As the final round of matches in the County Championship gets into full swing, I am spending far too long trying to work out how Gloucestershire can still gain promotion from Division 2. This is how I see it:
Essex are currently second, eleven points ahead of Gloucestershire, so, forgetting what would happen if points were level, another eleven points would put them out of sight. However, it would be better if they didn't lose because they are playing Derbyshire who are also ahead of Gloucestershire (but only by one point). However, if Derbyshire do win, Gloucestershire could still be promoted if Gloucestershire win and gain two more bonus points than Derbyshire. Gloucestershire, of course, must win whatever happens. The other two teams in the mix are Northants and Glamorgan. Glamorgan are level on points with Derbyshire, so, as with Derbyshire, Glamorgan could still beat Surrey as long as Gloucestershire gain more bonus points. A crushing Surrey victory would be far better. Northants on the other hand are eight points ahead of Gloucestershire, so they must not beat Leicestershire. If they draw, Gloucestershire may need maximum bonus points to move ahead of them, so a defeat would be ideal.
Clear? I thought not. In short, Gloucestershire must win and gain maximum bowling points. Essex and Derbyshire need to draw. Glamorgan must lose or draw (or win with not many bowling points). Northants need to lose (or draw with not many bonus points).