Flintoff fails as Lancashire struggle
Chris Tremlett and James Tomlinson's brave last-wicket stand of 84 lifted Hampshire to a healthier total of 327 against Lancashire at The Rose Bowl. Andrew Flintoff made just 2, one of four edges snapped up by Nic Pothas, as Tomlinson and Dimitri Mascarenhas made inroads into Lancashire's reply. Lou Vincent should have been held by Rory Kleinveldt at slip early in his innings, and he made Hampshire pay with 83 from 168 balls. After putting on 96 in 31 overs with Stuart Law (43), Vincent played a rare rash shot against Tomlinson, and Mascarenhas removed Law in the next over. At the close Lancashire were 229 for 5, trailing by 98.
After Yorkshire had much the better of the first day, Azhar Mahmood's persistence brought him six wickets to finally dismiss them for 410 at Canterbury. Mahmood ended with 6 for 55, leaving Yorkshire to perhaps rue not having pressed home their advantage. There was more to come from Kent, too, with the bat. Robert Key showed his determination with an unbeaten hundred that pushed Kent to 298 for 6 by the close, Joe Denly and James Tredwell both having fallen for 48 but not before they had provided Key with some useful assistance. Tredwell's stand with Key amounted to 139 before he offered a simple bat-pad catch to short-leg on 48.
Zander de Bruyn's century led Somerset to 324 for 6 on the second day against Durham at Chester-le-Street after rain had washed out the opening day. James Hildreth and Peter Trego also chipped in fifties to lift the visitors who were at one stage 42 for 3 courtesy of Steve Harmison, who picked up Neil Edwards, Hildreth and Justin Langer for a duck in the space of six balls. Harmison was the only Durham bowler who troubled Somerset, with both Liam Plunkett and Graham Onions - returning from a heel injury - struggling on a placid pitch. Trego was unbeaten on 67 from 88 balls at the close going into the third day.
Thirteen wickets fell on the second day as Derbyshire lost 7 for 97 to tumble to 208 all out and then Leicestershire in turn collapsed to 109 for 6, still trailing by 99 at Derby. Wavell Hinds' run-out on 44 sparked the touchpaper for the blaze of Derbyshire wickets, Jim Allenby and Tom Smith picking off wickets at will to end with three each. Matthew Boyce mustered 38 in Leicestershire's reply, though three of their South Africans were out cheaply much like some of their international countrymen at Lord's. It was another South African, Charl Langeveldt, who did the damage with 3 for 24 as Leicestershire slipped to to 117 for 6.
It was a pair of South Africans who lent cheer to Northamptonshire, however; Lance Klusener and Johan van der Wath picking up their side from 153 for 7 with an unbroken stand so far worth 87. Both reached their fifties by the close, pushing their team's lead to 118 against Worcestershire at New Road. For the first time this summer Simon Jones went wicketless, bowling 16 fruitless overs as Klusener and van der Wath took the attack to Worcestershire. Klusener's innings was not without alarm - a fortunate edge over the slips off Matt Mason - and it was his partner who showed the greater fluency, smashing three fours in one particularly damaging over. van der Wath was not-out on 69 from 86 balls at stumps going into the final day of this rain-curtailed match.
Danish Kaneria wasted no time making up for a lost opening day, his five wickets removing Glamorgan for a sorry 132 at Cardiff. Essex made strides into the total, with Varun Chopra and Jason Gallian moving them on to an unbeaten 54-run opening stand by stumps. The other wickets were shared around for the visitors, with their current golden boy Graham Napier making the first breakthrough, removing Richard Grant for 10. Michael Powell and Gareth Rees reached their thirties but they could do little to stop their side losing the last eight wickets for 31. Essex showed Glamorgan how to do it, Chopra and Gallian smacking 54 before play was abandoned in the afternoon due to rain.
Eoin Morgan's unbeaten hundred lifted Middlesex from a wobble at 64 to 4 to a commanding 282 for 6, and he was joined in his efforts by the impressive Ben Scott, the pair adding a confidence-restoring 172 for the fifth wicket. Scott finally fell on 83, one of three catches behind for a toiling Gloucestershire at Bristol. It was Morgan's maiden Championship hundred and, though his and Middlesex's innings rarely flowed freely, matters weren't helped by several frustrating breaks for showers. Ian Saxelby, Gloucestershire's young trialist bowler, picked up his maiden wicket when Tim Murtagh feathered a short delivery outside his off stump, and Scott fell to Chris Taylor for 83.