Thorp bowls Durham towards victory
Callum Thorp took five wickets to trigger a first-innings collapse from Sussex which allowed Durham to enforce the follow-on at Chester-le-Street. The hosts took five second-innings wickets as well, with Sussex still trailing by 20, to give themselves a strong chance of extending their lead over the other teams in Division One. Sussex began the day on 119 for 1 but Durham didn't have to wait long for their wickets. Thorp broke through the defences of Murray Goodwin and Carl Hopkinson and had Luke Wright caught by Marcus Stoneman. Michael Yardy battled hard for 97 before being run out in a mix-up with Ollie Rayner and Sussex were eventually dismissed for 245, conceding a first-innings lead of 228. Durham coped well without Steve Harmison who spent time nursing a blistered toe. Thorp inflicted damage on Sussex during the follow-on as well, inducing edges from Chris Nash, who scored 55, and Goodwin. Ian Blackwell bowled Ed Joyce and Davis also struck twice and Sussex were reeling at 115 for 5. Wright, however, made a steady 64 and, with Andy Hodd, prevented any further losses. Sussex, however, will have to bat exceedingly well to avoid defeat on the final day.
Chris Read and Mark Ealham rescued Nottinghamshire after a first-innings collapse, reducing the deficit to only 45 against Somerset at Taunton. Nottinghamshire began the third day on 77 for 3 and slipped further to 147 for 6 with Andy Caddick, who announced that he would retire at the end of the season, and Charl Willoughby taking seven wickets between them. Read, however, rallied with an innings of 98, after crucially being dropped at slip by Marcus Trescothick on 41, and Ealham scored an unbeaten 64 off only 71 balls. When Trescothick spilled the chance, the visitors were still 179 behind and in real danger. However, a partnership of 116 for the eighth wicket helped lift the total to 356. Somerset's openers, Trescothick and Arul Suppiah, had extended the advantage to 74 at stumps.
Warwickshire's bowlers made up for lost time - the second day was washed out - by taking 16 Worcestershire wickets on the third day at New Road by making the most of favourable conditions. Worcestershire had resumed their first innings on 2 for 0 then Neil Carter and Chris Woakes took 5 for 37 and 4 for 30 respectively to send them crashing to 111 as the pair shared seven wickets in 11 overs after lunch. Having secured a lead of 198, Warwickshire captain Ian Westwood enforced the follow-on and his decision was backed up by his bowlers who once again cut through the Worcestershire batting order. Naqaash Tahir struck twice - his second wicket was Stephen Moore for 88 in the midst of a collapse very similar to the first innings - and Boyd Rankin got rid of three batsmen as Worcestershire slipped to 206 for 6, leading by eight runs with only four wickets in hand.
Chris Rogers hit his second century of the season as Derbyshire set up the chance of a final day victory-push against Kent Canterbury. His 107 anchored the second innings as Derbyshire build a lead of 250. Rogers added 119 for the second wicket with Garry Park (53) and Rogers hit 14 boundaries in his 191-ball innings before being stumped off James Tredwell. Earlier, Tredwell and Simon Cook took their ninth-wicket stand to 86 as Kent moved to with 14 of Derbyshire's first innings total.
Middlesex will be confident of registering their first Championship victory on the final day Lord's although some stubborn resistance has given Northamptonshire hope after a top-order collapse. Middlesex extended their lead to 72 before ripping through the visitors to leave them 79 for 5, but Riki Wessels (57) led a fightback alongside Andrew Hall and Johan van der Wath as the lead grew to 153. Tim Murtagh produced an impressive new-ball display and then Shaun Udal took out two more. Wessels, who was dropped on 17 by Owais Shah, and Hall added 82 for the sixth wicket before Wessels became Murtagh's third when he found deep square-leg. Another fifty run stand between Hall and van der Wath frustrated Middlesex further, but Alan Richardson struck before the close to have Hall caught behind.
The run-fest continued at The Oval where Surrey responded to Leicestershire's first-innings total of 593 for 5 by reaching 311 for 2 at the end of the third day. Under pressure after conceding a mountain of runs, Surrey started poorly when Jonathan Batty was bowled by Andrew Harris for a duck with no runs on the board. Mark Ramprakash came in and reeled off another century, virtually ensuring that this match was headed towards a draw. Ramprakash added 75 for the second wicket with Michael Brown and an unbeaten 236 with Stewart Walters. Ramprakash ended on 174 not out while Walters was on 84.
A strong performance from Glamorgan's batsmen all but ended chances of a result in their match against Gloucestershire in Bristol. Glamorgan began the day on 35 for 0 and did not lose their first wicket until they had reached 218. Gareth Rees added 181 off those with William Bragg before Bragg was struck on the hand by James Franklin and went off for an X-ray, which revealed a chipped bone in his left hand. Rees added another 37 with Herschelle Gibbs before edging to second slip on 82. Thereafter Steve Kirby and Jon Lewis chipped away at the one end while Gibbs stayed firm at the other, scoring 96 off 120 balls. Kirby picked up 3 for 58, including the wicket of Gibbs, while Lewis took 5 for 73, dismissing Bragg for 92 two balls after he resumed his innings. Glamorgan eventually declared on 350 for 8, 50 behind Gloucestershire's first-innings total. Gloucestershire ended the third day on 19 for 0, with an overall lead of 69.