There were wins for Middlesex, Essex, Durham, Gloucestershire and Kent as the 17th round of matches in the LV= County Championship began to draw to a close as the teams rushed things to a conclusion with an eye on tomorrow’s abysmal weather forecast.
Durham romped to the top of Division One of the LV= County Championship by wrapping up victory over Sussex inside three days at Chester-le-Street. They declared on 268 for eight in their second innings thanks to contributions today from Phil Mustard (73) and Usman Arshad (34) to set Sussex a daunting 402 to win. The visitors then collapsed miserably for the second time in the match, managing just four more than they did first time around to be all out for 116. A second-wicket stand of 48 between Michael Yardy (25) and skipper Chris Nash (38) gave Sussex early hope, but they lost their last nine wickets for 64 runs. Mitchell Cladyon and Usman Arshad both matched their first innings hauls of three wickets, while Graham Onions also took three to end with match figures of seven for 88.
Nottinghamshire will require 211 on the final day to beat Warwickshire after bowling them out for 271 in their second innings. Resuming on 27 for two, Laurie Evans did the early run-scoring for the Bears and made 63. He shared 70 with Ateeq Javid (24) for the third-wicket and 45 with Chris Woakes (23) for the fourth before falling to Harry Gurney (2-44). Darren Maddy then took up the baton, hitting 65 and sharing useful partnerships with most of the lower-order. Luke Fletcher, though, kept chipping away to end with five for 52 and leave Nottinghamshire with a manageable fourth innings run chase. They will have James Taylor available after he returned from international duty in Ireland to replace Riki Wessels.
A tense final day is in store at Taunton should the weather hold, with Derbyshire on 127 for four in pursuit of 244 to beat Somerset. Ben Slater hit 59 at the top of the order, but all eyes will be on Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who is unbeaten on 20, tomorrow morning. Somerset had earlier amassed 438 in their second innings to bounce back from their day one horror show. Nick Compton fell five short of a century, while most of the rest of the batsmen contributed, with Lewis Gregory’s sprightly 52 the highlight.
Middlesex are back in the title race after wrapping up victory over Surrey in the London Derby by 146 runs. They declared their second innings on 235 for nine to leave Surrey needing 385 to win on a turning Oval pitch. Ollie Rayner was again their chief tormentor, taking seven for 72 to end with incredible match figures of 15 for 118. Hashim Amla top-scored with a classy 84, but Steven Davies’ 38 was the next highest score as Surrey were all out for 238.
In Division Two, Essex didn’t take too long to complete victory over Worcestershire. They were set just 51 in the fourth innings and won by eight wickets thanks to contributions from Jaik Mickleburgh (28) and Nick Browne (22 not out). Reece Topley had earlier taken his match tally to 11 wickets as he ended with five for 56 to help bring the Pears second innings to a close at 299 after they had resumed on 163 for three. Ross Whiteley (38) and Shaaiq Choudhry (34) held things up briefly with an eighth-wicket stand of 67.
Kent were set a testing 242 to beat Glamorgan at Cardiff but eased home by seven wickets. Sam Northeast hit 88, adding stands of 57 with Rob Key (33), 62 with Daniel Bell-Drummond (30) and 92 with Brendan Nash. He was finally removed by Dean Cosker (2-34) but Nash remained until the end and was unbeaten on 70 off just 77 balls. Glamorgan’s last three second innings wickets had earlier added just 21 runs as Darren Stevens (2-29) took two of them and Adam Riley (3-69) the other.
Another excellent innings from Ned Eckersley wasn’t able to prevent Leicestershire from going down by an innings and 138 runs to Gloucestershire at Bristol. Will Gidman finished with four for 28 to take 10 wickets in a match for the first time in his career, while Tom Smith chipped in with three for 33. Angus Robson had given Eckersley support in the morning; the pair advancing the score to 143 for one before falling in quick succession. Eckersley was bowled by Smith for 84, with Robson caught behind off Gidman for 49. A career-best 30 from Ollie Freckingham at number nine was unable to save Leicestershire and they were all out for 261.
A draw looks inevitable at Southampton, with Hampshire on 515 for nine in reply to Northamptonshire’s 438. Home skipper Jimmy Adams completed a double century, while there were half-centuries from Neil McKenzie and recalled wicket-keeper Michael Bates. McKenzie and Adams took their overnight third-wicket partnership to 102, with Bates then adding a further 152 with his captain for the sixth-wicket before handing Mohammad Azharullah a second wicket when on 71. Adams fell late on to Matthew Spriegel (2-90) for 218.
day four, LV=CCD1, Nottinghamshire v Warwickshire at Trent Bridge
day four, LV=CCD1, Somerset v Derbyshire at Taunton
day four, LV=CCD2, Hampshire v Northamptonshire at Southampton
Weather Forecast: Rain is likely for large swathes of the country tomorrow. The south-west will be the driest and brightest area initially, but even that will see some showers before the day is out. Temperatures will, as a result, be subdued and struggle to peak at around 16 degrees Celsius.
County Cricket News In Brief:
Sussex CCC will hold an anniversary lunch this weekend to celebrate their victory in the inaugural Gillette Cup 50 years ago in 1963. Ted Dexter, who captained the side to victory over Worcestershire in the final by 14 runs, will be one of the speakers, as will current club president Jim Parks. Tickets are priced at £35 and are available here. Proceeds will go to the Sussex Cricket Combined Appeal, which supports two local charities.
Glamorgan are close to securing the future of Michael Hogan on a long-term contract. Hogan told Wales Online: “I am in talks at the moment and hoping I will finalise a long-term deal in the next few days.”
Lancashire off-spinner Arron Lilley is among a host of players to have been disciplined following incidents in the Lancashire League. Lilley has received a suspended one-week ban and a £100 fine following offences in a match at Hoylandswaine on 10th August.
Surrey seamer Jon Lewis has been released by the club. The 38 year-old joined from Gloucestershire at the start of the 2012 season but has struggled to hold down a regular starting place this season.
Worcestershire are hoping that their new ground facilities - the result of a season-long £10 million upgrade - will be open in time for the final two matches of the season. Chief executive David Leatherdale told the Evesham Journal: “We are aiming to do the hand-over of the keys imminently.”
Yorkshire seamer Ryan Sidebottom has told the York Evening Press that he is hopeful of playing on for another two of three years and is eyeing a new contract with the club. His current deal expires at the end of 2014.
The Coventry Telegraph is reporting that Jeetan Patel is close to agreeing terms with Warwickshire to become their overseas player for the third consecutive season. Patel has played in all first-team matches for the Bears in 2013.
The family of Rob George, a 21 year-old who urgently needs a bone marrow transplant to save his life, have held an event at Colchester today aiming to encourage people to join the donors' register. George plays cricket for Colchester and East Essex CC and the event was held at their home ground Castle Park.
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