Chris Nash capitalised on Piyush Chawla's heroics with the ball to give Sussex an outside chance of pulling off an impressive run-chase against Somerset at Hove. By the close, chasing an unlikely 349 for victory, Nash was unbeaten on 111 out of a total of 169 for 4, after Chawla had taken his match haul to 11 for 170 with second-innings figures of 6 for 52. Thanks to his efforts, Somerset crumbled from 82 for 1 to 178 all out, although they did strike back intermittently with the ball, with Ed Joyce's 30 being the next highest score behind Nash.
Yorkshire's tail turned the tables on Worcestershire at New Road. John Ward watched the action.
Steve Harmison ripped through Warwickshire's batting with 5 for 39 for the champions, Durham, at Edgbaston. Full report to follow.
Andrew Flintoff's promotion to No. 3 in Lancashire's batting order couldn't spark his long-awaited return to form, as he was upstaged by the Hampshire seamers at Liverpool. Flintoff struck a four and a six but then fell to Dimitri Mascarenhas for 12 from 15 balls, as Lancashire were bowled out for 208 in two sessions after a first-day washout. The pick of the attack was Chris Tremlett, who claimed 4 for 49, and Lancashire's predicament could have been worse as they were at one stage 127 for 7, before Sajid Mahmood and Glenn Chapple bailed them out with the bat. Chapple then struck early with the ball as well, as Hampshire slipped to 124 for 4 in reply.
Twenty-year-old Alex Wakely scored a brilliant 113 not out, his maiden first-class century, to shore up Northamptonshire's innings against Glamorgan at Cardiff. Replying to Glamorgan's first-innings 308, Wakely resumed on 12 not out with his side in all sorts of strife at 28 for 3, but he batted for the rest of the innings with such poise that Northants eventually declared 93 runs in arrears on 215 for 8, in a bid to force a result on the final day. Monty Panesar did bowl Glamorgan's first-innings centurion Mark Cosgrove for 22, but a draw looked a certainty by the time they reached 59 for 1 at the close.
Mark Pettini scored his first century of the season as Essex compiled a hefty advantage on the third day at Tunbridge Wells. Pettini made 101 not out and added 90 unbeaten runs for the seventh wicket with Graham Napier (48 not out) as Essex declared on 320 for 6, a lead of 477. In reply, Kent responded with intent, with Joe Denly hurtling through to the close on 74 not out, out of a total of 107 for 1. The only wicket to fall was that of the captain, Robert Key, who made 22 before being bowled by David Masters.
Leicestershire atoned for their slow start against Surrey at Grace Road, as turned a first-innings deficit of 164 into a lead of 17 with eight wickets standing. By the close Boeta Dippenaar and HD Ackerman were both unbeaten on 50, after Murtaza Hussain had claimed both Leicestershire openers. Earlier, Surrey had resumed on 217 for 2 with Michael Brown adding the 18 runs he needed for his century. But Surrey's innings was pegged back to 329 by the young seamer, Harry Gurney, whose 5 for 82 more than doubled his previous first-class haul of four wickets in four matches.
Gloucestershire built on their success in the Friends Provident semi-final by taking command on the first day against Middlesex at Bristol. After winning the toss and bowling first, Gloucestershire ripped through the Middlesex line-up, bowling them out for 153 inside 51 overs. Andrew Strauss top-scored with 32 but he was upstaged by the quarter-final hero, Jon Lewis, who claimed 3 for 34. In reply Will Porterfield's half-century helped his team achieve near-parity by the close, on 144 for 3.