Somerset easily beat Nottinghamshire and will win the County Championship for the first time if title rivals Middlesex and Yorkshire draw at Lord’s.
Yorkshire’s four batting bonus points ensured that all three contenders can still clinch the title on Friday.
Somerset added 208 runs in 32 overs and, having reached his second century of the game at Taunton, captain Chris Rogers declared at lunch on 313-5.
Set 541 to win, relegated Notts were bowled out for 215 to lose by 325 runs.
Former Australia Test opener Rogers, who scored the 76th first-class hundred of his career off 139 balls to add to his 132 on day one, announced his retirement at the end of the game.
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- County Championship finale: Day three’s action
Somerset now face an agonising wait to discover if they will be crowned champions and would be denied by a positive result for either side at Lord’s.
Yorkshire appear best placed to do so after Tim Bresnan’s 142 not out ensured they matched Somerset’s tally of bonus points for the final round of games, meaning a victory would seal a third successive title win for the Tykes.
Down in Taunton, Notts openers Steven Mullaney and Jake Libby put on 48 but then three wickets fell for seven runs, two of them being run-outs.
Roelof van der Merwe (3-59) trapped Michael Lumb lbw with the second ball after tea and Somerset accelerated towards victory once fellow spinner Jack Leach (4-69) had removed Chris Read and Brett Hutton in the space of three balls.
Billy Root’s unbeaten 66 could not prevent Somerset earning their sixth Championship win of 2016.
Earlier, Ryan Davies (59) and Peter Trego (55) had scored swift half-centuries in support of Rogers (100 not out) as the home side scored at more than six runs per over in the morning session before declaring.
At the other end of the table…
Who joins Nottinghamshire in being relegated to Division Two next summer will also be decided on the final day of the season, with Warwickshire, Lancashire and Hampshire battling to avoid the one remaining relegation place.
The Bears look favourites to seal the win that will secure their survival after reducing Lancashire to 28-3 at Edgbaston in their second innings, requiring another 319 runs to win.
However, a win for Hampshire, who closed on 176-7 with a lead of 226 over Durham, would relegate the loser of the Warwickshire-Lancashire game.
Meanwhile, a draw at Edgbaston and a Hampshire win would send the Bears down – while an unlikely Lancashire win would mean a draw would be enough for Hampshire to stay up at Warwickshire’s expense.
In that last scenario, Hampshire and Warwickshire would both finish on 160 points, with the same number of wins, but the south coast side would stay up by virtue of fewer defeats than the Bears.
Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/37434952