Warwickshire and Sussex cruise to victories
Warwickshire cruised to a comfortable victory over Glamorgan, by the crushing margin of 10 wickets. Glamorgan got off to the worst possible start, losing Mark Wallace who was unable to add to his overnight score of 68. Thereafter, only Michael Powell provided resistance to a very competant bowling performance by Warwickshire. Powell, undefeated on 72, was left stranded despite plucky tail-end innings from Robert Croft (33) and David Harrison (25). Their final total of 308 meant a simple target of three runs for Warwickshire to win the game, as the visitors romped home by ten wickets.
A partnership of 225 between Owais Shah and Ed Joyce set up Middlesex's chances of encorcing victory on day three of their game against Nottinghamshire. Both batsmen were not-out overnight, and continued to flourish on day three. Shah, undefeated on 173, struck his fifth century of the season, and Joyce his third, as Middlesex set Nottinghamshire an unlikely 530 to win. Notts started encouragingly, though, ending the day on 107 without loss, both openers, Jason Gallion and David Bicknell, reaching their half-centuries.
A magnificent, aggressive hundred from Matt Prior, and five wickets from Naved-ul-Hasan, helped Sussex to an easy win over Gloucestershire. Prior and Mike Yardy were both not-out overnight, and immediately set about extending their lead with Prior the more dominant in a partnership worth 141. His hundred, from just 79 balls, included no less than fifteen fours - five of them sixes. His aggression not only meant Sussex set the home side a sizeable target of 406, but plenty of time in which to bowl Gloucestershire out. Ramnaresh Sarwan was promoted to open, and struck a crucial century, his first for Gloucestershire in only his third game. Unfortunately, no other batsman could offer him any support, with the remaining 10 batsmen contributing an astonishingly meagre 54 runs. The Pakistanis, Mushtaq Ahmed and Naved-ul-Hasan took four and five wickets respectively, both taking nine in the match, as Sussex walked home with an easy win.
Kent ended the first day of their match against Hampshire on a healthy 366 for 8. There were solid partnerships of 80, between David Fulton and Robert Key and 100 between Darren Stevens and Key, who finally fell for a relatively patient innings of 88. Stevens continued on to his hundred, his third of the season and, in doing so, passed the milestone of 1000 runs in the season. He became one of three victims to Dimitri Mascarenhas, who ended with impressive figures of 3 for 68 from 24 overs.
Matthew Wood of Somerset fell three short of a triple-century to lead Somerset to a first-innings score of 581. Wood, who was on 182 overnight, was ninth man out for a magnificent career-best score of 297. In reply, Yorkshire lost Wood's namesake for a duck, ending on 173 for four. They trail by just two runs, in a game which is likely to be drawn at some point tomorrow.
In what has been a remarkable turnaround after their poor show on day one, Northamptonshire were on the verge of victory at stumps on day three against Derbyshire. Martin Love and David Sales continued a dominating partnership, with Sales falling for a powerful 93. Australian-born Riki Wessels hit a half-century and, with solid support from another Australian, Damien Wright, Northants were able to set Derbyshire a very challenging target of 388. However, the twin-spin combination of Monty Panesar and Jason Brown took nine wickets between to leave Derbyshire still requiring a further 184 runs to win, and deny Derbyshire their first win of the season tomorrow morning.
Day one of Durham's clash with Leicestershire saw just 22 overs of play, due to poor weather. Durham made a reasonable start to their innings, but lost James Lowe with the score on 44. Bad light stopped play, leaving Durham on 54 for 1, with Mike Hussey and Paul Collingwood the not-out batsmen