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June 17, 2007
Division OneGraeme Hick has become the 16th player to reach 40,000 first-class runs, passing the landmark during his 49 against Warwickshire. Hick adds another accolade to his career - and he is the first man to pass the milestone since Graham Gooch 13 years ago. "For someone who has achieved as much as he has in the game, to still have the drive, work ethic and hunger is great," said his captain Vikram Solanki. "It takes a particular type of character and personality to be able to do it. As a player, he is the ultimate professional. He is still in fine shape. He has always looked after himself, he is still fit, still works hard, probably harder than anyone else now. He is an amazing guy." Maybe the moment got to him, but Hick fell as soon as he had reached the landmark when he was caught behind off Dale Steyn. Nevertheless, Worcestershire moved to a 56-run lead when they were all out on the stroke of stumps at Edgbaston- thanks largely to Stephen Moore's 112 - as the game heads towards a draw.
Despite the best efforts of Mark Davies - who took 4 for 48 - Durham are now looking at a victory target of more than 250 on the final day after Hampshire recovered from 124 for 6 to make 309 for 9 by stumps. Durham were only able to add 24 to their overnight score at the Rose Bowl thanks to Shane Warne polishing off the tail to finish the innings with 6 for 83, leaving Hampshire 56 behind at the turnaround. And this difference was looking crucial with the early collapse, but Dimitri Mascarenhas and Warne added 45 for the 8th wicket before Chris Tremlett gave further reminder of his allround skills by frustrating Durham's bid for the top with a vital 62 not out from 81 balls, including three sixes to help Hampshire's resurgence. But Hampshire suffered the minor indignity of having five runs deducted from their total because of their batsmen running on the pitch.
Despite an impressive knock of 77 from Joe Denly, Kent were forced to follow-on at Old Trafford after Lancashire bowled them out for 272. Kent failed to put together any meaningful partnerships aside from an opening stand of 83, and Muttiah Muralitharan grabbed four middle-order wickets as they slumped from 160 for 4 to 210 for 8. England outcast Geraint Jones continued his recent return to form with the bat by making 70, adding 34 with Ryan McLaren, the second highest partnership of the innings. Denly and Key survived the two overs before the close and will have to bat out tomorrow to prevent Lancashire from earning their second win of the season.
The clash between Yorkshire and Sussex at Headingley is fast turning into Ajmal Shahzal's match. After scoring valuable runs yesterday he picked up four wickets today to help dismiss Sussex for 141 in what continues to be a very low, and slow-scoring game. With a deficit of two on first innings, Yorkshire were looking comfortable second time round at 112 for 1 before Jason Lewry made Craig White his second victim of the innings and Anthony McGrath was needlessly run-out for 59 to leave Yorkshire 129 for 3 at the close. With seven wickets in hand, they are likely to try to make the game safe rather than allow Sussex the opportunity to leapfrog them to the top of the table.
Division TwoWhile one old timer was making records with the bat at Worcestershire, another was making the ball sing down at Bristol. Andrew Caddick took his second five-wicket haul of the match to bowl Somerset to a crushing victory against Gloucestershire - defeating them by an innings and 151 runs. Caddick ended with match figures of 12 for 71. It's the 17th time in first-class matches he's taken ten wickets in a match. Charl Willoughby took the other five wickets - and he ended with seven. The win came within three days, but could have been shorter had rain not affected the early days. To add insult, Gloucestershire were deducted one point for a slow over rate.
In a desperate attempt to force a result and drag themselves away from the bottom two of Division Two, Leicestershire declared their first innings at 131 for 4, still 120 behind Northants in what was looking like a rain-ruined contest at at Northampton. The home side closed on 99 for 4 with Lance Klusener dangerously poised having hit 22 from 18 deliveries in the evening. Earlier, Northants were indebted to David Sales 92, and late-order runs from David Lucas and the Australian Steven Crook, who boosted them to 251. Another David, Masters this time, claimed the seventh five-wicket haul of his career.
Essex made Middlesex follow on at Lord's, rolling them for 177 in their first innings. Martin Saggers, on loan from Kent, was the destroyer-in-chief with an impressive 5 for 39. He struck again as Middlesex resumed 199 runs adrift, removing Nick Compton lbw before Billy Godleman and Owais Shah helped the home side recover with a stand of 125. Godleman was trapped in front by Danish Kaneria, but Shah and Ed Joyce pulled Middlesex up to 198 for 2 by the close. Shah has been the epitome of patience so far for his unbeaten 80, and will need to keep that up on Monday if Middlesex are to prevent the top three in the table putting distance between them.
After more than two days of waiting to get underway, Nottinghamshire wasted no time putting Derbyshire to the sword at Nottingham, bowling them out for 108. Charlie Shreck made the Derbyshire scorecard look rather pitiful as he returned figures of 7 for 35 to add to his burgeoning reputation, and then Mark Wagh compounded the misery with a run-a-ball 88. Former captain Jason Gallian also made a handy 62 and with Hussey, Read and Ealham still to come, expect some rapid scoring tomorrow as Notts look to declare and keep pressure on leaders Somerset.
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