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July 17, 2008
An unbeaten 126 from Will Smith put Durham in control at Guildford where they closed on 259 for 5, a lead of 39 over Surrey. On a gloomy day where play was interupted and finished early, Durham, three down overnight, looked in trouble on 128 for 4, but Smith and Phil Mustard (62*) put on 131 for the fifth wicket. Smith completed his hundred on the stroke of tea and even the new ball failed to make any inroads.
Somerset did not enforce the follow-on against Kent at Taunton despite taking a first-innings lead of 219, and struggled to 129 for 5 at the close, still a lead of 348 which could already be enough even though Taunton is usually notoriously hard to bowl sides out on. Kent, resuming on 13 for 3, slid to 90 for 6 and only had a last-wicket stand of 50 between Ryan McLaren (34) and Robbie Joseph (23*) to thank for helping them avoid a more substantial deficit. Somerset lost Marcus Trescothick when he was left stranded responding to a call from Justin Langer for sharp single into the covers, but Langer made amends by finishing the day unbeaten on 65.
Hampshire were left facing the follow-on at Arundel on a day where low cloud and rain made batting hard. Murray Goodwin, 116 overnight, was the anchor as Sussex extended their first innings to 426 in the morning, making 184 before being caught behind to give Liam Dawson his maiden first-class scalp. James Tomlinson, who had been savaged yesterday, recovered to finish with 5 for 108. Hampshire lost both openers in reaching 14 and the skids were really put under the inninsg when Ollie Rayner removed Sean Ervine and Paul Crawley (70) in quick succession, both to slip catches from Chris Adams. Ervine looked unhappy with being given out caught off his boot and Hampshire, who closed on 131 for 5, still 146 shy of avoiding the follow-on, face an uphill battle.
Leaders Warwickshire took pole position in the top-of-the-table match with Middlesex at Uxbridge, making 393 and then reducing the home side to 70 for 3. Jim Troughton missed out on a hundred when he fell leg before to Tim Murtagh in the fifth over, and when Ian Salibury dragged a wide ball from Steve Finn into his stumps, Warwickshire were wobbling on 284 for 7. But Neil Carter (67) and Ant Botha (54) added 90 in 114 balls for the eighth wicket to thwart Middlesex's fightback. Middlesex lost Nick Compton, who missed a straight one, and Dawid Malan, bowled off his pads, early on, and Ed Joyce should have followed by Botha spilt a slip catch. He failed to capitalise, caught behind soon after, to leave Middlesex 45 for 3.
Hundreds from Jonathan Clare (129) and Graham Wagg - his 108 being his maiden century - put Derbyshire in charge against Northamptonshire at the County Ground. After a delayed start, the pair thrashed the bowling to all parts, extending their seventh-wicket partnership to 203 before Wagg was stumped off Nicky Boje, eventually declaring on 485 for 7. Rain and bad light delayed Northamptonshire's response, and when play finally resumed Stephen Peters and Niall O'Brien steered their side to 48 for 0 before bad light intervened again, this time for good, soon after tea.
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