This is the somewhat complicated situation as we think it stands for the bottom 4 – Middlesex, Surrey, Staffs and Somerset – 3 of whom go down.
(NB Berkshire have already accrued enough bonus points that they are definitely safe, even if they take no points at all from their final match with Kent.)
Middlesex have to play Staffs, and will stay up if they win, or even if they lose providing they get 5 bonus points.
Surrey are already down because they can no longer overtake Middlesex under any circumstances – even if they win their remaining match (v Sussex) with maximum bonus points, they will finish on just 8.0 points, but the least Middlesex can finish on is 8.3 points.
Staffs have their destiny (mostly – see below) in their own hands – if they beat Middlesex with full bonus points and keep Middlesex to a maximum of 4 bonus points, they will have 9 points, and therefore overtake Middlesex, who would have c. 8.3-8.9 points, depending on exactly how many bonus points they actually got.
Somerset meanwhile first need Staffs to beat Middlesex, but without Staffs getting the maximum bonus points and with Middlesex getting 4 or fewer bonus points, leaving both Middlesex and Staffs on 8-point-something points. If Somerset then beat Warwickshire with full bonus points, they will have the 9 points they need to overtake both Middlesex and Staffs to survive.
There is also one other potentially interesting scenario – if both Staffs and Somerset end up with 9 points, we go to the match between them… which was abandoned… so it then goes to Net Run Rate, which is currently in Staff’s favour, by 0.77 r/o!
Got that? (Good… ‘cos we’re not sure we have!!)