Kent and Durham win as Murali and Shoaib shine
Day 3 Report
Frizzell County Championship Division One
Kent 189 and 284 beat Essex 183 and 235 by 55 runs at Canterbury
Muttiah Muralitharan showed his worth as an overseas player with a match-winning 6 for 61 for Kent as Andy Flower bravely fought out what in the end was a lost cause for Essex. Resuming the day on 24 for 1 and needing a further 267 to win, Essex's progress was dented at regular intervals by Muralitharan, who picked up the important wicket of James Foster among others. Foster made 31 and was beginning to put on a partnership with Flower to give Essex a glimmer of hope. However, once Foster went, the score slipped from 188 for 6 to 235 all out, with Flower ninth man out for a classy, but ultimately unrewarding 83.
Sussex 429 and 69 for 2 v Surrey 355 at Hove
A stubborn century from Mark Ramprakash and more colourful knocks from Saqlain Mushtaq and Jimmy Ormond hauled Surrey back into their match against Sussex at Hove. Ramprakash scored 104 from 225 balls and played the anchor role while Saqlain (68) and Ormond (42*) finished the innings with a flourish, adding 54 for the last wicket. Mushtaq Ahmed took 4 wickets, but for 123 runs as Sussex were left cursing the Surrey tail who continue to wag with great effect this season. And Sussex were further frustrated when bad light stopped play early and halted their search for quick runs as they try to force a result tomorrow. They ended on 69 for 2 with a lead of 143 runs.
Leicestershire 259 and 156 for 2 v Lancashire 479 at Leicester
Lancashire dodged the showers to take a firm grasp over Leicestershire at Grace Road. Stuart Law and Carl Hooper added a further 52 runs in their 247-run partnership as Lancashire reached 479 all out. As he has done all season, Philip DeFreitas stood out among Leicestershire's bowlers with 6 for 88, while Devon Malcolm and David Masters both went for over 100. Leicestershire made a solid start to their reply with openers John Maunders (56*) and Darren Stevens (50), but Gary Keedy kept the pressure on with 2 for 43. Leicestershire still trail by 64 with eight wickets left.
Nottinghamshire 254 and 160 for 5 v Middlesex 278 at Nottingham
In a gripping day at Trent Bridge, a late unbroken stand of 66 between Chris Cairns (32*) and Chris Read (38*) rescued Notts in their second innings to swing the game back in the balance. David Nash (36) and Ashley Noffke (20) earlier helped Middlesex claw a 24-run first-innings lead and when Joe Dawes (3 for 38) and Chad Keegan (2 for 38) combined to shoot Notts down 94 for 5, Middlesex had gained the edge. However, Cairns and Read took the initiative back for Notts with some big hitting to set up an interesting final day with Notts 136 in front and five wickets down.
Frizzell County Championship Division Two
Durham 345 and 168 beat Somerset 139 and 56 by 318 runs at Chester-le-Street
Shoaib Akhtar demolished Somerset on a crazy day at Chester-le-Street, in which 26 wickets fell and the lowest score of the season was recorded. Shoaib produced two lethal bursts of four wickets in each of Somerset's innings - the first blew away their tail as they slumped from 84 for 4 overnight to 139 all out, but the second was even more spectacular. He picked up three wickets in a single over as Somerset were reduced to 1 for 4 and then 8 for 6, and they were eventually toppled for 56 to lose by 318 runs. In between whiles, there was time for Durham to lose ten wickets of their own, as they were bowled out for 168 after choosing not to enforce the follow-on.
Gloucestershire 263 v Yorkshire 226 at Cheltenham
Gavin Hamilton made his first significant contribution in two miserable seasons to guide Yorkshire out of deep trouble against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham. After Steve Kirby had dismissed Gloucestershire for 263 with figures of 6 for 101, Yorkshire were reduced to 16 for 3 by Mike Smith and James Averis. But Hamilton led the revival with 68, addin 91 with Michael Lumb (37). Yorkshire were eventually all out for 226 on the stroke of stumps, and may expect an early declaration from Gloucestershire on the final day tomorrow.
Worcestershire 237 and 120 for 4 v Glamorgan 156 at Worcester
Stephen Peters and Ben Smith kept Worcestershire in the driving seat on an edgy day against Glamorgan at New Road. Glamorgan had resumed on 0 for 2 after Nantie Hayward's one-over burst on Thursday evening, but Jonathan Hughes and Ian Thomas added 56 for the third wicket to settle their team. But Thomas was the only man to pass 50 as Matt Mason led a fine bowling display with three wickets. Worcestershire were soon thankful for their first-innings lead of 87, as Alex Wharf struck twice early on, but Peters made a composed 56 and Smith was unbeaten on 30 at the close.
Hampshire 278 v Northamptonshire 76 for 0 at The Rose Bowl
No play Friday due to rain.