Wickets tumble at Maidstone
Eighteen wickets tumbled on another bowler-friendly day at Maidstone as both teams found batting a tough job. Kent secured a vital, if narrow, 21-run lead on first innings through some stubborn lower-order resistance. Andrew Hall, Simon Cook and Min Patel chiselled out valuable 20s and the top score for Kent was Matthew Stevens' 35. Mark Hardinges was the pick of Gloucestershire's attack with a career-best 5 for 51 and was well supported by the rest of the bowlers. But Gloucestershire couldn't build on their hard work as the second innings turned into a procession. Phil Weston went in the first over and at 56 for 7 the innings looked like finishing this evening. Stevens was the main wicket taker, claiming 3 for 13 with his medium pace. Hardinges and Ian Fisher stopped the rot until the close but Gloucestershire's lead is just 58. However, Kent should not believe they have this match in the bag.
Sussex 225 for 2 (Montgomerie 86*, Goodwin 63*) v Glamorgan
Sussex took control against bottom-of-the-table Glamorgan after the first day wash-out. All the Sussex top order made a contribution as Glamorgan's stretched bowling resources toiled. Ian Ward and Richard Montgomerie gave the innings a solid foundation with an opening stand of 65, but Ward was caught behind to give Adam Harrison, the brother of David, his first Championship wicket. Michael Yardy produced a useful 38 and after he was trapped lbw by Robert Croft, Murray Goodwin struck a fluent half-century. Montgomerie went about his innings in his own workmanlike style as he overcame a lean run of scores. Before this innings he had made 100 runs in eight Championship innings, a rare blip from a normally consistent batsman. Glamorgan's bowlers were economical but not threatening, with Sourav Ganguly delivering four overs in his first game.
Hampshire 222 for 7 (McMillan 52, Harris 5-68) v Nottinghamshire
Andy Harris claimed five wickets as Hampshire put in a stop-start batting performance at Trent Bridge. Nottinghamshire were able to field their strongest hand of seamers for some time and they all bowled with decent control. Ryan Sidebottom struck an early blow, removing the in-form Greg Lamb, before Harris took over. After having Michael Brown caught behind he grabbed the prize wicket of Kevin Pietersen, who fell lbw second ball. Craig McMillan, the New Zealand batsman standing in for Simon Katich, then produced the best partnership of the day with John Crawley. McMillan played his shots, striking 10 fours, while Crawley was happy in the role of second fiddle. But Hampshire could not capitalise on their hard work as Mark Ealham removed Crawley and Harris ripped through the middle order. Shane Warne stopped a total collapse with a forceful, unbeaten, 32 before play was ended by bad light.
Surrey 340 (Brown 84*, Clinton 84, Brown 3-63) and 14 for 0 lead Warwickshire 209 (Loudon 58, Akram 5-51) by 145 runs
Surrey took control at Whitgift School in Croydon thanks to Mohammad Akram's best spell of the season. Akram tore the heart out of the Warwickshire batting and finished with 5 for 51 as Surrey claimed a first-innings lead of 131. Only Alex Loudon really prospered as he made 58, but he fell to Jimmy Ormond, who offered impressive support on his return from injury. Akram utilised the useful, it not extravagant bounce, from the surface, while Harbhajan Singh claimed his first two Surrey wickets to help clean up the tail. Warwickshire had made the better start to the second day with Loudon dismissing Alistair Brown with his first ball of the innings. When Neil Carter removed Tim Murtagh and Harbhajan in the same over Warwickshire were on top. However, Ormond offered valuable support to Jon Batty in a 40-run stand for the ninth wicket. Batty was left unbeaten on 84, his best score of the season, when Akram trod on his stumps against Dougie Brown.