Kent capitulation leaves Durham on the brink
Durham reproduced the sort of steamrollering form that earned them a double-promotion last season, as Kent crashed from a carefree 169 for 2 to be left teetering on the brink of defeat at Canterbury. In reply to Durham's 574 for 9 declared, they lost their last eight wickets for 110, with Graham Onions riding the gravy train for a career-best 3 for 91. All out for 340 and swiftly re-inserted, Kent then continued their capitulation. Onions bagged both openers, David Fulton and Robert Key, before Callum Thorp and Gareth Breese made light work of the middle order to leave Kent just two wickets from defeat.
No play was possible on the final day at Old Trafford, as Lancashire's low-scoring contest with Hampshire petered out to a disappointing draw. After conceding a first-innings deficit of 30, Hampshire had lead by 24 overnight, thanks to an unbeaten opening stand of 54 between Michael Brown and James Adams.
Warwickshire converted their overnight 308 for 5 into a useful 147-run lead against Sussex at Hove. Robin Martin-Jenkins kept chipping away to take 4 for 78, but 58 from Jim Troughton and 42 from Michael Powell kept Warwickshire on course. That position looked even healthier when Sussex lost both openers with just 32 runs on the board, but Michael Yardy and Murray Goodwin steadied the nerves with an unbeaten 74-run stand for the third wicket.
Yet more rain at Trent Bridge reduced Nottinghamshire'smatch against Yorkshire to an complete non-event. Only 14 overs had been possible on the first and second days, in which time Notts progressed to 69 for 1.
A brilliant 172 on debut from Cameron White was not enough to rescue Somerset, as they lost their last two wickets for the addition of 19, to slump to defeat by an innings and 7 runs against Gloucestershire at Bristol. Unbeaten on 153 overnight, White did his best to postpone the inevitable, but two strikes from Ian Harvey was enough to seal the match.
Darren Gough followed up his first-innings five-for by smacking a joyful 52 not out from No. 11, to haul Essex right back into contention against Northants at Chelmsford. Essex had been deep in the mire at 234 for 7 overnight, but fifties from James Middlebrook and Graham Napier lifted them to 381, a mere 16 runs from first-innings parity. Not content with that, Gough then added the early wicket of Stephen Peters for 7, before Ryan ten Doeschate grabbed three important middle-order scalps, to leave Northants precariously placed at 147 for 5.
Derbyshire discovered that the The Oval really is their home from home, as they forced Surrey to follow-on in a fixture that had to be rearranged after severe flooding in Derby. After closing on 256 for 4, Surrey lost their last six wickets for 43, as Mohamed Sheikh grabbed his first five-wicket haul in first-class cricket. Given that they are expected to bounce straight back into the first division, this was hardly the sort of performance they had envisaged, but Surrey knuckled down second-time around, with Scott Newman and Jonathan Batty added 152 for the first wicket. Neither man could get past the nervous nineties, however, and at the close Surrey led by a mere 40 runs with just seven wickets in hand.