There was action in both the LV= County Championship and Clydesdale Bank 40 competitions today as the players made the most of the sunshine to turn in some excellent performances for their various sides.
A draw looks to be the most likely result heading into the final day of Sussex’s LV= County Championship match against Nottinghamshire at Hove. The home side closed on 177 for four in their second innings to lead by 58 runs, as Murray Goodwin finally found form to end unbeaten with 52 and Luke Wright on 37.
Earlier, Riki Wessels fell agonisingly short of a maiden double-hundred, falling for 199 to Steve Magoffin, as Nottinghamshire lost their last six wickets for 106 runs to be bowled out for 428. James Anyon picked up three of the wickets to fall to give his figures some respectability after a second day pasting and ended with three for 132.
In Group A of the Clydesdale Bank 40, Phil Hughes marked his Pears debut with an innings of 111 as Worcestershire thrashed Middlesex by 56 runs at New Road. The former Australian opener brought up his century from 115 balls and shared a pivotal third-wicket stand of 116 with his new captain Daryl Mitchell (48 from 48 balls) as the home side ended on 235 for five.
Middlesex’s reply got off to a promising start as they reached 71 for two in the 14th over, but Jack Shantry and Moeen Ali demolished the upper and middle-orders to finish with combined figures of seven for 66 from 14 overs, as they were bowled out for 179.
In Group B, a century from Durham opener Mark Stoneman helped his side chase down Scotland’s impressive total of 258 for four with ease at Chester-le-Street. The 24 year-old’s maiden ton came up off just 87 deliveries as he shared a brutal opening partnership of 207 with Phil Mustard (91 from 68 balls) that came from only 160 balls. He carried his bat through to the end and finished unbeaten on 136 as Durham won with more than six overs to spare.
Jean Symes had earlier hit a rapid century of his own in the Saltires’ innings, but some tight bowling from Paul Collingwood (one for 37), Graham Onions (one for 27) and Mitchell Claydon (one for 39) kept them down to what proved to be a eminently gettable total.
Somerset’s youngsters finally came unstuck against Hampshire at Taunton as they were trounced by the visitors by nine wickets. A Dimitri Mascarenhas double-strike had reduced Somerset to 22 for two, but Nick Compton and Jos Buttler both hit measured half-centuries and added 121 for the fourth wicket, before three run-outs halted the home side’s momentum and they closed on 212 for nine. Michael Carberry was at his imperious best in the Royals’ reply and shared an opening stand of 103 with skipper Jimmy Adams (56 from 49 balls), before bringing up his century from 83 balls during an unbroken second-wicket stand of 113 with James Vince (44 not out from 39 balls), to guide them home with 70 balls remaining.
In Group C, Warwickshire had Varun Chopra, Keith Barker and Jeetan Patel to thank for their comfortable win at Wantage Road. Patel took four for 27 to remove Northamptonshire’s middle-order after Alex Wakely (62 from 78 balls) had manoeuvred them into a promising position, while Barker dispensed with the tail to bowl them out for just 148. Chopra anchored the Bears’ run chase with an undefeated innings of 87 from 117 balls to take them home with 44 balls and eight wickets unused.
Ryan Sidebottom and Mitchell Starc came back from their pummelling at the hands of Sussex to end with three wickets each to help dismiss the Unicorns for 184 at Scarborough. Former Leicestershire wicket-keeper Tom New was left stranded on 83 from 92 balls as his team-mates collapsed around him. Yorkshire lost Andrew Gale and Phil Jaques early in reply, but Adam Lyth (60 not out from 78 balls) and Gary Ballance took them home without further loss, with Ballance continuing his fine recent form to end unbeaten on 103 from only 91 balls.
Day Four, LV=CCD1, Sussex v Nottinghamshire at Hove
Group A, CB40, Netherlands v Lancashire at Schiedam (match starts at 1145 GMT)
The Dutch have added Ahsan Malik and Eric Szwarczynski to the side that were defeated by Middlesex, while Lancashire have included Stephen Parry, Gary Keedy and Sajid Mahmood in their 13-man squad.
Weather Forecast: Warm weather is expected for both matches, although the match at Schiedam may be interrupted by the occasional shower. Temperatures should peak at around 24 degrees Celsius.
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