Surrey course to crushing victory
Division OneAnthony McGrath's defiant century took Yorkshire to a decent lead ahead of the final day at Old Trafford. After the early loss of Joe Sayers (6), the senior pairing of McGrath and Craig White added 183 before McGrath fell just before the close, to take Yorkshire to 192 for 2, with White making 78 not out. Earlier, Luke Sutton had made his way to 151 not out, just about reaching the 150-landmark before the Lancashire innings came to a close on 441, to give Lancashire a first-innings lead of 96.
Shane Warne opened up Hampshire's contest against Middlesex at Lord's with a positive declaration as soon as his team had reached 400, and taken maximum batting points. Nic Pothas's third century of the season compensated for the early loss of Michael Carberry in the day's fifth over after adding just a single to his overnight 103. Sean Ervine contributed a forthright 42 before edging the new ball to first slip, but Pothas pressed forward and reached three figures with a Chinese cut. In the next over Warne carved the ball to the cover fence and promptly jogged off the park, aware that Hampshire need to win this match to maintain pressure on the top-of-the-table teams.
An intriguing final day is in prospect at Edgbaston after Nottinghamshire's openers made inroads into their mammoth target of 404. Darren Bicknell and Jason Gallian shared an unbeaten stand of 88 to set up a tester tomorrow. Bicknell had reached his fifty by the close, with Gallian making 30. Warwickshire had earlier made their way to 230 for 9 before declaring, Mark Wagh topscoring with 70.
Division TwoCraig Spearman made his second century of the match - and just missed out on his 150 for the second time - to take Gloucestershire to 272 for 2 by stumps, a deficit of six runs. He and Phil Weston put on 227 for the first wicket as Gloucestershire worked their way towards parity. Matthew Nicholson eventually grabbed both openers, but they were to prove the only wickets for Northants on a frustrating day for their bowlers at Northampton.
Surrey strode to an emphatic victory at at New Road, crushing Worcestershire by an innings and 108 runs to keep their title contention firmly on track. Ahzar Mahmood took 4 for 53 to start Worcestershire's slide and then Ian Salisbury (3 for 36) and Anil Kumble (2 for 28) wrapped up the tail between them. Vikram Solanki offered the only resistance of note, his 56 propping up the home side for a while, but the rest of the wickets slid away, until they were all out for 165. Rikki Clarke had earlier lifted Surrey's total past 500 with a firecracking 40 not out.
Derbyshire stand on the brink of victory following another authoritative day against Somerset at Derby. The visitors have just three more wickets left in their pursuit of a further, and unlikely, 179 runs. Cameron White is still there, though, having already gamely fought his way to a valiant 197 and he will be Somerset's biggest hope tomorrow. Steffan Jones is Derbyshire's most successful bowler so far this innings, taking three wickets to bring his match haul to seven.