The batsmen made the most of the slightly improved weather to record seven centuries on the third day of matches in the LV= County Championship third round.
Darren Maddy and Rikki Clarke each reached three figures on the third day at Liverpool to completely transform Warwickshire’s fortunes in their match against Lancashire. The visitors had slipped further from their overnight 68 for five to 81 for seven in reply to Lancashire’s 250 before Clarke and Maddy came together. Between them they added 224 from 327 balls for the eighth wicket as Warwickshire were all out for 329. Keith Barker then compounded the home side’s woes by taking three wickets to help reduce them to 44 for four in their second innings.
Durham lost wickets at regular intervals but did enough to earn themselves a 50-run first innings advantage over Middlesex at Lord’s. Ben Stokes top-scored with 45 as the visitors were all out for 238, with Steven Finn and Gareth Berg picking up three wickets each. Andrew Strauss was bowled by Graham Onions for the second time in the match in the 11.3 overs that Middlesex faced prior to stumps as they closed on 21 for one.
Division One leaders Nottinghamshire could end their match against Somerset without a point as they followed up their earlier dismal performance with the bat with an equally poor day in the field at Trent Bridge. Arul Suppiah, Nick Compton and James Hildreth all reached three figures, with Suppiah and Compton taking their overnight second-wicket stand to 214 before the former fell for 124, and Hildreth adding a further unbroken 217 with Compton before Somerset declared on 445 for two. Hildreth ended on 102 from 114 balls, while Compton was on 204 from 323. This left the home side 12 overs to survive before the close, which they did, reaching 47 for none.
Surrey closed just 152 runs ahead of Worcestershire on 131 for six as wickets continued to tumble on the third day at The Oval. Rory Hamilton-Brown was the only batsman to prosper for the home side – ending unbeaten on 55 from 55 balls – as Alan Richardson again starred with three for 41 after taking six for 47 in Surreys’ first innings of 140.
Stuart Meaker and Jon Lewis helped earn the hosts a slender first innings lead, with Lewis taking three top-order wickets and Meaker ending with six for 39 to account for most of the rest. James Cameron top-scored for the Pears with 41 but they could only manage a disappointing 119.
In Division Two, Leicestershire closed day three with a formidable 220-run advantage over Derbyshire as they closed on 76 for one at the County Ground. They had earlier been dismissed for 324 in their first innings, with Mark Footitt helping to wrap the innings up with two quick wickets.
In between times, Derbyshire had only been able to make 180 in their first innings as Wayne White recorded career-best figures of five for 54 and number 10 Tony Palladino top-scored for the home side.
An intriguing final day is in store at Cardiff where Hampshire closed on 112 for four in pursuit of 204 for victory over Glamorgan. They had lost both openers early on to Graham Wagg, but Sean Ervine closed unbeaten on 37 to keep the run chase on track.
Earlier, the Welsh side had progressed from their overnight 73 for three to 168 without further loss courtesy of a stand of 104 between Ben Wright and Stewart Walters. Walters fell to Ervine for 54, but Wright went on to post his fifth first-class century before falling to Danny Briggs. Hamza Riazuddin accounted for much of the Glamorgan lower middle-order on the way to figures of five for 61 as the hosts were all out for 256.
Gloucestershire closed strongly on 191 for three – a lead of 296 over Kent – in their second innings as Alex Gidman (60 not out) and Hamish Marshall (55 not out) added an unbroken 94 for the fourth wicket. Gidman’s younger brother Will had earlier helped end the Kent first innings on 150 by taking two of the four wickets to fall today – he ended with five for 43 from 16.3 overs.
Yorkshire enjoyed a relatively good third day against Essex at Headingley as they closed on 144 for two in their second innings to lead by 191 runs. Joe Root (67) and Joe Sayers (45 not out) had added 106 for the first wicket, but Greg Smith and Tom Westley both struck before the close to keep Essex in the match. Ravi Bopara had earlier made an excellent unbeaten 117 in the visitors’ total of 199 and was the only batsman to come to terms with the challenges posed by Ryan Sidebottom (five for 30).
In the university fixture, Durham MCCU conceded a first innings deficit of 82, which Northamptonshire extended by five prior to stumps, after they were bowled out for 166 in their first innings. All-rounder Luke Blackaby top-scored with 51, while there was a brace of wickets each for Lee Daggett, Sam Sweeney, Andrew Hall, Christian Davis and Con de Lange.
Stat of the day: Rikki Clarke and Darren Maddy’s eighth-wicket partnership of 224 was only four runs less than the club record, which was set by Alfred Croom and Bob Wyatt way back in 1925.
Day Four, LV=CCD1, Lancashire v Warwickshire at Liverpool
Day Four, LV=CCD1, Middlesex v Durham at Lord’s
Day Four, LV=CCD1, Nottinghamshire v Somerset at Trent Bridge
Day Four, LV=CCD1, Surrey v Worcestershire at The Oval
Day Four, LV=CCD2, Derbyshire v Leicestershire at Derby
Day Four, LV=CCD2, Glamorgan v Hampshire at Cardiff
Day Four, LV=CCD2, Kent v Gloucestershire at Canterbury
Day Four, LV=CCD2, Yorkshire v Essex at Headingley
Day Three, MCCU Match, Durham MCCU v Northamptonshire at Durham
Weather Forecast: The weather forecast for the final day is much the same as for the previous three days. Sunshine and showers are expected throughout the day, particularly in the south-east during the afternoon, with highs of between 11 and 14 degrees Celsius.
County News In Brief:
Lancashire have confirmed that Pakistani seamer Junaid Khan, who originally signed to play solely in the Friends Life t20 and has now been given clearance by the PCB, will also be available for Championship matches. He arrives in June.
Somerset captain Marcus Trescothick is to visit a specialist on Monday afternoon to determine the extent of his ankle injury.
© Cricket World 2012