County Championship September 15, 2009

Promotion challengers frustrated

Cricinfo staff

Division Two

Derbyshire's promotion push was stalled by the weather at Uxbridge as rain allowed only 22.2 overs on the opening day against Middlesex. Chris Rogers and Wayne Madsen formed a solid opening stand before Rogers was caught behind off Tim Murtagh. Play was called off at 4pm with Madsen unbeaten on 26 and Garry Park on 9. Middlesex had been forced to make a change to their line-up after Steven Finn picked up a knee strain in the Pro40 on Sunday and was replaced by David Burton.

No play was possible in the crunch promotion clash between second-placed Northamptonshire and third-placed Essex at Chelmsford. Essex need a win to keep the pressure on their opponents going into the final round of matches, but the heavy rain that arrived across the South East meant a frustrating day.

Kent have already secured promotion but were unable to make further strides towards the Division Two title as rain washed out play against Leicestershire at Canterbury.

Division One

Michael Di Venuto continued his fine form as he reached 61 against Hampshire, but rain limited the action to 29 overs as Durham aim to continue their Championship-winning season in style at The Rose Bowl. In the previous match, where Durham wrapped up the title against Nottinghamshire, Di Venuto and Kyle Coetzer added a record 314 for the first wicket and started well again as they put on 73. Danny Briggs, the 18-year-old left-arm spinner, who has been named in the England Under-19 squad to tour Bangladesh, was introduced in the eighth over and later made the breakthrough when he bowled Coetzer.