brought up with a four to Liam Livingstone which also takes him to another half-century.

How will Somerset respond now they know they'll have to bat again?

Middlesex make steady start

Middlesex 96-3 (39 overs) v Hampshire

Adam Voges hit a couple of boundaries off Gareth Berg, but it's been steady progress by Middlesex since the belated start at Uxbridge. Voges is on 22 not out, with Max Holden on nine, while Kyle Abbott has sent down 10 overs for only 13 runs for Hampshire.

Yorkshire begin second innings

Surrey 592 v Yorkshire 394 & 11-0 (6 overs)

Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Shaun Marsh negotiate the first half-dozen overs from Rikki Clarke and Sam Curran at the Oval after Yorkshire were asked to follow-on. There are 17 remaining and it's crucial for the visitors that they avoid major damage before the close.