County Championship round-up June 8, 2008

Thomas gives Somerset hope of victory

Cricinfo staff

First Division

Alfonso Thomas took a timely five-wicket haul to give the Championship pacemakers, Somerset, an outside chance of victory against Yorkshire at Taunton. Having been up against it since the first innings of the match, in which Yorkshire racked up 372, Somerset took complete control of the third day, first by extending their overnight 220 for 9 to a competitive 258, thanks largely to Craig Kieswetter's unbeaten 67, then by dismissing Yorkshire for 208 in their second innings. Charl Willoughby and Andrew Caddick gave Somerset a dream start by claiming both openers for ducks, then Thomas got stuck into the middle order. Andrew Gale was the lone survivor in the top-order with 58, while Rich Pyrah made 51 from No. 8 to rescue Yorkshire from 104 for 6, but Somerset's eventual target of 323 is by no means unobtainable - with ten wickets in hand and with Marcus Trescothick at the crease, unbeaten on 11 at the close.

Dimitri Mascarenhas produced a captain's innings of 74 to lift Hampshire into the ascendancy against Durham at Chester-le-Street. The game had been finely balanced on the third morning, not least when Sean Ervine fell for the addition of only three runs to his overnight 46, to leave Hampshire leading by 226 with three wickets standing. But then Mascarenhas got into his stride, striking 13 fours and a six in a 110-ball innings, to add 67 priceless runs. Durham, in reply, stuttered just as they had done in their first innings. Chasing a sizeable 294, they lost wickets at regular intervals, with Shane Bond and Chris Tremlett among the wickets, to close on 186 for 6. Neil McKenzie made 48 and Dale Benkenstein was still there on 46 not out, but with only the tail for company, defeat is looming on Monday.

Justin Kemp put to one side the frustrations of two rain-affected days at Canterbury, and struck his first first-class century of the season to boost Kent's morale against the champions, Sussex. Kemp made 102, having had to strap his pads on in a hurry following three wickets in seven balls for Ragheb Aga. Robert Key fell for 30, then Martin van Jaarsveld and Darren Stevens followed for ducks to reduce Kent to 76 for 4, but James Tredwell continued his allround form with 68, as the pair added 167 for the fifth wicket. They were eventually all out for a healthy 350, with Aga finishing with 4 for 63, and by the close Sussex were well placed for the draw on 57 for 1.

Click here to read John Ward's report on the third day between Lancashire and Nottinghamshire at Old Trafford.

Second Division

Derbyshire stormed to an innings-and-95-run victory against a feeble Worcestershire at Chesterfield as Graham Wagg and Rikki Clarke shared seven wickets. The match was over before lunch, with the visitors dispatched for 110 in less than 36 overs. Already one down overnight, it was a procession by Worcestershire from the moment Graham Wagg trapped Steven Moore - who is being chased by Derbyshire - lbw for 9. Wagg continued an outstanding match when he had Graeme Hick caught behind off a flat-footed push, soon followed by Steven Davies. Meanwhile, Clarke, back to bowling action in this match after recovering from a broken thumb, snapped up three cheap wickets, including Vikram Solanki bowled by one that nipped back. The final dismissal of Steve Magoffin, heaving across the line, summed up Worcestershire's capitulation.

Glamorgan were made to follow on at Cardiff after being bowled out for 248 in reply to Warwickshire's 421, but by the close of the third day they were battling hard for survival on 228 for 4. Their lead was a slender 48, and they might have been better placed had they not lost three wickets for 28 runs after a healthy opening partnership of 71 between Gareth Rees and Matthew Wood. Instead it was left to the captain, David Hemp, and Jamie Dalrymple to rally the rearguard with a fourth-wicket stand of 107. Hemp fell before the close for 56, but Dalrymple remained, unbeaten on 52, to carry the fight into the final day.

Stephen Peters guided Northamptonshire past the follow-on at Wantage Road with his first first-class century of the season. He batted for five-and-a-half hours and struck 16 fours in his 122, and without him his team would have been in dire straits. As it is they conceded a sizeable enough first-innings lead of 146, although by the close they had struck back with determination, reducing Gloucestershire to 115 for 4 in their second innings. David Lucas claimed both openers and Johann Louw added Marcus North for a duck, as Gloucs slumped to 58 for 4. But they were bailed out by Hamish Marshall and Chris Taylor, who were unbeaten at stumps in a 57-run stand.

Click here for Jamie Alter's take on the third day at Lord's between Middlesex and Essex.