Derbyshire, Durham, Yorkshire and Glamorgan will all be pleased with the position that they find themselves in at the various stages of their LV= County Championship matches in the 15th round of fixtures.
A draw is the likely result heading into the final day at Edgbaston with Somerset 66 runs ahead on 133 for two in their second innings. Nick Compton celebrated his new three-year contract by ending on 83 not out and will still have his eye on a winter tour place. George Dockrell had earlier ended with six for 96 to prevent Warwickshire’s first innings lead from reaching three figures. Overnight centurions Laurie Evans and Ateeq Javid didn’t add substantially to their overnight scores as the Bears lost regular wickets. Darren Maddy ended not out on 40, while last-man Jeetan Patel clubbed 20 off 21 balls.
A fast-moving day three at Derby saw the home side close in the ascendancy. They took two Middlesex fourth innings wickets before the close to leave the visitors on 25 for two in pursuit of a tricky 297 to win. Ollie Rayner had earlier given Middlesex hope of victory by hitting an unbeaten 52 to haul them up to 249 in their first innings and then taking five for 67 to help skittle Derbyshire out for 160. Richard Johnson was the only home batsman to pass 50.
Scott Borthwick hit 135 as Durham closed day one on 309 for five against Surrey. Chris Tremlett sent a message to the England selectors after being left out at The Oval and took all five wickets to fall. Borthwick, though, ensured that it would be the home side’s day by adding 187 with Will Smith (87) for the third-wicket.
Steven Patterson and Ryan Sidebottom shared nine Nottinghamshire first innings wickets as Yorkshire took complete control at Trent Bridge. It could have been even worse for the home side as they slipped to 65 for eight, but Ajmal Shahzad and Andre Adams lifted the total to 150 by making an unbeaten 41 and a 17-ball 39 respectively. Nottinghamshire then lost regular wickets in their second innings after being asked to follow-on and reached stumps on 118 for four. They still trail the title favourites by 139 runs.
In Division Two, there was no play on the third day at Colchester, with Essex on 187 for five in their first innings in reply to Northamptonshire’s mammoth 531.
Glamorgan’s batsmen enjoyed a terrific day against Leicestershire, with Murray Goodwin doing his hopes of a new two-year contract no harm at all by hitting 178. The veteran Zimbabwe-born batsman shared 140 for the fifth-wicket with Jim Allenby (76) and a mammoth 189 with his captain Mark Wallace for the sixth. Wallace finally departed to former Durham all-rounder Ben Raine for 86, with Goodwin falling in the next over to leave Glamorgan on 445 for seven at stumps - a lead of 242 runs.
Gloucestershire closed day two against Kent on 80 for none after dismissing the home side for 474. Openers Michael Klinger (31 not out) and Chris Dent (44 not out) survived the 28 overs that they faced from the Kent bowlers prior to stumps. Kent had earlier extended their first innings to 474 as Darren Stevens completed his century and James Tredwell (48) and Calum Haggett (44 not out) chipped in.
Kyle Hogg took four for 57 as Worcestershire were bowled out for 287 on the first day at New Road by promotion likely lads Lancashire. Moeen Ali continued his stellar 2013 season by hitting 104, while Tom Fell made 43 before being run-out by Luis Reece. The two put on 91 for the fourth-wicket before the Pears lost their last seven wickets for 72 runs.
day four, LV=CCD1, Derbyshire v Middlesex at Derby
day two, LV=CCD1, Durham v Surrey at Chester-le-Street
day three, LV=CCD1, Nottinghamshire v Yorkshire at Trent Bridge
day four, LV=CCD1, Warwickshire v Somerset at Edgbaston
day four, LV=CCD2, Essex v Northamptonshire at Colchester
day three, LV=CCD1, Glamorgan v Leicestershire at Swansea
day three, LV=CCD2, Kent v Gloucestershire at Canterbury
day two, LV=CCD2, Worcestershire v Lancashire at New Road
Weather Forecast: Tomorrow will start sunny but a band of cloud will role in from the west and cover much of the country by the end of the day. It should, however, stay mainly dry with highs of between 21 and 26 degrees Celsius.
County Cricket News In Brief:
Nick Compton has agreed a three-year contract extension with Somerset, ending speculation that he might leave the county. Compton said, “I’m aware of interest from other clubs (particularly from Warwickshire) but I’ve played some of my best cricket here and I’m grateful to the club and its members who have given me such great support.”
Kent all-rounder Matt Coles has left the county after turning down the offer of a new contract. Coles has had injury-hit 2013 season and has felt the need to go elsewhere in order to further his England aspirations. Meanwhile, middle-order batsman Alex Blake has told the Kent Messenger that he remains hopeful of being offered a contract extension.
Warwickshire have agreed a loan-deal with Worcestershire seamer Richard Jones for the final month of the season. Jones has fallen out of favour at New Road in recent times and will bolster a Bears bowling attack that is beset by injuries and England call-ups.
© Cricket World 2013