County Championship round-up

Somerset's Ashes rivals pile on the runs

Cricinfo staff

May 9, 2008

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First Division


Chris Read's 88 helped Nottinghamshire set Kent a target of 244 at Trent Bridge © Getty Images
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Big hundreds from Ashes rivals Marcus Trescothick and Justin Langer set up a fascinating last day as Somerset closed on 559 for 5, a lead of 326 over Hampshire at Taunton. When Hampshire took a first-innings lead of 233, Somerset seemed dead and buried. But Trescothick (151), who was dropped twice after competing his first hundred of the summer, and Langer (188) piled on 272 in 63 overs for the second wicket, and Zander de Bruyn then capitalised on a tiring attack to strike an unbeaten 75. The pitch showed every sign of getting easier by the session and that may dissuade Langer from an early fourth-day declaration.

The last day is unlikely to last as long at Trent Bridge but it promises to be tense after Kent closed on 129 for 4, needing another 115 to beat Nottinghamshire. Ryan McLaren (6 for 75) ripped through the Nottinghamshire middle order in an explosive first hour in muggy conditions to reduce them to 134 for 6, a lead of 98. But Chris Read (88), first with Stuart Broad (20) and then former Kent stalwart Mark Ealham (39) steadied the ship. Read opened up as his innings progressed, lofting James Tredwell for a straight six and then hooking McLaren for six. Geraint Jones' fourth catch, a superb diving effort, eventually did for Read and he was soon followed by Ealham, giving Jones his fifth catch. Set 244 in a little over four sessions, Joe Denly and Tredwell started unconvincingly, repeatedly playing and missing, before Broad removed them both as well as Matt Walker. Martin van Jaarsveld (45*) held firm but Darren Stevens fell to a loose drive shortly before close.

Click here for John Ward's report from Old Trafford, where James Anderson picked up 5 for 46 to drive Lancashire to a huge win over Durham.

Second Division

Middlesex had the in-form David Nash to thank for putting them into a winning position against Essex at Chelmsford. At 85 for 6, a lead of 180, Middlesex were struggling but Nash, using Andrew Strauss as a runner because of a hamstring strain, dug in for 50 and added 80 for the eighth wicket with Tim Murtagh.

He enjoyed one piece of luck when bowled off a no-ball, but was left high and dry when Tony Palladino polished off the innings with three wickets in five balls. Chasing 299, Essex began well before Alastair Cook fell lbw to Vernon Philander and from 70 for no loss they lost four wickets for 14, including two wickets in an over by Shaun Udal, who then added a third as the pitch began to break up. Essex closed on 123 for 5. It has been a bad match for the two captains, Mark Pettini and Ed Smith, who have both bagged pairs.

Derbyshire enjoyed a good day with the bat against Warwickshire at Derby, reaching 323 for 5 by the close, a lead of 283. It did not start well for the home side who slipped to 61 for 3 with Chris Rogers retired hurt after being struck by a bouncer. Rikki Clarke and former Warwickshire wicketkeeper Freddie Klokker (76 not out) put on 134 for the fourth wicket in 41 overs, and then Rogers returned to flay a tiring attack for 64. Warwickshire's day went from bad to worse when Klokker was dropped in the slips before Monde Zondeki was warned for running on the pitch.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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