Warne spins Hampshire home
Nottinghamshire wrapped up a comprehensive innings-and-25-run win over Middlesex at Lord's inside the first session of the final day. The lower order showed some resistance, and Ben Hutton returned after retiring hurt yesterday, but it was only a matter of time. Charlie Shreck and Andy Harris picked up a wicket apiece before the final two scalps went the way of David Hussey's part-time offspin. The 22-point victory boosts Nottinghamshire's hopes of avoiding relegation, but Middlesex are still deep in the mire with just one game to play.
Shane Warne grabbed five wickets as Hampshire stormed past Durham with a day to spare at Chester-le-Street. After setting Durham a massive 509 to win, the home side went down with all guns blazing as they were bowled out for 334 in 69.3 overs. Ben Harmison and Gareth Breese added 100 for the fifth wicket after James Bruce had taken three early wickets. Michael Carberry's rarely used offspin removed both Harmison and Breese as Warne tried some unusual options, including bowling Nic Pothas - the wicketkeeper - for five overs. However, Warne wrapped up the match in conventional style as he claimed the last four wickets - although at some cost as the tail threw their bats. Warne's Victoria team-mate Mick Lewis slammed 38 off 17 balls with three sixes before he was the last wicket to fall.
Worcestershire wrapped up a 192-run win midway through the final day at New Road as the Leicestershire batting folded in dramatic style. They were making a decent fist of saving the match at 180 for 1 as John Maunders and HD Ackerman produced a stubborn innings. However, when Maunders was caught and bowled by Gareth Batty the rest fell like a pack of cards. John Sadler was removed by Kabir Ali for 19 and the last seven wickets fell for 45. Ali finished with his third five-wicket haul of the season while Batty and Matt Mason shared the other five. Worcestershire have now leaped into second spot in division two and continue to be in a dog fight with Essex for the second promotion slot.
Surrey came within 31 runs of chasing down 501 against Gloucestershire at Bristol before securing a commendable draw. At 244 for 6 a huge defeat was on the cards in the match where Surrey had been crowned division two champions. However, Chris Schofield and Stuart Walters added 151 for the seventh wicket to give Surrey a sniff. Walters fell after reaching his first Championship half-century but Neil Saker then offered fine support with 47 off 42 balls. Schofield, who is aiming to secure a contract for next season, battled on until he fell five runs short of a maiden first-class century - at which point Surrey opted to play for a draw. Nayan Doshi and Jade Dernbach blocked out the final overs to complete an enthralling day of action.
Northamptonshire eased to a nine-wicket success over Glamorgan at Cardiff with the help of another fine performance by Monty Panesar, who ended with nine scalps in the match. Panesar sent down 43 overs in the second innings, conceding just 73 runs, and removed three of Glamorgan's top four. His victims included Gareth Rees for a turgid 57 off 246 balls. An innings victory was on the cards before some belated defiance from the tail. Robert Croft was the last man out for 47, leaving Northants to chase 84. They lost just Stephen Peters in completing the formalities.
Essex are in complete control after the opening day of their meeting with Derbyshire at Chelmsford. Tim Phillips followed his five-wicket haul against Lancashire in the Pro40 with his best first-class figures, taking 5 for 41 to clean up Derbyshire for 184. The last eight wickets crashed for 29 after Hassan Adnan's 60 built a promising position of 155 for 2. He became Phillips's first victim and the lower order subsided meekly with Andy Bichel also chipping in. The Essex openers made comfortable progress before Varun Chopra fell on the verge of stumps, following a stand of 111 with Mark Pettini.