Lower order deny Glamorgan victory
Just 22 overs were possible at Edgbaston with rain forcing a draw between Warwickshire and Durham, leaving Dale Benkenstein stranded seven short of his hundred.
An eighth-wicket stand of 121 between Mark Hardinges (68) and Ashley Noffke (61) salvaged a draw for Gloucestershire at Bristol after James Harris continued his outstanding match put Glamorgan in sight of their first victory. When Robert Croft trapped Kadeer Ali lbw for a fighting 102, Gloucestershire were only 21 ahead, but Hardinges and Noffke combined to steer their side to safety. However, it couldn't take away from another fine effort from 17-year-old Harris who became the youngest player to take 10 wickets in a Championship match when he bowled Stephen Adshead. On a day when England's quick bowlers struggled at Lord's there was also the heartening sight of Simon Jones completing 19 overs and he was unlucky not to claim a wicket.
Graham Napier hit 72 as Essex flirted with danger on the final day of their rain-hit clash with Leicestershire at Grace Road, although they were helped when Darren Robinson appeared to have forgotten that the follow-on target had been reduced to 100 with the first two days washed out . Essex slumped to 140 for 9 with Charl Langeveldt among the wickets and were facing the prospect of following on. Napier cut loose and slammed seven sixes in his 80-ball innings, receiving solid support from No. 11 Andrew McGarry as they added 61, but were still 134 behind. However, in the remaining time the Leicestershire batted again before, aptly, rain ended the match early.
Derbyshire rolled Middlesex for 180 at Derby, but decided not to risk chasing their target of 204 off 38 overs. Boyd Rankin's 4 for 41 did the bulk of the damage, and there were two wickets apiece for Derbyshire's three other bowlers. The home side made 56 for 1 in reply, losing just Phil Weston, for 12. For Middlesex, Alan Richardson fell without adding to his overnight 2, and they hardly improved from there, although they were grateful for Billy Godleman's battling 57 - by the time he was out he had lost six partners. The biggest stand of the day for the visitors was 23, and that was for the last wicket between Chris Silverwood and the unbeaten Ben Hutton, who made 32.