Trescothick steadies Somerset
Marcus Trescothick inspired a far more resilient batting performance from Somerset on the second day against Hampshire at Taunton, the hosts moving to 159 for 1 at stumps to reduce their deficit to 74. Hampshire were dismissed for 359 with John Crawley moving from his overnight 78 to 104, while Michael Lumb made 76. Ben Phillips finally made the breakthrough to dismiss Crawley, who had barely offered a chance, forcing a thick edge low to Trescothick at second slip. Lumb and Nic Pothas then put on 48 before Pothas - who injured his calf earlier in the day - fell to the first ball after lunch. His replacement, Michael Brown, was also injured, forcing Hampshire to call on Tom Burrows, a Second XI wicketkeeper. Somerset, who limped to a hopeless 126 in the first innings, fought resiliently at their second chance with Trescothick and Neil Edwards putting on 83 for the first wicket. Edwards fell to a full-toss from Greg Lamb for an even fifty from 69 balls but Trescothick was still standing on 62 at stumps, which included six fours and a six into the River Tone.
Fifties from Ryan McLaren and Yasir Arafat handed Kent the most unlikely of first innings leads over Nottinghamshire on the second day at Trent Bridge, but the home side raced to 106 for 2 at stumps to regain the lead by 70 runs. After their disastrous top-order capitulation yesterday, in which they were reduced to 5 for 4, Kent found resistance in their lower-order with McLaren cracking a vital 57, sharing in an eighth-wicket stand of 67 with Arafat as the visitors defied Ryan Sidebottom and Stuart Broad. Sidebottom remained predictably accurate - picking up 1 for 11 in eight overs in the morning - but McLaren was strong on the drive, particularly off Broad, while Arafat tucked into Samit Patel in his 70-ball fifty. Sidebottom continued to probe and picked up his fifth wicket when Robbie Joseph edged to slip, but Kent had gained an invaluable 68-run cushion. However, after the early loss of Will Jefferson, Matthew Wood regained the momentum for Nottinghamshire with an 89-ball fifty and the hosts lead by 70 with two days to go.
Andre Nel blitzed Middlesex's top-order with 3 for 8 in six deliveries to lift Essex's spirits on the second day in Chelmsford. Bowling with genuine pace and bounce, he removed Andrew Strauss for 12, Shaun Udal - the nightwatchman - first ball for 0, before condemning Ed Smith to a miserable pair. At stumps, Middlesex led by 114 - a disappointing lead considering the performance of Danny Evans earlier in the day. Evans, the 20-year-old medium-pacer, picked up his maiden five-wicket haul as Essex lost 6 for 27. Only Jason Gallian (56) and Tom Westley, whose grinding 60 spanned nearly three hours, offered much resistance in a stand of 72 before Gallian became Evans' first victim, caught behind. Westley impressed on the drive but edged the probing Vernon Philander (3 for 45) to slip - and then Evans dominated, taking 4 for 7 in 7.5 overs to pick up 6 for 35. The match, however, remains in the balance.
Jonathan Trott hit his first hundred for two years for Warwickshire who gained a slender - but potentially telling - 40-run lead over Derbyshire on the second day at Derby. After losing Ian Westwood early, the big three of Darren Maddy (57), Ian Bell (48) and Trott set about rebuilding Warwickshire's reply to Derbyshire's 270. Bell fell in the forties for the third time this season, though he did become the fastest Warwickshire batsmen to reach 5000 first-class runs. Bell's England colleague Tim Ambrose cricked his neck during a warm-up routine, preventing him batting at No.6, though he did come in later to help Trott to his hundred. Derbyshire's Tom Lungley took 4 for 8 in 21 balls - James Anyon surviving the hat-trick - to levy the balance, but Warwickshire's lower-order fell away quickly to leave the match intriguingly poised.