LANCASHIRE have been relegated to Specsavers County Championship Division Two after they failed to secure a third batting bonus point against Hampshire.

Lancashire needed to reach a minimum of 300 and beat Hampshire, while elsewhere requiring Nottinghamshire to fall short 200 – which they did - and then lose to Somerset.

But after Fidel Edwards blasted through the tail with the second new ball they fell 27 runs short of the important 300 and their demotion to the second tier was confirmed.

Next season will therefore be the first time since 2015 that Lancashire will play their cricket in Division Two, on that occasion they only spent one year there before they were immediately promoted back to Division One.

They join Worcestershire, who were relegated last week against Essex, in dropping down this season.

Rob Jones had brilliantly batted Lancashire in the right direction to stay up with a morning half century.

Jones, who had come into the game with an average of less than 10 in seven Championship innings this season, added 84-runs with Dane Villas for the sixth wicket, after Liam Livingstone had been yorked by Edwards, his 50th scalp of the season, in the second over of the day.

But despite his classy, attacking 50, Jones departed two overs after lunch when Ian Holland had him lbw – the Australian’s third wicket in figures of 3-48.

That left Lancashire needing 59 from the last three wickets, and Joshua Bohannon and Tom Bailey kept the score ticking to the second new ball.

But on 273, Kyle Abbott and Edwards reconvened and took three wickets between them to send the visitors down.

Abbott needed just three deliveries to find the outside of Bohannon’s edge, with Joe Weatherley taking a good catch at third slip.

Former West Indian Test fast bowler Edwards completed the innings, to seal Lancashire’s fate, by bowling Bailey with a fierce full ball before Saqib Mahmood was leg before two balls later.