All but one county game a wash out as rain has its say
Day 3 Report
Frizzell County Championship Division One
Essex 271 for 6 v Leicestershire 600 for 7 dec at Southend
Only 16 overs at Southend, but it was enough for Leicestershire to tighten their grip on the game. Charlie Dagnall bowled Antonio Palladino for 5 in the first over of the brief evening session. Andy Flower, however, hung on to remain 125 not out and James Middlebrook hit a sprightly 28 not out before the close. Essex need another 179 to avoid the follow on.
There was no play elsewhere in either division due to rain.
Surrey 411 v Middlesex 346 for 8 at Guildford
Jimmy Ormond had a day to remember with four wickets in six balls, including a maiden first-class hat-trick, to give Surrey the edge against Middlesex at Woodbridge Road. To add to his heroics with the ball, Ormond nearly scored what would have been the second fifty of his career earlier in the day as he and Saqlain Mushtaq added a further 36 runs to Surrey's first innings of 411. Andy Strauss (87) and Sven Koenig (42) then replied in emphatic fashion, putting on 101 for the first wicket. But when Strauss became Ormond's first victim, Middlesex lost five wickets for only two runs. Ormond's hat-trick accounted for Ben Hutton, Ed Joyce - who suffered his third golden duck against Surrey this season - and Paul Weekes. And when Owais Shah fell to Martin Bicknell for 22, Middlesex had collapsed to 165 for 6. However, Abdul Razzaq (78) and David Nash (69*) saved them with a stand of 155 as Middlesex closed 65 behind Surrey, and with two wickets in hand.
Lancashire 575 for 6 dec v Warwickshire 192 for 8 at Old Trafford
Glen Chapple continued his sparkling form with the bat - not the mention the ball - as Lancashire took total control over Warwickshire in Manchester. Chapple scored 132 and shared a partnership of 228 with Stuart Law, who ended unbeaten on 236. It was a mammoth effort from Law: the fourth double-hundred of his career and his highest score for Lancashire. He batted for over eight hours in all, and smashed 32 fours and two sixes. Three of the Warwickshire bowlers went for over 100, and Neil Smith had the embarrassment of being despatched for 22 off four consecutive balls. Warren Hegg declared on 575 for 6 and he then took five catches behind the stumps as wonder boy Chapple took 4 for 43 to leave Warwickshire staring at the follow on at 192 for 8.
Frizzell County Championship Division Two
Northamptonshire 325 beat Somerset 96 and 168 by an innings and 61 runs at Northampton
Somerset lost an astonishing 18 wickets in one day as they crashed to an inning defeat against Northants at Wantage Road inside two days. Resuming on 26 for 2, and 203 behind, Andre Nel and Adam Shantry took three wickets each as Somerset crumbled to 96 all out. And things didn't go much better second time round. This time it was Jason Brown who starred as he spun out six wickets in Somerset's second innings of 168. Michael Burns (55) and Ian Blackwell (40) put up some resistance with 83 for the fifth wicket, but once they were both out, Brown made light work of the tail with the last four wickets tumbling for 11 runs. While questions were thrown up about the state of the pitch, ECB inspector Peter Walker afterwards confirmed that although it was, in his opinion, "below average", he would not be docking Northants any points. He said: "It was a lot of wickets to fall in a day......but you had one side on the top of their form and another at the bottom of theirs."
Gloucestershire 271 v Worcestershire 392 for 7 at Cheltenham
Ben Smith and Andrew Hall drove Worcestershire into a strong position against Gloucestershire at the College Ground. Resuming the day on 48 for 1, Worcestershire made steady progress to a valuable first-innings lead, despite a mid-innings wobble. Graeme Hick made only nine on his return to the side, caught off Shoaib Malik, and when Anurag Singh also fell to Malik, the score was 103 for 4. However, Vikram Solanki got the show back on the road with a solid 35, before Smith (92) and Hall (73) put on 108 for the sixth wicket as Worcestershire increased their lead to 121 runs.
Yorkshire 384 and 23 for 0 v Hampshire 289 at Scarborough
Simon Katich single-handily rescued Hampshire against Yorkshire at the North Marine Road Ground. Katich likes to reserve his best against his former counties and he saved Hampshire from the depths of 96 for 5 with a gutsy 143 not out, including 20 fours and a six. It was his 19th first-class century and his second of the season, and both have come against his former clubs, Durham and Yorkshire. After polishing off the Yorkshire tail for 384, Hampshire were in immediate trouble as Chris Silverwood (4 for 86) and Steve Kirby (2 for 79) removed four of the top six for ducks. But Katich came to the rescue and with some sturdy support from Shaun Udal (26) and debutant Iain Brunnschweiler (34), Hampshire avoided the follow on. However, they still have some work to do as Yorkshire closed with a lead of 118, and all 10 wickets in tact.
Derbyshire v Durham 434 for 7 at Derby
Dominic Cork's decision to put Durham in at the County Ground turned out to look as foolish as his new mullet hair cut as Vince Wells and Nicky Peng cashed in on some wayward bowling. Jonathan Lewis (77) and Michael Gough (36) put on 110 for the first wicket and built the platform for Wells to smash 106 from 112 balls, and for Peng, who in the end fell for 99. It was a long day, and one to forget, for Derbyshire's bowlers. Kevin Dean went for 0 for 117, and Lian Wharton 2 for 103 as Durham ended on 434 for 7.