Worcestershire gave themselves a huge boost in their battle to avoid relegation with a remarkable win inside two days over title-chasing Lancashire as the LV= County Championship battle moves into its closing stages.
Worcestershire began the day on 209 for six in their first innings replying to Lancashire's 161. James Cameron fell two runs short of a century before they were bowled out for 237 with Glen Chapple (4-58), Tom Smith (3-42) and Kyle Hogg (3-50) just about keeping Lancashire in the game.
However, they then folded to be all out for just 80 in their second innings as Alan Richardson returned figures of six for 22 and West Indian pacer Kemar Roach took three for 44. Paul Horton top scored with 21 before Richardson dismissed the top six batsmen in the order, with five of them trapped in front. Lancashire were hampered by the absence through injury of Stephen Moore but it might have made little difference as they only just forced Worcestershire to bat again, and they closed out the game by reaching five without loss in just three balls to pick up a crushing ten-wicket win.
Hampshire look intent on batting only once against Somerset. They piled up 480 for four with Jimmy Adams unbeaten on 204 and Michael Carberry making 182, the pair putting on 373 for the second wicket after Liam Dawson had fallen for nought with the score on one. Sean Ervine chipped in with 56 not out towards the end of play to ensure Somerset face a huge task to get back into the game.
Durham added just 12 runs to their overnight score to be bowled out for 372 by Sussex, for whom Wayne Parnell and James Anyon both took three wickets. Sussex, despite 66 from captain Michael Yardy, were then dismissed for 218 as leg-spinner Scott Borthwick returned five for 80 and Graham Onions four for 67. An unbeaten half-century from Will Smith, who will resume day three on 54, ensured it was truly Durham's day as they closed on 93 without loss, although fellow opener Michael di Venuto was forced to retire hurt on two.
Yorkshire, under pressure following Worcestershire's win, finished the day level with Warwickshire but the Bears are in the stronger position having matched Yorkshire's score of 281 with six wickets down. Rikki Clarke completed figures of four for 55 to bowl Yorkshire out and 110 from Shivnarine Chanderpaul saw them set the platform from which to forge a lead on day three. He was ably supported by Ian Westwood (55) and Tim Ambrose (68 not out) although Ryan Sidebottom proved he was up for the fight by taking four for 34.
In Division Two, Leicestershire were invited to follow on by Middlesex after they were bowled out for 193 in reply to 496 for two declared, Stephen Crook taking four wickets. They closed on 308 for seven having made a big improvement thanks to half-centuries from James Taylor (85) and Greg Smith (84).
54 from stand-in captain Robert Key helped Kent post 260 in reply to Essex's 144 although they were kept in check by David Masters' haul of six for 78. Essex then reached 180 for nine at stumps with James Foster unbeaten on 44 and David Balcombe, Matthew Coles and James Tredwell all taking three wickets.
Glamorgan added 70 further runs to be all out for 378 against Gloucestershire with Graham Wagg unbeaten on 70. Chris Dent (81), Richard Coughtrie (50), Kane Williamson (84 not out) and Chris Taylor (42 not out) then led a strong reply from Gloucestershire.
Rob Newton made 80 but Northamptonshire conceded a first-innings lead to Surrey as they managed just 194 in reply to 269 as Stuart Meaker bowled impressively to take five for 37. Surrey then closed on 115 for three with Steven Davies unbeaten on 41 and Mark Ramprakash hitting 38.
News In Brief
Warwickshire all-rounder Rikki Clarke has signed a new two-year contract with the club, ending speculation that he was going to leave the club.
James Anyon has been awarded his county cap by Sussex.
Lancashire are celebrating after Old Trafford was awarded a European Healthy Stadia award.
© Cricket World 2011