Javagal Srinath made sure that champions Surrey would not have things all their own way in the final match of the season at The Oval. The Leicestershire overseas player finished with five wickets as Surrey added 97 runs to their overnight score while losing seven wickets. Then the Leicestershire batsmen gave Surrey a taste of their own medicine so that, by the close, they were 191 behind but still have five wickets standing. Darren Maddy is 109 not out while, earlier, Iain Sutcliffe scored 72 and there was a fifty for Darren Stevens.
Although Tony Frost scored 73, Warwickshire's hopes of the 50,000 prize for finishing second took a dive as they were bowled out for 293 to trail Sussex by 59 on first innings. Billy Taylor was the man to do the damage. Coming on third change, he took five wickets, but Warwickshire's plight would have been far worse had not Neil Carter scored 103 and found a willing partner in James Spires as the pair put on 119 for the tenth wicket. Murray Goodwin scored 111 in the Sussex second innings. They now lead by 225 with six wickets standing.
By contrast, Kent's chances of taking second spot were enhanced when they bowled out Yorkshire for 218 to take a first innings lead of 181 and enforce the follow on. Only Craig White with 62 held up the Kent bowlers for long. Earlier, Steve Waugh fell for 146 while James Tredwell scored 61 from number eight in the order to take Kent to 399 all out with Ryan Sidebottom taking four wickets. Second time around, Yorkshire have reached 13 for one.
Lancashire relied on a spirited batting performance from their lower order to take a first innings lead of seven against Somerset. Kyle Hogg led the way with exactly 50 before he became one of Matthew Bulbeck's six wickets. The other four went to Richard Johnson. But then Somerset collapsed in their second innings for just 129 and Lancashire knocked off the required runs for the loss of only two wickets for Somerset's second consecutive two-day defeat.
The battle at the top of Division Two is intensifying. Essex have already gained promotion but want the title, as do Nottinghamshire, who made sure of their own promotion when Worcestershire failed to gain maximum batting points. Essex trailed by 59 on first innings despite fifties from John Stephenson and Aftab Habib. Nottinghamshire extended their lead by 39 before the close, losing one wicket in the process.
Worcestershire could only manage a first innings lead of 19 against Derbyshire. Stephen Peters reached 72 before Mohammad Ali punched a hole in his defences, while Vikram Solanki continued his good form with an innings of 81. There was not much else to offer as Kevin Dean took four wickets. At stumps, Derbyshire led by 79 having lost two second innings wickets.
Gloucestershire took a first innings lead of 143 against Durham, with Craig Spearman only adding nine to his overnight 80 but Alex Gidman, who began the second day in company with Spearman, was out just four short of a hundred. Steve Harmison took five wickets. Michael Gough remains on 70 in Durham's second innings, but his side are still 23 behind with nine wickets standing.
Rob White opened with 69 for Northamptonshire, but it was Tony Penberthy with 120 not out and Gerard Brophy with 110 who have taken their side into a strong position against Glamorgan. Northamptonshire lead by 61 on 409 for eight.