Sami destroys Nottinghamshire as Kent win at last
Frizzell County Championship Division One
Kent 362 and 418 for 3 dec beat Nottinghamshire 156 and 337 by 287 runs at Maidstone
Mohammad Sami completed the superb match figures of 15 for 114, the best bowling figures of the season so far, as Kent completed their first Championship victory of the season by overwhelming Nottinghamshire at Maidstone. Kent didn't have it all their own way, however, as Notts mounted a valiant rearguard, led by Jason Gallian's six-hour 106 and ably supported by Kevin Pietersen, Chris Cairns and Paul Franks. Sami though was irresistible, and followed his eight wickets in the first innings by skittling Notts's tail with five more wickets in the space of seven runs. Muttiah Muralitharan arrives at the end of the month, and Kent's prospects are on the up at last.
Leicestershire 447 and 148 for 2 trail Middlesex 620 for 7 dec by 25 runs at Southgate
It's not often that a side scores 447 and still has to follow on, but that indignity was inflicted on Leicestershire, after Middlesex had compiled a whopping 620 for 7 Dec on the first two days at Southgate. Chad Keegan added three more wickets to his overnight haul to finish with a career-best 6 for 114 from 29 overs, and when John Maunders fell to the first ball of the follow-on, caught behind off Ashley Noffke, the omens didn't look good. Noffke then dealt with Leicestershire's first-innings hero, Virender Sehwag, in similar fashion (31 for 2), but Darren Maddy and Brad Hodge knuckled down to rescue the innings with an unbeaten 117-run stand for the third wicket. By the close, Leicestershire were 25 runs behind, with eight wickets remaining, and a draw seemed to be the likely result.
Essex 340 and 254 for 6 lead Sussex 282 for 8 by 235 runs at Arundel
The Championship fixture between Essex and Sussex remained evenly poised, after another day of slow manoeuvring at Arundel. The early honours belonged to Sussex, who secured a first-innings lead thanks to Mushtaq Ahmed, James Kirtley and Jason Lewry, who added 79 runs for the last two wickets. Essex then slipped to 50 for 2, with both Nasser Hussain and James Foster dismissed, but Paul Grayson's 71 and a pair of half-centuries for Andy Flower and Aftab Habib put Essex back in the reckoning.
Warwickshire 245 and 304 for 5 trail Surrey 355 and 450 for 5 dec by 256 runs at Edgbaston
Warwickshire's pursuit of the improbable suffered two devastating blows shortly before the close, when Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott were prised out in quick succession, to leave Surrey on the verge of their fifth Championship victory of the season. Warwickshire's slim hopes had been ground into the dust in the morning session, as Mark Ramprakash converted his overnight 121 into a magnificent unbeaten 182, allowing Surrey to declare on 450 for 5, a lead of 560. But Michael Powell led the charge with 91, and at 293 for 3, Warwickshire dared to dream. But Adam Hollioake trapped Trott lbw for 51, before Saqlain Mushtaq picked up Bell three runs later for 71.
Frizzell County Championship Division Two
Gloucestershire 277 and 171 for 5 beat Derbyshire 89 and 356 by five wickets at Derby
Derbyshire were made to pay for a pathetic first-innings effort, as Gloucestershire eked out a five-wicket victory that might have been very different had they been set more than 169 for victory. After collapsing to 89 all out in their first effort, Derbyshire fared considerably better second-time around, as Michael di Venuto (148) and Luke Sutton (81*) carried them to a healthy 356. Gloucestershire, who had managed 277 in their first innings, then slumped to 52 for 4, with two wickets each for Kevin Dean and Graeme Welch. But Jonty Rhodes calmed the nerves with an unbeaten 62, and Alex Gidman added a brisk 41 from 46 balls before being bowled by Dominic Cork with 48 runs still required.
Northamptonshire 322 and 206 for 2 beat Durham 327 and 199 by eight wickets at Chester-le-Street
Jason Brown gave a reminder of the form that earned him a place on England's tour to Sri Lanka in 2000-01, as he bowled Northants to victory at Chester-le-Street with second-innings figures of 7 for 69. Northants and Durham had been level-pegging on first innings, but match was transformed when the spinners Brown and Graeme Swann entered the fray. From 70 for 0, Durham slumped to 100 for 5, and though Nicky Peng and Phil Mustard slowed the rot with a 71-run partnership, Brown ripped through the tail for his best figures in first-class cricket. Set 205 to win, Mike Hussey and Phil Jaques broke the back of the run-chase with a 156-run partnership, as Northants took their place at the top of Division Two.
Somerset 233 and 129 for 3 trail Glamorgan 349 and 307 by 294 runs at Cardiff
Matthew Maynard completed his third Championship century of the season as Glamorgan closed in on victory against Somerset at Sophia Gardens. Maynard, who had been 32 not out overnight, was in scintillating form, rushing to 101 from 114 balls, with 13 fours and two sixes to give Glamorgan plenty time to force a result. By the close, Somerset had limped to 129 for 3 in pursuit of 424.