Sussex and Somerset thrive as rain frustrates leaders
Yorkshire's frustrations with Midlands fixtures and bad weather continued. Following their anger over the Worcestershire-Kent rescheduling, this week rain prevented the start of their own match against Warwickshire. No county was to blame, of course, as thoughts of play were abandoned midway through the afternoon. Yorkshire, the leaders, will hope to keep their title campaign in good order if play is possible tomorrow.
But they will not have been soothed by the start fourth-placed Sussex made at Horsham. Just half a point separates them and Durham, who are in third, so a win for either side could see them leaping to the top, if Yorkshire fail to win. Mushtaq Ahmed bowled Sussex into a strong position with 5 for 91 as Durham slipped from 131 for 3 to 209, with Scott Styris topscoring thanks to his 57. Phil Mustard again showed his combative skills with an aggressive 35, but when he fell to Mushtaq, the last four wickets fell for 9 runs. Chris Nash then led Sussex with a half-century, as they lost just three wickets before the close including his for 63, with the deficit now 75.
Speaking of possible top-table reshuffles, Andrew Caddick continued to roll back the years for Somerset leading the attack with three Northamptonshire wickets to reduce them to 221 at Taunton. Northants were in real trouble at 153 for 7, but Steven Crook's crafty 60 lifted them at least past the 200-mark. Somerset made a good start to their response, the openers Marcus Trescothick and Neil Edwards going well before rain brought an early close, at 77 without loss.
In Division Two's other match, there was no play possible between Nottinghamshire and Gloucestershire. At Trent Bridge, the leaders Nottinghamshire could only watch the rain fall - and keep tabs on Somerset's progress.