The battle forDivision 1 in county cricket took a potentially decisive turn on Wednesday asleaders Yorkshire beat Lancashire, whilst second placed Notts lost to Durham.Whilst Notts took only 3 bonus points from their match, Yorks gained 23 fromtheir win.

Both of the pace setters were playing away from home ahead of what now seems acrucial match for Notts, the four dayer at Nottingham between themselves andYorks beginning on the 9th of September. Notts will go into that onea full 26 points behind in the title race and even with a maximum of 24 pointsfrom that (16 for the win plus all 8 bonus bowling and batting points) it maynot be enough to halt Yorks’ march.

After their head to head, both teams willstill have one match left, but a win for Yorks at Notts would secure them thetitle a game early.

Yorks win at Old Trafford against their Red Rose rivals by an innings and 18runs on Wednesday owed much to Adam Lyth's magnificent innings of 251 ablybacked up by all rounder Adil Rashid's 159 not out, in a mammoth first inningsof 610 for 6. Rashid crucially also took five Lancs’ wickets in their secondinnings as Lancs were bowled out for 314 to swing the tie Yorks way, aftertheir hosts had seemed to be digging in as Usman Khawaja scored a much neededcentury for them. Rashid was backed up by quick bowler Jack Brooks’ 3 for 61spell, moving him on to 58 wickets this summer.

The call for Rashid'sre-introduction into the England fold may gain momentum after this, given theirlack of spin alternatives at present. Lyth's promotion to the test team looksto only be a matter of time, as he seeks to join existing Tykes Gary Ballanceand Joe Root in the present side.

Notts lost to a Durham side keen to battle their way away from Lancs at thebottom of the league table.

They also had former England man Paul Collingwoodto thank for a timely second innings century and a memorable debut for 20 yearold Peter Chase who took 5 Notts’ second innings wickets as Durham won by 54runs at Chester –le- Street. Riki Wessels 90 for Notts was the highlight inwhat proved a forlorn run chase for them and a massive setback for their titleaspirations.

Yorks have been dealt a blow though with the news that captain Andrew Gale hasbeen hit with a two match suspension following an incident involving AshwellPrince on day three during the Lancs match. Gale was punished for showing dissentagainst the same opponents in May. He will be a nervous onlooker to the end ofthe season to see if his side can get over the winning line without hispresence out in the middle.