Essex celebrated their Specsavers County Championship title in style by beating Yorkshire by 376 runs with a day to spare in Chelmsford.

Young fast bowler Sam Cook took five for 20 to help skittle Yorkshire for 74 in their second innings as the champions finished the season unbeaten.

Sam CookSam Cook helped Essex to a comprehensive victory (Steven Paston/PA )

Essex’s 10th win in 14 Championship fixtures was followed by post-match champagne as they received the trophy for the first time in 25 years.

Yorkshire secured their Division One safety on day one, but their total was their lowest since 1999 as they succumbed in just 29 second-innings overs.

Somerset’s charge towards Division One safety was halted by rain in their relegation clash with Middlesex at Taunton.

The visitors had struggled to 40 for three in their second innings, chasing an unlikely target of 345.

Earlier, James Hildreth completed his 41st first-class century as Somerset extended their second innings to 250 for nine before skipper Tom Abell declared.

James HildrethJames Hildreth completed a ton before Somerset declared (Nick Potts/PA)

With the forecast for Thursday dry, Somerset will hope to secure the win that keeps them in the top flight.

If Somerset prevail, Hampshire need to avoid defeat to stay up and they face a tense final day after closing on 20 for one at Edgbaston, needing 259 to beat Warwickshire.

Win or draw against the already-relegated Warwickshire and Somerset will secure Division One status, but defeat will mean they will join their hosts in Division Two.

Liam Livingstone took six wickets and notched a half-century as Lancashire closed in on victory in their clash with Surrey at Old Trafford.

Surrey collapsed from 154 for none to 242 all out to leave Lancashire with a victory target of 176.

After bad light stopped play Lancashire will resume on 132 for three in their bid to finish second in the table.

Surrey batsman Kumar Sangakkara, playing in his last first-class game, received a guard of honour from Lancashire’s players on his arrival and finished unbeaten on 35.

Worcestershire secured promotion to Division One on the third day of their encounter with Durham at New Road.

Worcestershire bowled out Durham for 208 after claiming their final five wickets on Wednesday morning to wrap up the six bonus points required before the game.

Promotion was sealed 70 miles away when one of their rivals, Northamptonshire, were bowled out for 202 against Leicestershire at Grace Road, meaning they were unable to accumulate the same points tally as Worcestershire.

Worcestershire, who will also go up as champions if they avoid defeat on the final day and Nottinghamshire do not overcome Sussex at Hove, closed on 157 for three in their second innings for a lead of 284.

Nottinghamshire were bowled out for 447 chasing Sussex’s imposing first innings total of 565 and will resume 88 runs behind knowing a draw would be enough to guarantee an immediate return to Division One.

Northants, the side that could benefit from a Notts defeat, reached 17 without loss in their second innings after being set a victory target of 197 by Leicestershire, who were all out for 270.

Glamorgan ended a forgettable campaign with a five-wicket victory over Kent inside three days at Canterbury.

Michael Hogan’s six for 43 helped skittle Kent for a paltry 115 in their second innings and that left Glamorgan with a victory target of 189, a total they overhauled thanks in the main to opener Nick Selman’s 70.

In Bristol, Gloucestershire trail Derbyshire by 236 runs with eight second-innings wickets remaining after closing on 242 for two.