There were wins for Somerset and Northamptonshire as the 16th round of matches in the LV= County Championship began to draw to a close around the country. Lancashire should wrap up victory early on over Hampshire tomorrow, with Essex and Worcestershire hoping to follow suit in the afternoon.
Somerset have, momentarily at least, hauled themselves out of the relegation zone after completing victory inside three days over Middlesex at Lord’s. The home side resumed in their second innings on 52 for two this morning after being asked to follow-on yesterday but were soon bundled out for 164. Lewis Gregory ended with five wickets for the first time in his professional career, while Jamie Overton (1-35), Craig Meschede (2-41) and Alfonso Thomas (1-22) each took at least one wicket. No Middlesex batsman passed 50, with Neil Dexter’s unbeaten 35 the highest individual contribution.
Phil Jaques and Kane Williamson shared an unbroken second-wicket stand of 257 to help Yorkshire bounce back from a first innings collapse against title rivals Durham. Jaques ended day three on 151, with Williamson on 90. The New Zealander had had earlier top-scored for Yorkshire in their first innings with 84, while Jonny Bairstow hit 82, but there was little of note thereafter as the hosts lost their last seven wickets for 63 runs and were forced to follow-on. Jamie Harrison, Ben Stokes, Mark Wood and Scott Borthwick finished with two wickets apiece. Yorkshire still trail by 23 runs going into the final day.
Sussex lead by 65 runs at the close of day three against Warwickshire after reaching stumps on 148 for three in their second innings. Luke Wells and Michael Yardy each made 46, with the former sharing an opening stand of 78 with Chris Nash (27). The home side had earlier earnt a first innings lead of 83 by being bowled out for 394. Jeetan Patel again showcased his ability with the bat with an undefeated 78, while Steve Magoffin ended as the pick of the Sussex attack with five for 87.
Vikram Solanki hit 93 as Surrey earnt a handy 70-run first innings lead on day two against Derbyshire at The Oval. Solanki shared the highest stand of the day - 96 - with Zander de Bruyn (40) for the fourth-wicket. Mark Footitt had struck early and ended as the pick of the visitors’ attack with four for 50, while there were three wickets for spinner David Wainwright. Derbyshire then closed on 13 without loss in their second innings to reduce their arrears to 57 runs.
In Division Two, Northamptonshire strengthened their promotion case by wrapping up victory by an innings and 25 runs over Glamorgan on day three. The Welsh side needed 212 just to make the hosts bat again but mustered just 187. At 102 for two following a stand of 70 between Will Bragg (44) and Chris Cooke (42) they would have fancied their chances, but a steady collapse followed. Most of the Northants seamers contributed, with Trent Copeland and Mohammad Azharullah each ending with three wicket and Andrew Hall and Steven Crook each taking two.
Leaders Lancashire look like extending their lead and are just three wickets away from beating Hampshire at Southport. Paul Horton led the Lancashire second innings effort with 111 and added 166 with opening partner Luis Reece (65) before they finally declared at 284 for five. That left Hampshire the small matter of 496 for victory but, by stumps, they had slumped to 137 for seven. Regular wickets fell throughout the innings as Kyle Hogg and Simon Kerrigan helped themselves to a brace apiece. Neil McKenzie top-scored for the visitors with 44, while Adam Wheater ended on 31 not out.
Leicestershire look headed for defeat in spite of another excellent innings from Ned Eckersley. Following a first innings 106, the 24 year-old ended day three on 91 not out with his side on 190 for six - a lead of just 126 runs. Graeme Cessford (3-43), Jack Shantry (2-30) and Shaaiq Choudhry (1-46) were the Pears wicket takers. Worcestershire had earlier been prevented from earning a sizeable first innings lead as no batsman was able to give Thilan Samaraweera meaningful support. Matthew Hoggard (4-62) and James Sykes (2-62) each picked up two wickets as the visitors were all out for 338 with Samaweera left stranded on 144.
Gloucestershire reached stumps on 19 for none in pursuit of an unlikely 432 to beat Essex. They had prolonged their first innings total to 254 at the start of the day thanks to a maiden first-class half-century from Craig Miles but that still left them 146 runs adrift. Essex then steadily built a huge lead before declaring at 285 for four in their second innings. Openers Jaik Mickleburgh and Gautam Gambhir added 201, with the former India Test opener reaching three figures of the first time in his Essex career. Mickleburgh departed soon afterwards for 86, with cameos from Greg Smith (40 off 25 balls) and Ryan ten Doeschate (23 not out off 23) then hurrying them towards the declaration.
day three, LV=CCD1, Surrey v Derbyshire at The Oval
day four, LV=CCD1, Warwickshire v Sussex at Edgbaston
day four, LV=CCD1, Yorkshire v Durham at Headingley
day four, LV=CCD2, Gloucestershire v Essex at Bristol
day four, LV=CCD2, Lancashire v Hampshire at Southport
day four, LV=CCD2, Leicestershire v Worcestershire at Grace Road
Weather Forecast: Tomorrow will begin dry and bright, but patchy cloud will materialise during the day. It should remain dry albeit cooler, with temperatures peaking at between 16 and 21 degrees Celsius.
County Cricket News In Brief:
Nottinghamshire left-arm spinner Graeme White has signed a loan-deal with Northamptonshire for the remaining LV= County Championship matches. White will still play for his parent county in the Yorkshire Bank 40 and returns to Wantage Road after a stint earlier this season to help cover for the absence of the injured Con de Lange.
© Cricket World 2013