Warwickshire opened up a commanding 21-point lead at the top of the LV= County Championship’s first division after comfortably chasing down the 260 they needed to beat Worcestershire on the final day at Edgbaston. Resuming on 79 without loss, they progressed to 100 before Chris Russell dispensed with Varun Chopra for 58. Ian Westwood made 83 and William Porterfield 37 before Jim Troughton (34 not out) and Darren Maddy (45 not out) completed the job in the 80th over.
Somerset were unable to force a result against Nottinghamshire on the final day at Taunton. They made 249 in their first innings to earn a lead of 93 runs, with James Hildreth scoring 83 and Graeme Swann warming up for the third Test against South Africa with three for 62. However, Nottinghamshire were never really in any danger of a collapse, especially as Somerset were without talismanic seamer Alfonso Thomas because of injury, as Alex Hales hit 54 and James Taylor made 46.
Sussex kept their title challenge alive by dismissing Middlesex for just 170 on the first day at Hove. Steve Magoffin claimed the first two wickets to fall on his way to eventual figures of three for 45, but it was Amjad Khan who did most of the damage, picking up five middle-order wickets at a cost of just 25 runs. It could have been even worse for the visitors had number 10 Tim Murtagh not top-scored with a 27-ball 34. Sussex then closed on 106 for three in their first innings, with Ed Joyce unbeaten on 49.
In Division Two, Kent were bundled out for just 101 in their second innings to lose inside three days against Essex at Canterbury. Resuming on nine for three, only four batsmen reached double figures as Maurice Chambers, Graham Napier and Harbhajan Singh shared the wickets to fall. Essex then knocked off the 55 runs required for victory for the loss of three wickets.
Northamptonshire opener Stephen Peters ended unbeaten on 137 on the first day against Leicestershire at Wantage Road. He put on 126 with Niall O’Brien for the first wicket after stand-in Foxes captain Josh Cobb had inserted the home side. However, the visitors then fought back thanks to Wayne White, who took two wickets in the 38th over. Shiv Thakor then dismissed Alex Wakely and Rob Newton in consecutive overs shortly afterwards and the Steelbacks were suddenly in danger of squandering their excellent start. Fortunately for them, skipper Andrew Hall (59) added 139 for the fifth-wicket with Peters and they closed on 300 for five.
Glamorgan were trounced by Hampshire in the Clydesdale Bank 40 in Cardiff as their top-order succumbed to Chris Wood (five for 22) and their middle-order to Danny Briggs (four for 32). Graham Wagg top-scored with 28 as the welsh Dragons were bowled out for just 120. Earlier, James Vince had got the Hampshire innings off to a fluent start with a 46-ball 48, while Neil McKenzie showed all of his experience and made 88 off 89 balls on what was a slow pitch to help haul them up to 227.
Australia A successfully survived the 62 overs that they needed to to earn a draw against the England Lions on the final day at Old Trafford. They were set an unlikely 354 to win in the fourth innings at almost a run a ball after Lions captain Eoin Morgan had declared his side’s second innings closed on 315 for six. Craig Kieswetter added impetus for the home side with a 94-ball 66, while Jonny Bairstow translated his overnight 73 into 139 before falling to Peter Forrest’s part-time medium-pace.
The South Africans piled up 365 for four before declaring after being asked to bat by Derbyshire on the first day of their two day match at the County Ground. JP Duminy (69), AB de Villiers (97), Faf du Plessis (68 not out), Hashim Amla (42) and Albie Morkel (49 not out) were all in the runs as the home side’s second string attack struggled to contain the tourists. Derbyshire lost young opener Matt Lineker to Vernon Philander for 14 in their reply, but closed on 75 for one, with Usman Khawaja unbeaten on 36. Full report
Day Two, LV=CCD1, Sussex v Middlesex at Hove
Day Two, LV=CCD2, Northamptonshire v Leicestershire at Wantage Road
Day Two, Tour Match, Derbyshire v South Africans
Group B, CB40, Durham v Surrey at Chester-le-Street (1245 GMT start)
The home side have named Mark Wood and Mark Stoneman in their 12-man squad with Dale Benkenstein again skippering the side. Surrey, meanwhile, have included former captain Rory Hamilton-Brown in their 13-man squad as well as Chris Jordan, Gary Wilson and Jade Dernbach.
Weather Forecast: Another warm day is in the offing tomorrow, although it will be slightly cooler than today with temperatures peaking at around 23 degrees Celsius nationwide.
County News In Brief:
Northamptonshire have confirmed that Chaminda Vaas will miss the rest of the season due to injury and will not be re-signed for next season.
Middlesex have offered captain Chris Rogers a new two-year contract amid rumours that Surrey are interested in signing the 35 year-old.
The ECB have instructed county umpires not to call a dead ball should the bowler dislodge the non-striker’s stumps as was the case during the Test match at Headingley. The advice is for batsmen to back away if they fell they have been distracted.
Gloucestershire will play Devon in a 20-over match today. The match is being held as a joint benefit for Alex Gidman and the David Shepherd Cricket Foundation, which helps Devon grassroots cricket.
Surrey club captain Rory Hamilton-Brown has resigned in order to concentrate on his own game. Hamilton-Brown has not captained Surrey for the past couple of months following the death of his flatmate and close friend Tom Maynard. Gareth Batty will continue to captain the club for the rest of the season.
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