Trescothick and Langer lift Somerset to the top
Somerset romped to an emphatic eight-wicket win over Surrey at Whitgift School, completing the victory just after lunch and thereby lifting them to the top of Division One. Surrey's tail didn't last long: Saqlain Mushtaq top-edged an attempted sweep, before Charl Willoughby bowled Jade Dernbach and removed Pedro Collins for 5. Somerset were set an easy 108 to win and, though they lost Neil Edwards for 5, leg before offering no stroke, Marcus Trescothick and Justin Langer set off in exhilarating style. Langer carved a huge six out of the ground as the left-handers took a particular fancy to Usman Afzaal, who conceded 12 in one over. Afzaal removed Langer for a 30-ball 46, but Trescothick's 42 saw Somerset home with ease.
Kent's match against Hampshire at The Rose Bowl dribbled to a draw, as rain once again played a major part with the day's play abandoned shortly after Hampshire were made to follow-on. With 185 lost to the weather, a result was never likely. Hampshire started the day on a precarious 130 for 5, but were given hope of surviving with Dimitri Mascarenhas, in typically bullish mood, making 45. Once he fell to Azhar Mahmood, however, the rest folded quickly and Hampshire were bowled out for 215. Mahmood finished with 3 for 21 while Amjad Khan, playing in his first Championship match for nearly two years, picked up 2 for 28. Michael Carberry and Michael Brown endured some tricky moments when they batted again before the rain returned midway through the afternoon.
The rate of scoring remained numbingly slow at Gloucester as Gloucestershire and second-placed Warwickshire completed a tame draw. Gloucestershire wrapped up the visitors' innings at 410, leaving Tony Frost unbeaten on 144 but stumbled in their second innings as Naqqash Tahir and Neil Carter combined to leave them at 53 for 4. Chris Taylor, fresh from his first-innings century, added 76 with Steve Snell (33) and Warwickshire lost two more wickets late in the day - Taylor was last out for a 103-ball 77 - before rounding off the match on 228 for 8 declared.
Middlesex were lifted off the bottom of Division Two with their first win of the season, beating Derbyshire by six wickets at an overcast Lord's. Jonathan Clare notched his fifty for the visitors but was last man out for 57 as Middlesex were set 256. Charl Langeveldt nipped out Billy Godleman for 8 to give the visitors hope of Middlesex's top-order failing, but Ed Smith (74) and Owais Shah (86) settled Middlesex's nerves with a second-wicket stand of 96. Smith was particularly aggressive, cracking ten fours in his 81-ball knock, but Jake Needham bowled him off an inside edge. Ed Joyce kept Middlesex in the hunt with a 33-ball 34, but at 166 for 2, London's miserable conditions interrupted play for the first time. It upset Joyce's concentration who, on 34, miscued Graham Wagg with Middlesex still needing a further 71, and Shah soon followed when he was yorked by Langeveldt. Eoin Morgan, though, kept his nerve and beat the dying light as Middlesex wrapped up their first win of the season.