County Championship round-up August 23, 2006

Ealham fifty puts Kent on back foot

Cricinfo staff

Division One

Mark Ealham struck a typically bullish 92 for Nottinghamshire on the second day against Kent at Trent Bridge, as the home side were dismissed for 496. After losing David Hussey, who added just eight to his overnight 156, Ealham took command of proceedings, crunching eight fours and lofting two over the boundary. In reply, Ryan Sidebottom nipped out Rob Key, the Kent captain, and Martin van Jaarsveld as the visitors trail Nottinghamshire by 381 runs.

Despite being bowled out 30 runs adrift of Warwickshire first innings, Durham's bowlers hit back before the close reducing the visitors to 65 for 4 on the second day at Chester-le-Street. Durham's day began poorly when Gary Scott fell for 34, but Dale Benkenstein (79) and Ben Harmison (65) - the younger brother of Steve - starred in a fifth wicket partnership worth 118. Durham's tail soon folded, largely due to Paul Harris who ended with impressive figures of 6 for 94 as Warwickshire gained a slender first-innings lead. However, Mick Lewis grabbed three quick wickets to leave Warwickshire struggling albeit with a lead of 95.

Division Two

The gloomy skies and interruptions in play couldn't stop HD Ackerman notching his second double-hundred of the season as Leicestershire took command of the second day at Leicester against Northamptonshire. Ackerman, who made a brilliant 309 earlier in the summer, was finally dismissed for 216 ending a superb 211-run partnership with Paul Nixon who remained unbeaten on risk-laden 144. When play was cut short for the day, Leicestershire finished on 525 for 8.

A mere 29 overs were possible at a very wet and gloomy Taunton between Somerset and Gloucestershire, but it allowed enough time for Wes Durston to bring up his sixth Championship fifty of the season. Torrential rain forced the players back into the pavilion at 11.50, and they didn't return until well into the afternoon. Somerset's tail soon folded - they lost their last four wickets for 18 runs - before bad light forced the players off the field for the final time.