It was a day for batting collapses in the LV= County Championship as Lancashire, Northamptonshire, Durham, Middlesex and Glamorgan all lost a flurry of wickets at one point or other during the day’s play with most of the batsmen struggling to adapt to the overcast conditions.
In Division One, defending champions LANCASHIRE could muster only 176 in their second innings at Aigburth as they slumped to a ten-wicket defeat against SUSSEX. They had started the day promisingly, with Luke Procter and Ashwell Prince advancing their overnight total of 85 for four to 137 without further loss; but Procter’s dismissal by Monty Panesar, who bowled a lengthy spell and finished with three for 54, started a collapse of six for 39. Gareth Cross (18 not out) was the only other batsman to reach double figures as Steve Magoffin added four to his overnight haul of wickets to finish with seven for 34.
This left the visitors needing one run to win in their second innings, with Ed Joyce dispatching the third ball he received from Simon Kerrigan for four to seal an emphatic victory.
DURHAM closed day three on the brink of defeat against NOTTINGHAMSHIRE after Andre Adams (four for 54) had helped reduce the home side to 30 for five at one point, before Phil Mustard (80) staged a partial recovery with the help of Scott Borthwick (22) and Graham Onions (15 not out). The visitors took the extra half hour, but Onions and Mitchell Claydon (18 not out)hung on to take Durham to stumps on 203 for nine – still needing 165 more for victory.
Earlier in the day Nottinghamshire had been bowled out for 335 in their second innings, with Michael Lumb taking his score to 131 and Andre Adams hitting a cameo 22 from 11 balls. Mitchell Claydon was the best bowler for the home side with figures of four for 84.
A good final day is in prospect at Edgbaston where WARWICKSHIRE closed day three on 123 for two in pursuit of 259 to win against SOMERSET. Neil Carter was promoted to the top of the Bears batting order and bludgeoned his way to 26 from just 17 balls prior to falling to George Dockrell. Varun Chopra followed soon afterwards to Steve Kirby, but Ian Westwood (17 not out) and William Porterfield (57 not out) dug in to prevent further loss.
Earlier, Jos Buttler and Nick Compton had put on 167 from 253 balls for the sixth wicket, with Compton bringing up his 13th first-class century and Buttler making 93. Adam Dibble also added a brisk 43 from number nine as Somerset were dismissed for 354.
Bad light prevented a three-day finish at Lord’s where SURREY are poised on 95 for four needing 141 to beat MIDDLESEX. The visitors had lost three early wickets – two of them to Toby Roland-Jones – with just 22 on the board, but captain Rory Hamilton-Brown entertained with an unbeaten 51 from 55 balls to take Surrey to stumps needing just 46 more for victory.
The home side’s first innings had ended on 222 in the morning session, as, resuming on 161 for five, the Middlesex seamers made short work of the lower-order. Jon Lewis then made equally short work of the home side’s batting line-up as he took five for 41 to help dismiss them for 106. Sam Robson top-scored with 43, while there were a brace of wickets apiece for Zander de Bruyn and Jade Dernbach.
In Division Two, Matt Coles ended with a career-best six for 51 as KENT continued their fine start to the season by wrapping up victory at Northampton by an innings and 120 runs. The 21 year-old followed up his maiden ton last week with the best match figures of his career (nine for 83) as NORTHAMPTONSHIRE lost their last six wickets for just 47 runs. Resuming on 50 for four, David Sales and Niall O’Brien took their fifth-wicket stand to 44 before captain Sales was bowled by Coles for 42. His dismissal triggered a collapse of five for 29 – Mark Davies and James Tredwell also taking a wicket apiece – before a last wicket stand of 18 between Lee Daggett (15) and O’Brien (25 not out) saw them reach three figures. Coles ended the match by having Daggett caught behind by Geraint Jones to cap off a splendid fortnight for the Maidstone-born all-rounder.
GLOUCESTERSHIRE closed 244 runs ahead of HAMPSHIRE on 129 for five at The Rose Bowl to leave an intriguing final day in prospect. Ian Cockbain and Will Gidman shared an unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 58 to help undo some of the damage inflicted by a Hamza Riazuddin triple strike, while Chris Wood and David Balcombe also picked up a wicket apiece. This all came after Hampshire fell short of a batting bonus point in their first innings by being bowled out for 199 after rain had delayed the start, as Will Gidman ended with five for 48.
Another collapse – this time at Cardiff – saw GLAMORGAN lose an astonishing eight wickets for just 16 runs to fall to a 130-run defeat at the hands of DERBYSHIRE. The home side had been progressing serenely in pursuit of 233 to win after wrapping up the visitors’ second innings for 197; and reached 59 for none and 86 for two at various stages in the chase. However, the loss of Stewart Walters for an obdurate 30 from 66 balls brought about carnage as Jonathan Clare continued his excellent match by taking six for 40 and Tony Palladino chipped in with three for 29. Debutant Michael Reed was the last man to go, run-out by Mark Footitt to become the fifth Glamorgan batsman to record a duck, with Gareth Rees (41) the only man besides Walters to reach double figures.
Continues on page two...