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September 12, 2008
Essex were in trouble at 60 for 3 when rain ended the final day against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road. The draw served neither side very well, although Essex have a better chance of forcing themselves into a promotion place. James Foster and Mark Pettini served up 24 overs of lobs for 80 minutes and Essex were left the reasonable target of 300 in 70 overs. It was more generous then it sounded with Northamptonshire without the injured Johan van der Wath and Andrew Hall. But they made early inroads as David Lucas trapped Jason Gallian lbw. Ravi Bopara lived a charmed life; he could have been run out and caught off bat and pad before he was eventually lbw to Nicky Boje. However, shortly after John Maunders edged Lance Klusener to slip the rain came down and they players didn't get back on.
Rain also swept in after tea to deny Gloucestershire the chance to push for victory against Leicestershire at Grace Road. After some declaration bowling during the morning session Leicestershire were left 311 in 80 overs. As in the first innings the top order subsided quickly with Jon Lewis and Steve Kirby reducing them to 2 for 2. Lewis had Matthew Boyce caught low at first slip and Kirby trapped HD Ackerman lbw with one that kept low. When Lewis struck for a second time to remove Jacques du Toit, Leicestershire were 36 for 4 and facing defeat. However, for the second time in two days Josh Cobb and Paul Nixon steadied the innings until the tea interval then the great British summer did the rest.
Once again there was no play in Cardiff, between Glamorgan and Worcestershire although the action was about to start at 4.30pm before another heavy shower ended those hopes.
Click here for Andrew McGlashan's report from The Oval as Hampshire go top of the table with a huge victory against relegation-loomed Surrey.
Click here for John Ward's report of Somerset against Durham at Taunton
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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