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August 7, 2008
An extraordinary match took shape at Chester-le-Street as 23 wickets crashed on the second day - after 15 yesterday - with Kent facing defeat on 116 for 8 chasing 177 against Durham. Only bad light prevented a two-day finish and it had already been decided to convene an ECB pitch panel after the first-day tumble of wickets. They soon announced no action, but there has been torrential rain in recent days and the surface provided plenty of assistance throughout. Kent were humbled for 78 in their first innings before fighting back to remove Durham for 108 second time around. However, after adjusting their batting order and reaching 96 for 3 Kent lost five for 20 and it will be down to Martin van Jaarsveld to try and rescue the run chase. He is one of only two batsmen to pass 28 in the match following Ryan McLaren's 44 off 61 balls after Kent's second innings fell to 36 for 3. But Mark Davies continued a remarkable match, backing up his 5 for 21 in the first innings with four more wickets to leave Durham sensing victory. His haul had given Durham a crucial lead of 68, however the home side's batting crumbled again against Robbie Joesph, who took a career-best 6 for 32. Geraint Jones took six catches, but Kent's target of 177 would be the biggest total of the match. It looks a long way off.
Adil Rashid took a career-best 7 for 107 as Hampshire and Yorkshire ended all-square on first innings at The Rose Bowl. There has been talk that Rashid has regressed as a bowler since he burst on the scene a couple of seasons ago, so this was a timely haul. Hampshire's top four all made starts but failed to convert into something more substantial as Rashid began chipping away. On a slow pitch Rashid found big turn and at one stage was on a hat-trick after having Michael Lumb caught at silly point, then trapping Chris Benham by one which stayed low. Nic Pothas kept out the hat-trick ball but, he too, soon fell to Rashid. Only a last-wicket stand of 38 between David Balcombe and James Tomlinson allowed the home side to draw level. Tomlinson earlier played his part in wrapping up Yorkshire's innings to end with 5 for 53. Jacques Rudolph was caught behind off Chris Tremlett for 89.
Justin Langer and Marcus Trescothick brought Somerset right back into their match against Nottinghamshire at Taunton with an unbeaten opening stand of 114, more than the whole Somerset first innings. The second day was restricted to 45 overs by rain, but the game continued to progress as the visitors managed a lead of 124 with Chris Read hitting 74. Read put on 37 for the last wicket with Charlie Shreck, who contributed just 2 during a 53-minute stay. Langer and Trescothick played positively as they aimed to wipe off the deficit and Nottinghamshire's bowlers found life much tougher.
Derbyshire fought hard to stay in contention against Worcestershire after Graeme Hick's first-day onslaught at New Road, and are just 23 runs away from saving the follow-on, but Simon Jones kept the home side in control. Paul Borrington's Championship best of 85 off 249 balls set a defiant tone, although he was dropped on 40 at slip shortly after a painful blow on the elbow. Greg Smith provided the other major contribution with a more aggressive 88. However, an incisive spell from Jones made crucial inroads as he removed both leading scorers, and Rikki Clarke for a second-ball duck, in the space of 10 balls. All three were caught behind by Steven Davies and even if Worcestershire can't enforce the follow-on they are well-placed for a handsome lead.
Steve Kirby's four wickets have put Gloucestershire in control against Leicestershire at Cheltenham and given them hope of registering their first Championship win since beating the same opponents nearly a year ago. Leicestershire were in real trouble at 95 for 5 after HD Ackerman drove loosely at David Brown to give Steven Snell one of his five catches. The follow-on was looming, but a stand of 63 between the on-loan Tom Smith and Josh Cobb at least erased that problem. Gloucestershire suffered their own batting problems during the first session, falling from 271 for 5 to 315 all out. It meant eight wickets had gone for 87 after they'd been 228 for 2 on the first day. Jim Allenby and Dillon du Preez both ended with four wickets.
Poor weather meant just 26.4 overs were possible at Colwyn Bay as Middlesex reached 58 for 2 in reply to Glamorgan's 262. Jamie Dalrymple added three runs to finish on 106 as Alan Richardson ended with three wickets. The home side's bowlers made early inroads with a wicket apiece for Adam Shantry and Richard Grant, who claimed the key scalp of Owais Shah, before the weather closed in.
Consistent contributions from the Northamptonshire top order lifted them to a promising 292 for 5 against Warwickshire at Edgbaston. David Sales was the only one of the top five not to get a foothold on an innings, but the disappointment will be that no one went beyond Rob White's 73. That was mainly due to the efforts of Ian Salisbury, who claimed four wickets to prevent Northamptonshire running away. Introduced as the sixth bowler, Salisbury broke through the opening stand of 96 when Niall O'Brien picked out deep midwicket shortly before lunch and he was soon followed by Stephen Peters, beaten by the turn as he came down the pitch. White, though, played positively and hit nine fours and three sixes until he top-edged a sweep. Rikki Wessels, who cracked a rapid half-century in the previous day's Pro40, also chipped along at a fair rate but he was caught off top-edged pull for 61.
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