Chilton guides Lancashire to draw
Northamptonshire 175 and 225 (Afzaal 48, Muralitharan 4-68) drew with Lancashire 149 and 188 for 8 (Chilton 113*, Brown 4-73)
Lancashire were left to thank Mark Chilton, their captain, for salvaging a draw against Northamptonshire after another wicket-filled day at Old Trafford. Although not as dramatic as the third day, when 18 wickets fell, there was a tense finish with Lancashire eight down at the end. Their target of 252 was never a realistic proposition after they slipped to 8 for 2 and as Jason Brown as running through the middle order defeat became a distinct possibility. However, Chilton remained firm and chose the perfect time to make his first century of the season. He was grateful, too, to Gary Keedy, who stayed with him for the final half an hour and survived 20 balls. Chilton was the first person to pass 50 in a match dominated by the bowlers, a pattern which had continued as Muttiah Muralitharan removed Northants' lower order, ending with 4 for 68.
Somerset 105 (Burns 37, Henderson 3-13) and 225 for 3 (Francis 104*, Burns 59) drew with Leicestershire 338 (Ackerman 117, Henderson 50) v by 216 runs
John Francis scored a battling century as Somerset finally found their backbone to seal a draw on the final day at Oakham School. After following-on 233 runs behind they needed someone to show some grit and Francis put his hand up. He lost Graeme Smith early in the day, when he edged Charl Willoughby, his Western Province team mate, to Paul Nixon. Francis received sterling support from Michael Burns, who batted for over four hours while compiling 59 from 202 balls. Burns was finally trapped lbw by Stuart Broad and although Sanath Jayasuriya failed a repeat of the first innings collapse was never in cards. James Hildreth reined in his natural attacking instincts to partner Francis for final period of the day
Derbyshire 462 and 236 for 3 dec (di Venuto 110*, France 56)) drew with Essex 320 and 245 for 5 (Bopara 105*, Cook 59)
Ravinder Bopara's first first-class century guided Essex to a draw, leaving Derbyshire to rue their decision to not declare until lunch. Michael di Venuto and Ben France had taken their opening stand to 147, and di Venuto was unbeaten on 110 when the innings was closed, but Derbyshire only left themselves with two sessions to bowl out Essex. Graeme Welch created an early opening, removing Will Jefferson and Grant Flower in two balls to reduce Essex to 14 for 2. But Bopara and Alistair Cook added 127 for the third wicket and, when Cook fell, Andy Flower scored a quick fire 41 from 30 balls. Bopara reached his century just before play was called off, after facing 145 balls. After piling up 462 in their first innings, then having Essex on the ropes in their first innings, Derbyshire will feel they missed a opportunity to force their first Championship win of the season.
Durham 256 (Mustard 39, Vaas 3-36) and 180 for 2 dec (Collingwood 103*) drew with Worcestershire 267 (Smith 123, Noffke 4-75)
This match drifted to a draw, with Paul Collingwood gaining the most for the final day with an unbeaten 103. It was useful time in the middle for Collingwood, who will shortly be joining up with the England squad for the one-day matches. Collingwood's century - from 155 balls - was the last action of the match and he added 137 with Jon Lewis, following the early loss of Nicky Peng to Kabir Ali. Collingwood's century was the second of the match, after Ben Smith's 123, which was ended during the morning session by Ashley Noffke. The stand between Smith and Chaminda Vaas was extended to 115 for the eighth wicket before Noffke and Collingwood wrapped things up.