Steyn sends Worcestershire packing
Worcestershire's last two hopes, Graeme Hick and Ben Smith, both fell in quick succession early on the final day as Warwickshire wrapped up a simple and sizeable innings-and-113-run victory at New Road. Hick, who struck 91 in the first innings, failed to build on his overnight 66 and with he and Smith back in the pavilion, Worcestershire collapsed from 159 for 3 to 209 all out. Dale Steyn finished with 5 for 41, giving him eight in the match, while Naqqash Tahir picked up three very economical wickets.
A terrific, fighting 76 from Nic Pothas, the Hampshire wicketkeeper, helped his side earn a draw in a tense encounter against Yorkshire at The Rose Bowl. After losing James Bruce early, Jimmy Adams (90), John Crawley and Michael Lumb each struck fifties to blunt Yorkshire's attack. But wickets continued to fall - four of them to Younis Khan whose figures of 4 for 52 were his best in first-class cricket. But Pothas remained resolute to the end, in spite of the tumble of wickets at the other end, remaining unbeaten on 76 as the match petered into a draw.
Northamptonshire knocked off the required 109 runs to beat Essex by six wickets at Chelmsford, though not without a flutter. After removing Essex's last two, Northamptonshire lost Stephen Peters for 5 and Riki Wessells fell for a duck. Chasing such a small total, Usman Afzaal relied on his attacking instincts - racing to 39 from a run-a-ball before he became the first of two wickets for Danish Kaneria. Despite the wobble, Niall O'Brien and Lance Klusener took them over the line in the 30th over to record Northamptonshire's first Championship win of the season.
Marcus North's quick-fire 106 from just 77 balls for Gloucestershire set-up an exciting final day at Bristol, but the Leicestershire side staved off defeat thanks to a dogged innings from Jon Allenby. Set 380 to win, Leicestershire's hopes of victory were stalled by Anthony Ireland three wickets, forcing the visitors to drop anchor. Wickets continued to fall but Allenby was resolute, spending two-and-a-half hours at the crease for his unbeaten 47 when the captains agreed to shake on it in the 80th over.
Justin Langer hit an unbeaten 136 in Somerset's drawn match against Derbyshire at Taunton, as the match petered out in the 68th over. After working their way past 500 - still some 271 behind Derbyshire's Himalayan 801 - Somerset lost Marcus Trescothick for 24 and three other wickets before Langer combined with Neil Edwards to make the match safe.