Ramprakash racks up another hundred
Marcus Trescothick missed out on his second Championship century of the season when he was stumped for 95 off Gary Keedy, but his efforts - combined with solid displays from Arul Suppiah, Craig Kieswetter and James Hildreth, allowed Somerset to neutralise Lancashire's first-innings total of 286, and push their contest at Old Trafford towards a draw. Having claimed Lancashire's final wicket in the second over of the day, Somerset responded with an opening stand of 131 between Trescothick and Suppiah to settle any early nerves. Oliver Newby claimed two quick scalps including Justin Langer for 2, but this match is unlikely to recover from the loss of the first day to rain.
Ed Joyce completed a fine day for the Irish with a gutsy century to drag Sussex to first-innings parity against Yorkshire at Headingley. Joyce resumed on 38 not out overnight, but was made to work for his runs as Yorkshire grabbed three early wickets to reduce Sussex to 94 for 6 in reply to 225. But he added 56 for the seventh wicket with Robin Martin-Jenkins to revive the innings, before bringing up his hundred with the final ball he faced in the innings, having added 25 anxious runs for the tenth wicket with Jason Lewry, who immediately fell to Naved-ul-Hasan. Yorkshire began their second innings with an irrelevant lead of 8, with the pigeon-slayer Jacques Rudolph finishing on 86 not out. There was more disappointment for Michael Vaughan, who looked good for 39, before falling to Dwayne Smith shortly before the close.
For a full report on Durham's thumping victory over Hampshire at Chester-le-Street, click here for John Ward's bulletin.
Another day, another hundred for the imperious Mark Ramprakash. His 138 for Surrey against Glamorgan on the third day at Cardiff was his second in three first-class innings this summer, and the 105th of his 22-year first-class career. It's unlikely to prove sufficient to force victory, after the loss of the first day to rain, but having posted a decent 368 in their innings, Surrey did claim four Glamorgan wickets before the close. The day, however, belonged to Ramprakash, who had resumed on 50 not out, and eased a total of 14 fours from 271 balls in nearly eight hours of inevitability.
Alastair Cook was unbeaten on 43 at the close of the third day at Chelmsford, as Essex were left needing a further 336 on the final day against Middlesex, with eight wickets remaining. Their overall target of 415 is a tall order, especially after their collapse to 157 in the first innings, but as Cook's fellow England opener, Andrew Strauss, proved earlier in the day, there are still good runs to be had in this track. He made 97 before being bowled by Maurice Chambers, as Middlesex declared their second innings on 297 for 7. Danish Kaneria was the pick of the bowlers with 4 for 85 in 28 overs.
Hamish Marshall and Alex Gidman each made centuries in a 233-run stand for Gloucestershire's third wicket at Chesterfield, as Derbyshire were made to toil on the penultimate day of a rain-wrecked contest. Only 16.3 overs had been possible on the first two days, so batting practice was the only realistic aim, and neither man missed out. Marshall made 158, Gidman 135, and Gloucestershire declared on 403 for 5 three overs before the close.
Boeta Dippenaar's 89 was the pick of the scores as Leicestershire's match against Kent finally got underway on the third day at Grace Road. By the close, they had reached 351 for 6, with Tom New unbeaten on 55.