Gillespie moves into top gear for Yorkshire
Jason Gillespie finally showed his true colours with the ball as Yorkshire completed a 145-run win against Durham at Chester-le-Street, their first Championship success of the season. Wickets have been hard to come by for Gillespie this summer but today he bagged 6 for 37 as Yorkshire surged home with a day to spare. Dale Benkenstein and Gareth Breese gave Durham a glimmer of hope with a fifth-wicket stand of 136 but when they were separated the rest went quickly. Earlier Darren Lehmann, coming in at No. 8, extended Yorkshire's lead to 394 with a valuable 49 and finally Yorkshire's relegation fears have been eased. At least for the time being.
A superb knock from Mark Ealham dragged Nottinghamshire back from the brink of disaster on the third day against Hampshire at Trent Bridge. Resuming in the perilous position of 173 for 5 Nottinghamshire soon lost Chris Read, who hung around for 48 minutes and 37 balls for just one run, and Stephen Fleming (81). Ealham attacked immediately, though, clobbering 12 fours and three sixes to take Notts to 362. Looking for quick runs to set the home side a target, Hampshire lost a glut of wickets in a brief 40-over second-innings with Nic Pothas and Sean Irvine both hitting 40s. This left Nottinghamshire 384 runs to win, and they moved to 24 without loss at stumps.
Hundreds from Mark Wagh (111) and Tim Ambrose (133) were the innings of note for Warwickshire on the third day against Middlesex at Edgbaston as the home side were dismissed for 391. Wagh and Ambrose resumed this morning and eventually put on 176 for the fifth wicket before Wagh was caught by Ed Smith off Chad Keegan. Ambrose continued where Wagh left off, smashing 19 fours in his 285-ball innings, but there was little else from the Warwickshire tailenders. Warwickshire hit back with the ball, too, removing Smith (19) and Owais Shah (20) as Middlesex closed with a lead of 178.
The match between Sussex and Kent ended in a draw at Hove as the home side set the visitors a rather unlikely 457 for victory. After declaring on 393 for 6, Sussex soon had Kent wobbling on 82 for 3. But a stablising and unbeaten 70 from Matthew Walker, together with 43 from Darren Stevens, helped stave off defeat. Tyron Henderson, whose nickname is 'The Blacksmith', clobbered 31 from just 15 balls in the late evening sunshine to guide Kent to the draw in unusual fashion.
Essex achieved an unlikely victory against Gloucestershire with just 3.1 overs to spare on the final day at Bristol. Gloucestershire looked to be batting for the draw when they were four wickets down midway through the penultimate session, but Grant Flower triggered a dramatic collapse of six wickets for 31 runs to leave Essex needing 98 in 26 overs.
Flower struck three times in quick succession and was well supported by Andy Bichel, who took three wickets of his own. Ravinder Bopara bowled smartly earlier in the day, removing Kadeer Ali (43) with his first ball, grabbing Matt Windows (48) in his second over and then dismissing the dangerous Ian Harvey. Jon Lewis gave Essex a brief scare in their run-chase with two wickets but Mark Pettini (39) and Andy Flower (24 not out) were the chief second innings contributors on their way to a fourth away win of the season.
Surrey are finely placed for victory on the final day after Mohammad Akram and Azhar Mahmood wrecked Northants' top order with a display of hostile fast bowling at Northampton. Northants are teetering at 52 for 5, still trailing Surrey by a daunting 401 following hundreds from Mark Ramprakash and Jonathan Batty. The visitors made 424 for 6 before declaring and leaving Northants a huge 453.
Derbyshire are well set against Somerset heading into the final day at Taunton. Steve Stubbings's century and scores in the seventies from Chris Taylor and Marcus North helped Derbyshire to 376 for 6 by the close, a lead of 432. The visitors will look to declare early tomorrow to give themselves a chance of bowling out Somerset.
Brendon McCullum and Michael Powell shared a third-wicket stand of 206 as Glamorgan battled past the follow-on against Leicestershire at Cardiff. McCullum hit 22 fours in his first century for the county but when four wickets fell for 62 there was still work to be done. Nicky Peng contributed 43 as Glamorgan got to within 111 of Leicestershire's huge 560. Powell's hundred was his second of this season and came from 241 deliveries. Unless there is some discussion between the captains this match his heading for a draw.