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August 4, 2006
Sussex hold a commanding advantage of 391 going into the final day against Lancashire at Hove. Murray Goodwin and Richard Montgomerie stuck centuries and added 166 for the third wicket, scoring at a pace that means Sussex are set for an early declaration in the morning. However, that will probably depending on fitness of Mushtaq Ahmed who is struggling with a groin injury and didn't bowl as Lancashire were dismissed before lunch. Stuart Law and Gareth Cross were parted early in the day and Jason Lewry finished with 6 for 68 as Sussex gained a vital lead of 97.
Stephen Fleming guided Nottinghamshire to a vital six-wicket win against Durham at Chester-le-Street which eased their relegation worries and pulled the home side into the bottom two. The match had been dominated by the seamers, with 25 wickets falling yesterday, and Nottinghamshire's target of 214 was looking steep as they slipped to 86 for 4. But Fleming was joined by Samit Patel and the pair formed the highest stand of the match - worth an unbeaten 128 - to carry their side comfortably across the line.
A quartet of fifties from Worcestershire's batsmen put them in a powerful position on the third day against Glamorgan at Colwyn Bay. Phil Jaques and Stephen Moore got the visitors off to a great start with an opening stand of 168, before Jaques fell for a brisk 92. Soon after, Moore departed for 82 but Ben Smith (70) and Stephen Davies (77) played excellently to leave Glamorgan eyeing only a draw, or the most unlikely of victories (503 runs) on the final day.
Leicestershire lost their last five wickets for 76, but Gloucestershire hold a slender lead of just 76 going into the final day at Cheltenham. Resuming on 406 for 5, only Claude Henderson (41) defied the Gloucester bowlers as Leicestershire's tail folded rather meekly. Nevertheless they still held a useful first-innings lead of 200 and quickly had Gloucestershire in trouble at 17 for 1 when Phil Weston fell to Stuart Broad. However, the home side fought back superbly - largely thanks to Hamish Marshall whose unbeaten 143 came from just 168 balls. Kadir Ali and Craig Spearman fell in quick succession but, with Marshall at the crease tomorrow morning, the match will almost certainly peter out into a draw.
Having fallen eight runs short against Gloucestershire in May, Mark Ramprakash finally joined the 300 club as Surrey continued to dominate against Northamptonshire at The Oval. The landmark came off 445 balls after nearly nine hours batting as he became only the third Surrey batsmen to reach 300 for the county. He added 353 with Mark Butcher who hit 147, his highest score of the season. But of Surrey harboured any hopes of a day off they were ended by Usman Afzaal who resisted their attack with an unbeaten 101 after Stephen Peters went early. So far, Afzaal and Chris Rogers have added 155 but they still have a long way to go.
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