Middlesex wrap up eight-wicket win
Middlesex needed less than an hour on the third morning at Kidderminster to wrap up a comprehensive eight-wicket victory against Worcestershire. Set 67 for victory after Dirk Nannes had ripped through Worcestershire's batting on the second afternoon, they raced to their target in 12.1 overs, with their first-innings centurion, Andrew Strauss, finishing unbeaten on 28. Billy Godleman made 4 before falling lbw to Dilhara Fernando, but Owais Shah ushered them to the brink of their target with 22 from 15 balls, including five fours. The result won't prevent Worcestershire from returning to the First Division, although they could yet be deprived of the Second Division title if Warwickshire can finish the season with back-to-back victories.
Derbyshire will be looking to pin Gloucestershire to the foot of the County Championship after enjoying a dominant third day at Derby. They had resumed on a healthy 193 for 4, but converted that into an imposing 431, thanks to 92 from Greg Smith, and a violent 72 from Graeme Wagg, who clobbered seven fours and four sixes in the course of his 47-ball innings. Tom New, who had been 24 not out overnight, made a useful 58, as Steve Kirby, David Brown and Jon Lewis all claimed three wickets. In reply, chasing an unlikely 398 for victory, Kadeer Ali and Will Porterfield added 81 for the first wicket, but Wagg, with his confidence flowing, claimed both men before the close to boost Derbyshire's hopes of their fourth win of the season.
Tony Frost would not have been playing county cricket this season had it not been for Tim Ambrose's England call-up that left Warwickshire without a keeper. Tonight he'll be delighted he decided to come out of retirement, after racking up a massive unbeaten 242 against Essex at Chelmsford. It was the fifth and largest first-class century of Frost's 104-match career, surpassing his previous best of 144 not out, and it was his second of a golden season in which he has left the gloves behind and is currently averaging 88.00. His performance was the bedrock of Warwickshire's 514 for 9 declared, as he exactly doubled his overnight total of 121. No-one else exceeded Jonathan Trott's second-day score of 81, although Rikki Clarke, at No. 8, kept him company with a solid 41. Ambrose, ironically, made a first-ball duck. In reply, Essex set themselves to bat out for the draw, reaching a comfortable 125 for 1 at the close, with Ravi Bopara dominating the bowling for 81 not from 95 balls.
Glamorgan are close to wrapping up a comprehensive victory after forcing Leicestershire to follow on at Sophia Gardens. After resuming on 117 for 4, Leicestershire capitulated in their first innings, slumping to 201 all out as the spinners Dean Cosker and Robert Croft built on David Harrison's early-innings breakthroughs. Only the 18-year-old Joshua Cobb showed any fight with 62 from 150 balls, but when he was the eighth wicket to fall, Cosker quickly rounded up the tail. Following on 249 runs adrift, Harrison trapped Matthew Boyce lbw for 7, and wickets fell steadily thereafter, including that of HD Ackerman for 56. By the close, Cobb was back at the crease, facing a tough challenge even to make Glamorgan bat again.
Durham will probably have to settle for a draw against Sussex at Chester-le-Street and hope for better fortunes in their final-round fixture against Kent at Canterbury next week, after a day in which they failed to forge the sort of first-innings total that might have allowed them to make up for their first-day wash-out and challenge for the top of the table. Their hopes were high overnight, at 325 for 4 with Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Gareth Breese well set in a 182-run stand for the fifth wicket. But both men fell in the opening overs of the day, as Mohammad Sami and Jason Lewry shared nine wickets between them, and Durham's eventual total of 380 was a disappointment. Chris Nash cemented Sussex's fightback with a fine 96 but Durham didn't stop battling. Steve Harmison claimed two wickets, including Luke Wright for a duck, as did Paul Wiseman, as Sussex reached the close on 267 for 6.
Lancashire launched themselves out of the relegation zone as they turned the tables on Kent in spectacular fashion at Liverpool. Read Andrew McGlashan's bulletin for more.
Somerset haven't given up on the title but are likely to have to settle for a draw against Yorkshire at Scarborough. John Ward watched the action.