Hampshire wrap up convincing win
No surprises at Edgbaston where Hampshire consigned Warwickshire to an expected defeat. Warwickshire started the day at 69 for 2 needing a further 338 for an unlikely victory. Instead, their batting collapsed and they lost by 193 runs. While most batsmen managed to get a start, none could hold it together and Nick Knight ended up the topscorer, with just 34. Wickets were shared, with Chris Tremlett (3 for 50) the most successful, and the job was wrapped up inside 100 overs.
A brisk hundred from Justin Kemp powered Kent to a 151-run lead on the third day against Yorkshire at Canterbury. Resuming on 196 for 3, Martin van Jaarsveld (82) and Matthew Walker (60) put on an excellent fourth-wicket stand of 118. And though Richard Dawson removed both batsmen in quick succession, Kemp stood tall, smashed five sixes and nine fours. He received good support from Neil Dexter (39) who, though only 21-years-old and playing in his sixth first-class game, already has two fifties to his name. Together, the pair put on a vital 81-run partnership to hand Kent a very useful lead of 151 going into the final day.
A good day for Middlesex restored some balance to their game against Durham at the Riverside but it is still unlikely to be enough to save them. Although Durham are still firmly in control of proceedings, helped by a fourth-wicket stand of 86 between Jon Lewis and Dale Benkenstein, Middlesex chipped out the last seven wickets for 91 runs. Chris Silverwood did the damage with 5 for 47, well supported by Alan Richardson who took 4 for 50. Middlesex were left chasing an unlikely 386, and by the close they 87 for 4.
4th day Daniel Cherry and David Hemp put on a second-wicket stand of 172 as Glamorgan made sure of the draw against Leicestershire. After following on, Glamorgan had started the day at 37 for 1 but Leicestershire failed to make significant inroads into their batting, thanks to the efforts of Cherry and Hemp, who each made fifties. Hemp was eventually out nine short of what would have been a well-deserved hundred, while Cherry made 86. Mark Cosgrove made certain the points were shared with an unbeaten fifty.
3rd day At the County Ground, Gloucestershire completed their second win of the season, beating Northamptonshire and leapfrogging them in the process, just to rub it in. Gloucestershire started the day at 8 for 1, needing a just 94 more runs for victory which they knocked off quite comfortably to win by six wickets. Their captain Jon Lewis was understandably delighted with the win, completed inside three days, and he told reporters: "Northamptonshire are a decent side and to beat them so convincingly is great for us." But they weren't so delighted with being docked one point for a slow over-rate.
A sporting declaration from Essex has increased the chances of a result against Somerset, after Ronnie Irani and Andy Flower both continued where they left off last night to add a further 118 runs on the third day at Taunton. The home side's batsmen lost both openers cheaply, but Cameron White and James Hildreth both hit attractive fifties before Keith Parsons (59*) and Will Durston (69*) carried Somerset to a commanding 346-run lead.
Ray Price and Nadeem Malik's plucky tenth-wicket stand of 60 nearly pulled off a stunning victory for Worcestershire, before Ian Hunter took the final wicket to hand Derbyshire a tense 35-run victory on the third day at Worcester. Earlier in the day, Kabir Ali gave Worcestershire the upper hand with a brilliant burst of 7 for 43 as Derbyshire collapsed to just 149 inside 41 overs. But, in chasing 210 for victory, Worcestershire's batsmen stumbled to 114 for 9 thanks to some penetrative bowling from Steffan Jones (4 for 62) and Graeme Welch (4 for 33). Though Price (56) and Malik took their side close, it was too little, too late.