The race for the LV= County Championship title is hotting up, with Durham now just 5.5 points behind leaders Yorkshire with a game in hand after completing victory over them at Scarborough. The victory was far from certain heading into the final day with Yorkshire on 276 for one in their second innings, but they suffered a devastating steady collapse. Kane Williamson was first to go, three short of his century, with his partner Phil Jaques following suit two overs later for 152 as the second man in the Ben Stokes double-strike. Wickets fell regularly thereafter as only three men reached double figures and Liam Plunkett top-scored with just 42. Chris Rushworth, Ben Stokes and Scott Borthwick finished with three wickets apiece.
That left Durham needing 121 to win and they lost Mark Stoneman first ball to Ryan Sidebottom to increase the tension. However, Borthwick was on hand with a crucial and fluent 65 and guided his side home by seven wickets. His second-wicket partnership of 72 with Keaton Jennings (17) was pivotal to the match’s outcome.
There was much tedium on the final day at Edgbaston as Sussex and Warwickshire seemingly settled for a draw early on. Sussex finally declared on 394 for nine in their second innings to end the match, with Rory Hamilton-Brown and Ed Joyce both having passed 50. Jeetan Patel was a familiar pick of the Bears attack, returning figures of 36-12-74-3.
Derbyshire lead a low-scoring match against Surrey by 161 runs going into the final day at The Oval. They reached stumps on a slow-moving day on 231 for seven in their second innings. Skipper Wayne Madsen made a cautious 59 and set the tone for proceedings during a second-wicket stand of 61 with Paul Borrington (38). There were then contributions from Richard Johnson (27), Tom Poynton (29 not out) and David Wainwright (22 not out) as the visitors steadily built a lead. The latter two shared a potentially crucial unbroken 48 for the eighth-wicket. Surrey’s bowlers were all disciplined and economical, with Tim Linley, Gareth Batty and Chris Tremlett each ending with two wickets.
Division Two leaders Lancashire had to work hard to complete what should have been a straightforward victory overs Hampshire at Southport. Resuming on 137 for seven in pursuit of 496, Hampshire’s eighth-wicket pair of Matt Coles and Adam Wheater took the score to 320 before being parted. Wheater was finally dismissed for 140 by Simon Kerrigan (4-97) to end the record-breaking 191-run partnership, while Coles was bowled in the very next over by Luis Reece for 68. Hampshire were still not finished, however, with the last-wicket pair of James Tomlinson (30 not out) and 16 year-old Brad Taylor adding a further 53. Taylor was finally stumped for 20 as Lancashire breathed a sigh of relief.
Worcestershire wrapped up a comfortable victory over last-placed Leicestershire. Set a potentially tricky 185 to win in the fourth innings, they romped home by nine wickets. Openers Daryl Mitchell (35) and Matthew Pardoe put on 62, with Pardoe and Moeen Ali then taking them across the line without further loss as both completed half-centuries. Leicestershire’s second innings had earlier ended at 248 as Ned Eckersley made it two hundreds in the match and Jack Shantry ended with four for 53.
Gareth Roderick hit 136 as Gloucestershire escaped with a draw on the final day against Essex. He shared 137 with his captain Michael Klinger (62) for the second-wicket and then 108 with Hamish Marshall for the fourth-wicket later in the day. A spell of three wickets for two runs - Reece Topley (3-70) striking twice - then gave Essex hope, but Will Gidman and Tom Smith batted out the final 19.2 overs. Gidman ended on 16 off 65 balls, with Smith on 33 off 55.
day four, LV=CCD1, Surrey v Derbyshire at The Oval
Weather Forecast: The weather at The Oval tomorrow promises to be sunny and pleasantly warm with maximum temperatures of around 20 degrees Celsius.
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