Worcestershire go top in thumping win
In a round affected by the weather, Worcestershire were the only team on the final day to produce a result (Glamorgan having taken three days to beat Essex) when they defeated Gloucestershire by an innings and 142 runs at Cheltenham. Gloucestershire lost their final six wickets for 119, Simon Jones picking up four wickets which will encourage the England selectors. He and Imran Aarif managed to clean up the final four wickets between them in 18 deliveries. Vikram Solanki had played a large part of their thumping success following his 270. Worcestershire top the table, then, with a 15-point margin over second-placed Warwickshire who have played one game fewer.
Michael Powell remained defiant as Warwickshire held off Leicestershire's attack despite following on at Grace Road the day before. Though Powell had undergone a poor run, he showed no signs of it as he topscored with an unbeaten 68 from 213 balls in what was only his second Championship fifty of the season. A slow and low pitch made it hard for both sides to make anything out of the game which inevitably ended in a draw.
An unbeaten century for Stephen Peters and a fifty for Riki Wessels confirmed the stalemate for Northamptonshire against Derbyshire at Chesterfield. They managed to push their side's lead to 275 but the teams simply ran out of time for a conclusive contest. Andrew Hall, meanwhile, registered his first five-wicket haul of the season, taking 5 for 81 to help dismiss Derbyshire for 342. Jonathan Clare was out for 88, just missing out on his second first-class hundred.
It was much the same story for Hampshire and Kent at Canterbury as the visitors lost just the one wicket all day. Nic Pothas played a defiant century which put the result beyond doubt, and he was helped in his efforts by Chris Tremlett, who made his second half-century in recent weeks as Hampshire played themselves well out of danger, eventually declaring on 311 having been 143 for 6 heading into the final day.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Michael Di Venuto both made fifties for Durham whose match with Nottinghamshire had been blighted by rain earlier in the game at Trent Bridge. Stuart Broad produced an impressive burst to boost his chances of an England recall, but the game ended with the rarely-seen bowling of Chris Read. The result leaves Nottinghamshire still top, although Durham, in second, have a match in hand on them and they are only separated by ten points.
Rain frustrated Sussex and Somerset on the final day at Horsham. Though Chris Adams had declared once the rain cleared, to leave a target of 336, Somerset were able to bat only 38 overs, reaching 128 for 2.