We round up all the action from the third day of the opening round of LV= County Championship matches, where there were wins for Leicestershire over Glamorgan and Essex over Gloucestershire.
WORCESTERSHIRE closed 134 runs away from what will be a remarkable victory if they can finish the job on the final day at Trent Bridge. Their close of play score of 258 for six could have been considerably better were it not for two late wickets from Luke Fletcher, as the visitors had been 235 for two at one stage in the chase. Skipper Daryl Mitchell had added 174 with Moeen Ali (94) for the second wicket, before becoming the first of Fletcher’s two victims, after NOTTINGHAMSHIRE’s first innings had been ended on 403 earlier this morning courtesy of Alan Richardson (five for 95).
A draw looks the most likely result heading into the fourth day at Taunton as MIDDLESEX closed on 38 for one in their second innings to trail SOMERSET by just 66 runs. The home side had been dismissed for 350 earlier in the day as the overnight duo of Nick Compton and Craig Kieswetter failed to convert their fifties into three-figure scores, with the former falling one short of what would have been his 13th first-class century. Craig Meschede added a late 37, but it was Corey Collymore who was the star of the show as he took three Somerset wickets to end with three for 66 from 23 overs.
SURREY will go into day four needing just two more wickets to beat SUSSEX at The Oval after bad light brought a premature end to day three. Luke Wells offered the visitors’ only real resistance with a mature unbeaten 96 as Stuart Meaker removed the key pair of Ed Joyce (12) and Murray Goodwin (0) on his way to figures of three for 75. Surrey’s last two wickets had earlier conspired to add a further 23 to their overnight 250 for eight as Naved Arif (three for 60) and James Anyon (five for 79) took one each.
In Division Two, DERBYSHIRE’s openers added an unbroken stand of 213 to take their side to stumps on day three with a 235-run lead over local rivals NORTHAMPTONSHIRE. New Zealand opener Martin Guptill recorded his sixth first-class century as he ended unbeaten on 131 from 192 balls, while Paul Borrington closed on 66 from 226 balls. Earlier, the last three Northamptonshire wickets had added just 25 runs as Tony Palladino helped polish off the tail to end with figures of three for 60.
GLOUCESTERSHIRE didn’t make ESSEX wait too long this morning for the first LV= County Championship win of the year as they succumbed to an innings-and-38-run defeat inside seven sessions at Chelmsford.
Resuming on 55 for five, Will Gidman and Ian Cockbain (21) looked like making a fight of it as they took the score to 96, but Gidman’s breezy innings of 39 from 34 balls came to an end when he was trapped in front by Graham Napier (five for 58). The end followed soon afterwards despite last man Ian Saxelby (24 not out) sharing a stand of 40 with Ed Young (23) as the visitors were bowled out for 146.
Former England Lions seamer Robbie Joseph ended with match figures of 12 for 111 to bowl LEICESTERSHIRE to victory over GLAMORGAN at Grace Road. The Welsh side had begun the day on 21 for one and soon slipped to 46 for five as Matthew Hoggard (three for 53) and Joseph made short work of the top order. Skipper Mark Wallace and all-rounder Graham Wagg then affected something of a recovery, but it all proved too little too late as they were bowled out for 183 to give the Foxes their first win of the season – already a total that matches their win tally for the whole of 2011.
The home side’s celebrations were tempered somewhat by the news shortly after the end of the match that they had been docked five points for a slow over rate. Glamorgan were handed a one point penalty.
YORKSHIRE closed the penultimate day still 221 runs adrift of KENT at Headingley. They began the day on 32 for none, but soon lost Joe Sayers (24) and Anthony McGrath to consecutive deliveries from Mark Davies (three for 44), before a century from Jonny Bairstow and innings of 45 from Gary Ballance and an undefeated 40 from Adil Rashid helped them recover to 316 for six.
Continues in page two...