Despite a torrid second day of their Specsavers County Championship clash with Somerset at Trent Bridge, Nottinghamshire have secured their Division One status for next season.
The home side were handed a reprieve after Lancashire were bowled out for 273 against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl, losing out on bonus batting points which meant they could not catch the Green and Golds no matter what the result in Nottingham.
Notts will be relieved after Tom Abell picked up a hat-trick to close thier first innings on 133 on the stroke of tea, leaving a first innings deficit of 330.
The Somerset captain removed Luke Fletcher, Matt Carter and Harry Gurney with consecutive deliveries, all to slip catches.
Craig Overton also took four for 27 and Gregory bagged three for 36 as the hosts were dismissed inside 36 overs.
Abell then enforced the follow-on and saw his side reduce Notts to 115 for three in their second innings, still 215 behind, despite a half century from captain Steven Mullaney.
Earlier, Somerset plundered 110 runs in the first hour of the day, before being bowled out for 463, with Harry Gurney closing with figures of six for 106.
Beginning the day on 353 for seven, Somerset showed their intentions from the off, with Craig Overton hitting Matt Carter for a four and six in the opening over of the day.
Jamie Overton attacked with the same positive mindset as 41 runs were added inside six overs.
A stunning catch, diving at full stretch, by Luke Wood sent back Craig Overton for 23, giving Gurney his sixth wicket of the innings.
Josh Davey fell to Luke Fletcher for 21 and Jamie Overton was last out, hitting Samit Patel to the leaping Carter at deepish mid-on for 55.
Jake Libby nicked the second ball of Lewis Gregory’s opening over to fourth slip, where Jack Leach parried the ball to Craig Overton at third.
Fellow opener Ben Slater and Steven Mullaney, batting at number three, added exactly fifty runs between them before Craig Overton picked up key wickets with successive balls.either side of lunch.
Mullaney made 21 before nicking to James Hildreth at first slip and then Ben Duckett edged the first ball of the afternoon to Marcus Trescothick at second slip.
Gregory removed both Samit Patel and Tom Moores, as Notts slid from 50 for one to 85 for seven.
The other wickets in that collapse were bagged by Craig Overton, who clean-bowled both Riki Wessels and Slater, who made 35.
Abell then introduced himself into the attack and walked off the field nine balls later, with the ball being held aloft for his maiden hat-trick, leaving Luke Wood unbeaten on 35* for the home side.
Libby fell to Davey at the start of the home county’s second knock and late in the day Jack Leach removed Mullaney for a battling 54, before nightwatchman Fletcher also came and went quickly.
Despite struggling throughout, Nottinghamshire had some cause for relief as news filtered through from Southampton shortly after 2pm that Lancashire would accompany Worcestershire into the second tier, thus sparing the Trent Bridge side.
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