County Championship: Durham promoted after Leicestershire fail to earn batting points

Durham captain Scott Borthwick congratulates Ollie Robinson following last week's win over Sussex
Durham captain Scott Borthwick congratulates Ollie Robinson following last week’s win over Sussex

Durham have won promotion to Division One of the County Championship despite not having a game this week.

Leicestershire’s failure to earn any batting bonus points against Sussex means they can no longer surpass Durham’s current points total of 198.

The north-east county need a maximum of five points from their last two games to seal the Division Two title.

Durham have been in Division Two since they were relegated after having points deducted in 2016 for financial issues.

The three-time champions finished fourth in Division One that season, but the docking of 48 points meant that eight-placed Hampshire were given a reprieve by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Durham have won six of their 12 Championship games so far this season, losing only once under Sunderland-born captain Scott Borthwick, who is in his second spell with the club.

They have the highest-scoring batter in the country in Alex Lees, who has 1,281 runs, including five centuries, and Matthew Potts and Ben Raine have each taken 51 Championship wickets.

The current round of matches began with them 44 points clear at the top of the table.

It meant that only Worcestershire and Leicestershire could still deny them promotion – but would need maximum points from their remaining fixtures to reach a total of 202.

Worcestershire are also not involved this week – they will host Durham at New Road on 19 September.

But Leicestershire were bowled out for just 108 on day two against Sussex, conceding a first-innings deficit of 154, and even if they were to somehow turn the match around and win it, the maximum number of points they can now achieve is 197.

Paul Collingwood with the County Championship trophy in 2013
Durham have won the County Championship three times – most recently in 2013

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