Dimitri's day to remember, Nixon and DeFreitas shine for Leicestershire
Day 2 of 4
Kent v Leicestershire, Canterbury
Paul Nixon rescued Leicestershire from a first-innings collapse with a dogged 113 not out. With the help of Darren Maddy (63), he bumped up Leicestershire's total to 270 - 25 ahead of Kent's first-innings score. For Kent, Martin Saggers took 4 for 75, and Mark Ealham was his usual tidy self with 2 for 36 from 20 overs. Phil DeFreitas took centre stage when he struck three times in quick succession before the end of play. Rob Key, Ed Smith and Greg Blewett all fell to him in the space of 14 runs as Kent were left in a spot of bother on 147 for 4.
Lancashire v Nottinghamshire, Old Trafford
Heavy showers meant just 39 overs were played during the day at Old Trafford, in which Notts carefully steered their way to 113 for 3. Jimmy Anderson removed opener Jason Gallian for 0, and Uzman Afzaal soon followed when he was caught behind off Glenn Chapple for 6. That left Notts in trouble at 11 for 2 but Darren Bicknell (30 not out) and Chris Cairns (51 not out) made sure no further damage was done with an unbeaten partnership of 69.
Middlesex v Sussex, Lord's
In an exciting day's play at Lord's in which 15 wickets fell, Sussex took a strong grip on this low-scoring match. Middlesex never really recovered from their overnight score of 79 for 4 as they slumped to a below-par 116 all out, as James Kirtley and Mushtaq Ahmed took three wickets apiece. Middlesex fought back well, however, and Chad Keegan produced a fine spell of 4 for 27 to restrict Sussex to 194 for 9, a lead of 317 runs.
Warwickshire v Essex, Edgbaston
Just ten overs and one ball were bowled on a gloomy day at Edgbaston, in which rain and bad light stopped play before lunch. Dropped on 125 by John Dakin, yesterday's hero Jim Troughton moved on from 107 to 129 not out, and with the help of Mohamed Sheik, increased Warwickshire's first innings total to 446 for 7.
Hampshire v Glamorgan, Cardiff
Dimitri Mascarenhas smashed a stunning 100 not out off just 78 balls as Hampshire declared on 531 for 7 against Glamorgan. Mascarenhas's knock included 13 fours and four sixes, with Alex Wharf and Robert Croft both conceding over 100 runs each. In reply, Glamorgan made a decent start until Chris Tremlett broke through, and then Mascarenhas rounded off his great day with the wicket of Ian Thomas for 41, Glamorgan finishing on 128 for 2.
Northamptonshire v Gloucestershire, Wantage Road
Northants added just 14 runs to their overnight score to finish on 352, Gloucestershire's Martin Ball taking 5 for 104 from 40 overs. The Gloucestershire innings was curtailed to only 17 overs due to rain, but slow left-armer Monty Panesar had Phil Weston caught by Mark Powell at short-leg for 13.
Somerset v Durham, Taunton
Wickets continued to tumble on day two at Taunton. Somerset's last five first-innings wickets added 45 runs, Steve Harmison and Vince Wells taking three wickets apiece. Jonathan Lewis followed his 73 in Durham's first innings with a brave 50 in the second, but they were soon in trouble again at 66 for 4 after Nicky Peng was out for just 4. But after Lewis went, Danny Law (35 not out) and Andrew Pratt (19 not out) calmed Durham's nerves to hold on till stumps.
Surrey v Loughborough UCCE, The Oval
Mark Ramprakash lightened up The Oval with a blistering double-hundred against Loughborough. He cracked 205 from 258 balls with including 30 fours and three sixes. Adam Hollioake and Jonathan Batty also helped themselves to centuries, as Surrey amassed 663 for 9 declared. Resuming 457 runs in arrears, Loughborough ended the day on 26 for no loss.
Oxford UCCE v Worcestershire, The Parks
Worcestershire coasted past Oxford's first-innings lead on a rain-affected day in The Parks. Stephen Peters and Anurag Singh put on 155 for the first wicket before the impressive Paul McMahon removed Peters for 87. He later bowled Vikram Solanki for 81, but Worcestershire finished with a 25-run lead, and seven wickets in hand.
Derbyshire v Bradford/Leeds UCCE, Derby
Derbyshire declared on 511 for 5 off just 107 overs with Steve Selwood and Dominic Hewson both smashing big centuries, and Derbyshire followed that up with a clinical bowling display. Dominic Hewson took two wickets as Bradford/Leeds wobbled to 87 for 5 before rain stopped play.