Dramatic win for Middlesex as Essex, Yorkshire make headway
There was high drama at Taunton where Middlesex beat Somerset by two wickets in the final over of play to consolidate their position at the top of Division One of the Specsavers County Championship.
Elsewhere, the game at Edgbaston between Hampshire and Warwickshire was drawn, Yorkshire made good headway against Surrey at The Oval and Essex edged the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival against Gloucestershire.
Specsavers County Championship Division One
Division One table
Taunton, day four: Middlesex 381 & 302-8 beat Somerset 236ao & 446-9 by two wickets.
Somerset resumed on 348 for six and extended their lead to 276 by lunch, which was taken with them on 411 for nine. Peter Trego registered a new County Championship best of 138 before he was caught by James Franklin off James Fuller.
After lunch, Somerset moved to 446 for nine and declared, leaving Middlesex a target of 302 in a minimum of 46 overs. Nick Gubbins launched the run chase with 76 in 70 balls but as Tim Groenewald removed him, Sam Robson (22) and Dawid Malan (32) to leave Middlesex 150 for three in 22.6 overs - the game was very much on.
Groenewald struck again to bowl George Bailey for four but despite Franklin falling to Jim Allenby for 28, there was no thought of calling off the chase.
Through John Simpson and Fuller (36), Middlesex rallied to the point where they needed 57 in six overs only for Jack Leach to dismiss both Fuller and Ollie Rayner (0) to leave them needing 31 in four overs with just three wickets remaining.
Groenewald kept his next over tight to leave Middlesex needing 27 from three, then Middlesex - with Steve Eskinazi now alongside Simpson - attacked and left themselves a target off 11 to win from two overs.
Eskinazi fell to Groenewald for 11 and going into the final over, bowled by Allenby, all four results were still possible with Middlesex needing eight to win and James Harris alongside Simpson.
A single from a leg bye started the over before another single and a dot ball to Simpson, who then hit Allenby for six over mid-wicket to seal victory that kept Middlesex nicely placed at the top of the table.
He finished unbeaten on 79 in 80 balls, hitting four fours and five sixes while Harris made two.
#TEAMMIDDLESEX WIN BY TWO WICKETS!!!— Middlesex Cricket (@Middlesex_CCC) July 13, 2016
Edgbaston, day four: Hampshire 531 drew with Warwickshire 398-6
After day three was washed out, Warwickshire batted out and lost just the wicket of Jonathan Trott, well stumped by Lewis McManus off Gareth Berg for 68, before they reached lunch on 211 for four.
Following that, Sam Hain and Tim Ambrose compiled a 223-run stand for the fifth wicket, the former hitting 135 in 220 balls and the latter 104 in 190 as Warwickshire strived for batting bonus points with the match nailed on for a draw.
They ended just short of 400 in 110 overs, at which point they declared, but not before Mason Crane had removed both centurions.
The result moves Warwickshire into second and Hampshire off the bottom - even if only temporarily as Surrey complete their game tomorrow.
The Oval, day three: Surrey 267 v Yorkshire 207-3
Surrey added 103 more runs in an extended morning session before they were bowled out for 267. Aaron Finch (52), Steve Davies (56) and Sam Curran (59) all made half-centuries while David Willey and Steven Patterson took three wickets apiece.
Curran then bowled Alex Lees for 15 and Jack Leaning was similarly dismissed by Stuart Meaker only for the experienced pair of Adam Lyth and Andrew Gale to frustrate Surrey with a 150-run third-wicket partnership.
Gale made 61 in 154 balls before he was caught by Davies off Tom Curran but Lyth completed his century and was not out on 116 at the close, alongside nightwatchman Patterson, who had five.
And that is it for today...time has been made up that we were off for bad light....Yorkshire 207-3....Lyth 116*, Patterson 5*— Surrey Cricket (@surreycricket) July 13, 2016
Specsavers County Championship Division Two
Cheltenham, day one: Gloucestershire 218-8 v Essex
An uncontested toss saw Essex choose to bowl first and they got the Cheltenham Festival underway, but the hosts made the better start as they made it to an early lunch due to rain on 98 for one.
After a series of inspections after the break, play resumed and Gareth Roderick (61) reached his third Championship half-century of the season before Matthew Quinn turned the tables.
He took six wickets as Gloucestershire slipped to 206 for seven - Graham Napier was the other wicket-taker - before the rain returned.
Play resumed at 6.30pm and Quinn grabbed his seventh of the day when David Payne was caught by Jaik Mickleburgh for 26, Gloucestershire closing on 218 for eight with Craig Miles on 45 and Liam Norwell on seven.
Quinn claimed seven for 61 in 23 overs.
© Cricket World 2016