Ealham sends Nottinghamshire top
There was a tight finish at Old Trafford as Hampshire ended 10 runs short of victory and Lancashire three wickets away from the win points. Hampshire entered the final over needing 15, but that proved too many, even for Dimitri Mascarenhas, against Glen Chapple who wasn't constrained by any one-day rules on wides or where he could have his fielders. It was a tense day throughout after Lancashire had eked their lead to 224, Imran Tahir taking seven wickets to end with 12 in the match. Hampshire's top order fell to 26 for 3 against Chapple - who had John Crawley well caught down the leg side for a duck - and Dominic Cork, before Chris Benham brought the visitors back into the chase with his second half century of the match. Nic Pothas was caught behind cutting and Benham drove to backward point as both sides traded blows. Mascarenhas held the key, but was caught between attacking for the win and saving the draw. In the end the asking rate proved too much, but this had been another fine advert for tough Championship cricket.
A maiden first-class century from Adam Lyth wasn't enough for Yorkshire as Mark Ealham's 7 for 59, his best figures for 12 years, bowled Nottinghamshire to a 112-run victory at Trent Bridge . But the home side were made to work for their success, which lifts them back to the top of the Championship table. Gerard Brophy went early, bowled by a ball that nipped back, but Lyth and Adil Rashid battled hard. Rashid took half-an-hour to open his account and fell lbw to Graeme Swann shortly before lunch. However, Lyth found another strong ally in Tim Bresnan as the pair added 93 for the seventh to open up the prospect of a memorable run chase. Lyth reached his first hundred from 218 balls, but when he was trapped lbw by Andre Adams - after batting through 95 overs - the end came swiftly. Ealham wrapped up the innings with three lbw decisions.
Essex eased to an eight-wicket win over struggling Gloucestershire at Chelmsford, aided by some solid batting performances by Ravi Bopara, who reached an unbeaten 103 and Neil Dexter, who made 71 not out. It took the pair just 15 minutes to seal the victory this morning after Bopara took 11 off Vikram Banerjee, including a six, in the first over of the day to hasten his advancement to a century just before he hit the winning single in the fifth over of the morning. The move pushes Essex fourth, with a game in hand on the new leaders Worcestershire.