Derbyshire keep up the promotion pressure
Wayne Madsen scored his third century of the season to lead Derbyshire, who are fighting for promotion, to 401 for 5 before they declared their first innings against Middlesex at Uxbridge. Madsen's 167, which came off 237 balls with 18 fours and two sixes, included two chances: on 56, he was caught at slip off a Murali Karthik no-ball and, on 87, David Burton dropped a chance at mid-on. Madsen and Greg Smith, who scored 62, accelerated after lunch and added 129 in 25 overs before Smith charged Kartik and was bowled. Burton then struck in successive overs, removing Madsen and Wavell Hinds, but Jamie Pipe smacked a 20-ball 38 and took Derbyshire past 400 before the captain Chris Rogers decided it was time to attack Middlesex's batsmen. There was a massive lbw appeal against Dan Housego in the first over of Middlesex's innings and umpire David Willey raised the finger but then changed his mind and asked the batsman to return. Housego, however, fell shortly after for 4. Middlesex had reached 75 for 1 before Dawid Malan was run out off the first ball of the day's last over. There was more bad news for the hosts: Adam London suffered a broken finger in the field and is unlikely to bat unless needed desperately.
A strong bowling and batting performance from Kent on the second day against Leicestershire has taken them closer to winning the Division Two title. Mark Pennell watched the action between Kent and Leicestershire at Canterbury.
Four batsmen scored half-centuries, with opener Gareth Rees' 88 being the top-score, as Glamorgan reached 380 for 7 on the first day of their important match against Gloucestershire in Cardiff. Mark Cosgrove scored 80, Mike Powell made 84, while Jim Allenby contributed 79 to Glamorgan's cause before he was dismissed in the penultimate over of the day. Gloucestershire are currently in fourth place in Division Two while Glamorgan, who will pursue a fifth batting point on the second day, are fifth in the battle for promotion. They got off to a sound start with openers Cosgrove and Rees adding 130 in the first session. Cosgrove got to his half-century off only 64 balls and Rees took Glamorgan past 100 in the 21st over. He reached his fifty after lunch but then the wickets started to fall: Cosgrove drove Jon Lewis to mid-on and Will Bragg was lbw to Richard Dawson to leave Glamorgan on 148 for 2. Powell lived through an lbw appeal and a close run-out chance and added 68 with Rees for the third wicket. Rees was then dismissed for 88 and Jamie Dalrymple followed soon after for a duck, when he needed only a run to reach 1000 runs for the season. Powell and Allenby, however, had another century stand for the fifth wicket to lead Glamorgan to a healthy total.
Piyush Chawla's legspin kept Sussex in the hunt for wickets throughout a tense first day at Hove. He finished the day with 4 for 82 as Yorkshire reached the close on 274 for 7, a situation vastly improved by an unbeaten eighth-wicket stand between Ajmal Shahzad and David Wainwright. With the two sides effectively battling to push the other into the second division, Sussex struck a telling early blow when Jason Lewry nailed Jacques Rudolph for a third-ball duck in the first over of the match. Adam Lyth and Andrew Gale battled back with a pair of half-centuries, but with Chawla menacing throughout his 37 overs, Yorkshire's four-point advantage at the start of the round was starting to look flimsy.
With the stress of securing the Championship lifted from his shoulders, Durham's captain, Will Smith, celebrated the title with a cathartic 150, his second and highest century of an arduous season at the helm, as Hampshire were condemned to a long day in the field at the Rose Bowl. After a rain-affected first day, Durham resumed on 95 for 1, and though Michael di Venuto added just one to his overnight 61 before Dominic Cork pinned him lbw, Smith (11 not out) cracked on with intent. He struck 16 fours and a six, and was the dominant figure of the innings, with only Ian Blackwell (52) joining him in passing fifty. He was eventually the eighth man out, only three balls before play came to an end with the subsequent dismissal of Mark Davies for a first-ball duck, as Durham closed on a healthy 435 for 9.