Yorkshire look almost inked in for the title after completing victory over Nottinghamshire and then watching Middlesex slip up against Derbyshire and Warwickshire be thwarted by the rain against Somerset. Elsewhere, Lancashire and Durham are nicely placed at the halfway point of their matches.
Derbyshire did their hopes of avoiding relegation no harm at all by defeating Middlesex on the final day at the County Ground. Chasing 297 to win, Middlesex slipped further from their overnight 25 for two to 121 for seven as Mark Footitt and Peter Burgoyne each struck twice. Gareth Berg and Ollie Rayner (46 not out) effected a recovery with an eighth-wicket partnership of 85, but Berg’s dismissal for 71 left the tail with too much to do. Footitt had Toby Roland-Jones caught behind for 14 to finish with four for 65, while Burgoyne dismissed last-man Tim Murtagh to end with three for 66 as Middlesex were all out for 240. The defeat puts a severe dent in their title aspirations, while Derbyshire are, momentarily at least, out of the relegation zone.
Leaders Yorkshire extended their advantage at the top to 33 points by wrapping up a 10-wicket win over relegation-threatened Nottinghamshire. Skipper Chris Read hit 58, while Andre Adams chipped in with a brisk unbeaten 31, but the home side were able to manage only 266 in their second innings, leaving Yorkshire needing just 10 to win. Ryan Sidebottom and Adil Rashid finished with three wickets apiece.
Warwickshire were unable to pull off the victory over Somerset despite Jeetan Patel taking five for 67 to help end the Somerset second innings at 255. Nick Compton fell early on for 91 to Keith Barker (three for 71), while Alex Barrow (39) and Piyush Chawla (26) made useful contributions. That left the defending champions needing a none-too-tricky 189 in the fourth innings but they were denied by the weather. The umpires took the players off for bad light with them requiring a further 66 in 18 overs and they were never to return. Varun Chopra was on 55 not out with the score on 123 for three.
Surrey had collapsed to 97 for six by stumps on day two at Chester-le-Street as Jamie Harrison and debutant Usman Arshard each took a brace of wickets. Durham had advanced their first innings score to 421 earlier in the day in spite of Chris Tremlett. The scorned England man ended with career-best figures of eight for 96 from 33 overs. Umpire Mark Benson was taken ill during the day, with local umpire Phillip Reine standing as his replacement before reserve umpire Paul Baldwin arrived to officiate alongside Michael Gough.
In Division Two, Ryan ten Doeschate hit a century as Essex drew against Northamptonshire at Colchester. Essex began on 187 for five in reply to the visitors’ 531 but avoided the follow-on thanks mainly to ten Doeschate and James Foster who took their sixth-wicket partnership to 180 before Foster departed five short of his century. Graham Napier then made 45 and David Masters an unbeaten 37 as the hosts passed the follow-on mark and were finally all out for 396. Northamptonshire then reached 54 for none in their second innings before the draw was agreed.
Leicestershire will still entertain thoughts of escaping with a draw against Glamorgan after closing day three at Swansea on 134 for two in their second innings; albeit still trailing by 171 runs. Ned Eckersley continued his impressive season by hitting an unbeaten 54 and adding 69 with Niall O’Brien (29) for the second-wicket. Glamorgan had earlier declared their first innings at 508 for nine, with Michael Hogan making a breezy unbeaten 13-ball 27. Ben Raine ended as the pick of the visitors’ attack with four for 98 from 23 overs.
Declarations by both Gloucestershire and Kent set up an interesting fourth innings run chase at Canterbury. The visitors, who are still hopeful of gaining promotion, look like coming off second best after reaching stumps on 307 for nine in their pursuit of 399. Charlie Shreck took four for 65 and helped cause Gloucestershire to slip to 13 for three early on. A terrific maiden century from wicket-keeper Gareth Roderick, however, shored up the middle-order and gave them hope. Roderick ended on 152 not out and shared a stand of 109 with Tom Smith (32) for the seventh-wicket.
Simon Katich hit an unbeaten century as Lancashire closed the second day at New Road on 272 for five in reply to Worcestershire’s 287. The visitors lost Glen Chapple early on for a duck, but Luis Reece hit 59 and added 77 with Paul Horton (30). Ashwell Prince then made 52, but it was Katich who advanced the game on a rain-hit day. He ended on 104 not out off just 89 balls to keep Lancashire’s dreams of a crucial win very much alive.
day three, LV=CCD1, Durham v Surrey at Chester-le-Street
day four, LV=CCD1, Glamorgan v Leicestershire at Swansea
day four, LV=CCD2, Kent v Gloucestershire at Canterbury
day three, LV=CCD2, Worcestershire v Lancashire at New Road
Weather Forecast: Heavy and frequent showers are forecast for the east and centre of England throughout tomorrow, with only Wales and the western third of the country expected to remain dry. Temperatures will therefore be lower than today, peaking at between 18 and 20 degrees Celsius.
County Cricket News In Brief:
Derbyshire have been docked two points for next season’s Yorkshire Bank 50 competition after being found to have prepared a poor pitch showing excessive turn for their match against Durham on 15th August. The home side made 217 for eight from their 40 overs in the televised fixture, but three spinners then took all ten Durham wickets as they were bundled out for 110 in reply. Meanwhile, the club have confirmed that they are interested in signing Kent all-rounder Matt Coles who turned down a new deal at Canterbury yesterday.
Middlesex have signed batsmen Andrew Balbirnie and Ryan Higgins on full-time contracts. Balbirnie was already on a summer contract but has now finished his degree at Cardiff University, while Higgins has completed his A-Levels and was star performer for England Under-19s during their tri-series against Pakistan and Bangladesh earlier this month.
The former vice-president of Yorkshire CCC Charles Fenton OBE has passed away at the age of 82 according to a statement on the club’s website. Fenton was also a chairman of the Charitable Youth Trust, a successful businessman and High Sheriff of Yorkshire.
© Cricket World 2013