County Championship: Gloucestershire & Northants promoted to Division One as Glamorgan draw

Watch Gloucestershire and Northants celebrate promotion
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Bristol County Ground (day four):
Gloucestershire 220-7: van Buuren 93, Charlesworth 77*
Northants: Did not bat
Glos (6 pts) drew with Northants (7 pts)
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Emirates Riverside (four):
Durham 262-8: Watling 104*, Lees 45; Hogan 4-35
Glamorgan: Did not bat
Durham (7pts) drew with Glamorgan (7pts)

Gloucestershire and Northants have been promoted to Division One of the County Championship after both their game in Bristol and Glamorgan's match at Durham were abandoned as draws.

Northants began the final match of the season needing four points to go up, while Gloucestershire knew nine points would be enough to return to the top flight for the first time since 2005.

However, their six-point haul proved sufficient as the weather ensured that fourth-placed Glamorgan could not claim the win they needed to have any hope.

Northants, who finish the season in second place behind Division Two champions Lancashire, return to the top flight, which will have 10 teams next summer, after five years away following relegation in 2014.

Both matches saw less than one innings completed thanks to the late September weather, with play called off on the final day at both Bristol and the Riverside before the scheduled start.

Graeme van Buuren's knock of 93 from 155 balls was the highlight of Gloucestershire's 220-7 as he and Ben Charlesworth (77 not out) put on 151 for the seventh wicket having come together on 67-6 at noon on Monday.

Meanwhile, at Chester-le-Street, only 15 overs were possible between Tuesday and Thursday's abandonment with BJ Watling's 104 not out the highlight of Durham's first innings score of 262-8.

Northants' nine-game turnaround

Northamptonshire celebrate promotion
Northamptonshire have played just three seasons in Division One since the County Championship was split in 2000

When Northants were thrashed by an innings and 143 runs by Glamorgan at the start of June they were bottom of the County Championship.

Two losses and three draws in their first five games saw captain Alex Wakely step down, but they followed that with a nine-game unbeaten run - including fve wins - to ensure they finished second in the table behind runaway Division Two winners Lancashire.

"Over the 14 games you get yourself into the position you deserve," head coach David Ripley told BBC Radio Northamptonshire.

"We were sitting at the bottom, we'd played some good cricket and not had our rewards, but in the second half of the season we had that rub of the green, still continued to play well and we took match-winning opportunities.

"Being second is important to us as the rule change meant third was good enough and I'm very pleased that Gloucestershire are up. I've got a lot of time for them as they are a similar club to us in many ways.

"But it was nice to be second as it meant we were going up regardless behind a very strong Lancashire side."

Gloucestershire have not played in the top flight since a two-year spell in Division One came to an end in 2005.

"It's our 150th anniversary next year, so the timing couldn't be better," chief executive Will Brown told BBC Radio Gloucestershire.

"We have a great team of players and we're very happy. We have a lot of very talented players who play for each other. Whatever next year brings, we'll be ready for it."

Gloucestershire captain Chris Dent added: "It's been a long season with lots of ups and downs but now to know we've been promoted is a nice feeling.

"This is my 10th year so I've never know the club to be in the first division, so it's obviously fantastic for us to get there. It's been a great team effort all year. Everyone has chipped in."

Glamorgan record rare positive season

Marnus Labuschagne
Australian Ashes-winning batsman Marnus Labuschagne agreed a deal to play for Glamorgan for the first half of this season

The draw meant Glamorgan missed out on improving on their fourth-placed position in Division Two and consigned them to a 15th-successive year in the second tier.

"It's a disappointing way to end, but it wasn't the reason we didn't get promoted," said Glamorgan captain Chris Cooke.

"We lost it in the couple of games before Leicestershire, but there are a lot of positives to take into next season."

Glamorgan finished with four victories, three defeats and seven draws - the first time since 2010 they have recorded more Championship wins than losses.

"At the start of the season we didn't have aspirations for promotion, we just wanted to play better cricket and be tough. I think we've done that so it should give everyone a bit of belief we're not making up the numbers," Cooke added to BBC Sport.

The captain highlighted the re-signing of Australia batsman Marnus Labuschagne as a priority for the 2020 season, rather than adding new names to the squad.

"It would be great to get Marnie back. He was a big part of our batting order but we've got a big squad and if we can keep everybody fit I've no doubt we can do the same (challenge again)," Cooke added.

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