Somerset keep title hopes alive
Somerset kept alive their challenge with an impressive six-wicket victory against Hampshire at The Rose Bowl to set up a title eliminator against Worcestershire on Monday. Craig Kieswetter was the star of the chase with 81 off 87 balls, adding 78 for the first wicket with Marcus Trescothick who struck 44 from 31 deliveries. Hampshire had earlier slipped to 61 for 4 with Charl Willoughby taking three top-order wickets. It needed Dimitri Mascarenhas' 29-ball 43 to lift them over 200 although it was nowhere near enough.
Durham celebrated their Championship title by securing a four-run victory against Nottinghamshire at Chester-le-Street after surviving a late assault from Luke Fletcher who hit 40 off 25 balls. The visitors looked well short when they needed 31 off the last two overs, but Fletcher cleared the ropes three times leaving six needed off the final ball and could only club a single. Ben Harmison was Durham's main man as he hit 67 off 64 balls and claimed two wickets. Phil Mustard launched the innings with a thumping 48-ball 61, a notable effort considering the celebrations that went on yesterday evening.
Middlesex went top of the division after Nick Compton's 107 set them up for 50-run victory against Derbyshire at Uxbridge. Compton led the home side to a healthy 242 after sharing an opening stand of 83 with Dawid Malan, 65 with Neil Dexter for the second wicket and 64 with John Simpson. Early scalps for Tim Murtagh and Steven Finn, who removed the dangerous Chris Rogers, cemented Middlesex's position and the rest of the attack shared the wickets.
Neil Carter hit a violent 64-ball century as Warwickshire dented Kent's hopes of claiming the Division Two title with a 59-run victory at Canterbury. Carter launched a blitz on the Kent attack as he cracked 13 fours and six sixes before having to retire hurt with a slipped disc that will keep him out for the rest of the season, but Jim Troughton contributed 53 to keep the innings on track. After ten overs Kent were 38 for 3 and virtually out of the chase although Geraint Jones and Darren Stevens added 90 to revive hope before both fell to Jonathan Trott's medium pace.
Niall O'Brien made mincemeat of the Surrey attack as Northamptonshire raced to an eight-wicket victory at Wantage Road. O'Brien hammered 81 off 46 balls as the home side knocked off 135 in 15.3 overs. The Surrey top-order had earlier been dismantled by Johan van der Wath and David Lucas as they fell to 49 for 5 and only Rangana Herath, with 39, made an impression.