County Championship Division Two - 3rd day June 3, 2005

Somerset face battle to save game

Cricinfo staff

Somerset 105 (Burns 37, Henderson 3-13) and 17 for 0 trail Leicestershire 338 (Ackerman 117, Henderson 50) v by 216 runs
Somerset were forced to follow-on at Oakham School at suffered an horrendous first innings collapse. They were 52 for 2 - with Graeme Smith already dismissed for 10 - when Sanath Jayasuriya was bowled and they folded for 105. The Leicestershire attack shared the wickets around, with Ottis Gibson and Claude Henderson, who had earlier reached a valuable half-century, taking three each. Michael Burns top-scored with 37 before he became Stuart Broad's first first-class wicket. Smith and John Francis managed to negotiate eight overs before the weather came to Leicestershire's aid, but they face a tough final day to save the match.

Derbyshire 462 and 90 for 0 (di Venuto 53*) lead Essex 320 (Middlebrook 71, Foster 67, Irani 67, Welch 5-63) by 232 runs
Derbyshire are in a position for a final day declaration after some hard work from their seam attack and a positive start of their second innings. But Essex's lower order kept them in the contest after it looked as though the visitors would take command. Andy Flower and Ronnie Irani - the two overnight batsmen - fell early to leave Essex facing the follow-on at 137 for 6. However, James Foster and James Middlebrook combined in a stand of 139 and Darren Gough hit 36. Derbyshire's bowling effort was led by Graeme Welch and Mo Sheikh. Welch finished with 5-63 - a season's best - to continue his superb allround match following on from his century yesterday. Essex scraped past the follow on, so with a lead of 142 Derbyshire's aim was to build a suitable lead. After seeing off a tight spell from Gough the openers, Michael di Venuto and Ben France, added 90 at a decent rate.

Northamptonshire 175 (Shafayat 43, Anderson 4-51) and 94 for 3 (Afzaal 42*) lead Lancashire 149 (Hegg 48) by 120 runs
There was an action-packed day at Old Trafford as 18 wickets fell, creating the prospect of a result in this rain-affected game. However, it was more poor batting and good bowling than any fault of the pitch. Due to the way wickets have tumbled Northants have their noses in front, but they will have to avoid a repeat of their first innings collapse to capitalise on it. Their last five wickets fell for 14 in the morning session as James Anderson and Muttiah Muralitharan ran through the tail. But that was nothing compared to the clatter of Lancashire wickets. Almost before you could blink they were 35 for 6 as Johann Louw and Damien Wright swung the ball and caused problems. Warren Hegg held the lower order together with a fighting 48 and useful contributions from Anderson and Dominic Cork limited the deficit to 26. Northants were soon 8 for 2 second time around, but Usman Afzaal played well for his 42 setting up a fascinating final day.

Worcestershire 226 for 7 (Smith 106*, Vaas 43*) trail Durham 256 (Mustard 39, Vaas 3-36) by 30 runs
An unbroken eighth-wicket stand of 105 between Ben Smith and Chaminda Vaas rebuilt the Worcestershire innings after Durham's seamers had caused all manner of problems to the top order. Rain limited the action to 63 overs, and could ultimately consign the match to a draw, but at 121 for 7 Durham were well on top. Andrew Davies was the chief wicket taker, removing Graeme Hick, Vikram Solanki and Zander de Bruyn in quick succession. Paul Collingwood trapped his England colleague Kabir Ali lbw before Vaas showed the other half of his allround game. Neither him or Smith were afraid to play their shots, and Smith reached his second century of the season from 165 balls, before rain ended an intriguing contest.