Taylor double puts Leicestershire in control
Michael Di Venuto scored a career-best 254 not out to lead Durham to 473 for 4 before they declared against Sussex at Chester-le-Street. The hosts, who were on 264 for 2 overnight, lost Gordon Muchall soon after the start, which was delayed by rain to 12.20 pm, but Di Venuto and Dale Benkenstein added 173 for the fourth wicket to put Durham in command. Di Venuto scored Durham's second-best first-class score and the only chance he had during his innings was on 180 when Ollie Rayner dropped a tough catch at first slip .An interruption for bad light forced Durham to declare in order to have as much time as possible attacking the Sussex batsmen. Michael Yardy led Sussex's steady reply, remaining unbeaten on 54, but the visitors lost Chris Nash, lbw to Callum Thorp, for 19. Ed Joyce played fluently but had to retire hurt on 32 after getting hit on the elbow by Steve Harmison. Sussex ended the day on 119 for 1.
Somerset's bowlers struck timely blows on a rain-shortened day at Taunton to reduce Nottinghamshire to 77 for 3 at stumps. Andy Caddick had Matthew Wood caught by Arul Suppiah and had Paul Franks caught behind to reduce the visitors to 37 for 2. Suppiah took another catch off the bowling of Charl Willoughby to nip a budding partnership by dismissing Adam Voges for 10. Earlier in the day, Somerset had declared on 401 for 8 after resuming on the second morning at 316 for 5. Ryan Sidebottom competed his five-wicket haul while Peter Trego was unbeaten on 66.
There was no play on the second day between Worcestershire and Warwickshire at New Road because of rain.
Graham Wagg and Tim Groenewald took all seven Kent wickets to fall on the second day Canterbury, reducing them to 249 for 8, to give Derbyshire a chance of securing a first-innings lead. Wagg, who picked up 5 for 83, took his first three wickets with medium pace before turning to left-arm spin for his last two scalps. Groenewald took the other two, finishing with 3 for 67. Kent were struggling at 135 for 6, after Justin Kemp walked across his stumps and was bowled around his legs by Wagg, when James Tredwell and Ryan McLaren added 58 for the seventh wicket. It was then that Wagg decided to resort to spin and trapped McLaren leg before for 29. Wayne Parnell was caught at mid-off soon after but Tredwell dug in and remained unbeaten on 67, with Kent still trailing Derbyshire by 54.
A strong performance from the Middlesex top order has given their team the advantage against Northamptonshire at Lord's. After taking the final Northamptonshire wicket - David Lucas lbw to Tim Murtagh - for no addition to the overnight score of 288, Middlesex's openers, Sam Robson and Nick Compton, added 167 for the first wicket. It was Middlesex's highest opening partnership of the season. Robson made 75 and Compton a more aggressive 82 off 94 (he had reached his fifty off only 46) balls to put his team in control. However, their dismissals came in a short span of time and though Eoin Morgan held one end up with 71, the Northamptonshire bowlers chipped away at the other, reducing the hosts to 310 for 6 before rain stopped play. Middlesex will hope that their lower-batsmen stick around long enough to help build a sizeable lead.
James Taylor became the first teenager to score a double-century for Leicestershire and led his team into a commanding position against Surrey by the end of the second day at The Oval. Taylor, who resumed this morning on 52, scored an unbeaten 207 while Tom New made 53 and Jacques du Toit, who was playing his first Championship game of the season, cracked 100 off only 123 balls. Leicestershire added 303 runs for the loss of only one wicket, with Taylor and du Toit adding 230 in only 42 overs, before declaring on 593 for 5, giving their bowlers a little more than two days to dismiss Surrey twice. Rain , however, ensured that Surrey did not have to bat today.
The second day's play between Gloucestershire and Glamorgan in Bristol was severely truncated by rain. Gloucestershire were comfortably placed at 337 for 5 at the end of the first day but Glamorgan's bowlers fought back on the second, limiting the hosts to 400 for 9 before they declared. Glamorgan's openers, Gareth Rees and Warren Bragg, added 35 runs before play ended.