Lancashire set for relegation at the hands of Hampshire
Warwickshire can claim Division Two title decider with Kent
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Lancashire's hopes of staying in County Championship Division One are hanging by a thread and the Red Rose county are set to be sent down by a loss to Hampshire at the Rose Bowl.
Only a dominant victory would give Lancashire hope, although they would still be relying on relegation rivals Nottinghamshire crashing to a heavy loss to Somerset at Trent Bridge.
The outlook doesn't look too optimistic for Lancashire, who have won just two of 13 four-day matches this season.
Their batting line up has generally struggled and, last time out, it buckled against Yorkshire at Headingley, where they were set a target of 230 and were dismissed for 134.
Lancashire have had a couple of star bowlers – seamers Graham Onions and Tom Bailey – who top the Division One wicket-taking column with 57 and 56.
But it is going to be tough to take 20 wickets against fourth-placed Hampshire, who have won their last two matches at Southampton, beating Notts by 270 runs and Somerset by six wickets.
Third-bottom Notts face Somerset at Trent Bridge knowing a draw will almost certainly preserve top-tier status but they had better not rely on the weather because clear skies are predicted.
The markets struggle to separate the teams – making them both a shade of odds-on – and that looks about right.
Notts have gone six matches without a victory and Somerset were saved by the weather when drawing with champions Surrey at Taunton last week.
In Division Two, promoted Warwickshire and Kent are battling it out in a title decider at Edgbaston and the home side look value to prevail.
Kent have won their last five matches but four of their last six first-innings scores have been under 200 and their shaky batting could be exposed by a Warwickshire attack spearheaded by fast bowler Olly Stone, who was recently named in England's squad for the tour of Sri Lanka.
1pt 4-6 general
1pt 10-11 Coral, Ladbrokes
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