Lancashire’s relegation to Division Two has been confirmed after they were bowled all out for 273 by a Fidel Edwards-led Hampshire attack.
The permutations for Lancashire’s survival rested on them passing 300 runs in their first innings, after Nottinghamshire had ratcheted up the stakes by claiming two bowling points against Somerset.
Resuming play on day two 123-4, the second ball was taken by Hampshire and used to crush Lancashire’s County Championship prospects as Edwards (4-72) and Kyle Abbott cleaned up the tail.
The team’s failure to reach 300 by a margin of 27 runs adds to their frustration with the bat this season. Through the efforts of top wicket-taker Tom Bailey and veteran Graham Onions, Lancashire lead the division in bowling points.
But just 21 batting points to go with two wins all season have led to the county’s relegation.
Glen Chapple’s side will join Worcestershire in playing their red-ball cricket in Division Two in 2019, while Nottinghamshire’s survival is assured.
“If you take last season, whenever we lost early wickets, we had big partnerships to get us up to big scores,” Chapple told The Cricket Paper last week.
“We haven’t done that this year. Generally, as a batting unit, we haven’t scored enough runs. The work ethic has been there, and we’ve got good players.
“But too many have had poor seasons.”