Aggressive batting from the Derbyshire openers gave them a chance of a final-day push for victory against Middlesex at Uxbridge after Nick Compton's fine century kept the home side afloat. A win is important to keep Derbyshire in the promotion race so Chris Rogers and Wayne Madsen wasted no time in building on a 48-run lead after Middlesex had declared at nine down and the lead closed on 244. Rogers and Madsen added 181 in 31 overs with Madsen moving to 89 to go alongside his 167 in the first effort. Middlesex had been indebted to Compton for keeping in touch with the visitors as he made 178. He and Gareth Berg (70) added 135 for the fifth wicket to stabilise the innings from 122 for 4. When Compton was bowled by Tim Groenewald, Middlesex were one short of a fourth batting point and Adam London came out with a broken finger. He hit his first ball for four before Shaun Udal declared.
Gloucestershire's promotion hopes have taken a blow as they face conceding a major deficit against Glamorgan in Cardiff. A number of batsmen made starts without capitalising and they closed on 251 for 7, still 159 runs behind. The innings made a rocky start at 13 for 2 then Kadeer Ali and Alex Gidman fell to Jim Allenby to leave Gloucestershire 111 for 5. James Franklin (66) and Stephen Adshead (48) staged a recovery as they added 90, but after seeing off the main bowlers fell to Mark Cosgrove and Jamie Dalrymple respectively. Glamorgan's last pair of Robert Croft and Garnett Kruger had earlier managed to secure a fifth batting point.
Mark Pettini, the Essex captain, attempted to breathe life into the match against Northamptonshire as he declared behind after his middle order had staged a fightback at Chelmsford. Essex are more desperate for a win than the visitors, so it will be down to them to bowl Northamptonshire out, and David Masters gave them hope with two early wickets. For much of the day, Northamptonshire were in control as Essex's top order struggled. Alastair Cook laboured over a 23-ball duck before being caught in the gully and they were 21 for 3 when Tom Westley fell to David Lucas. Pettini and Matt Walker steadied the innings, but both fell to spin as Monty Panesar and Nicky Boje made inroads. However, the depth of Essex's batting came to their aid as Ryan ten Doeschate hit 75 off 74 balls - his fifty taking 30 deliveries, with Boje twice going for 16 in an over - and Pettini declared after the second batting point. Masters then trapped Stephen Peters and Paul Harrison leg before, but a draw is still the favourite outcome. Northamptonshire won't mind that.
Kent secured the Division Two title when they reached 250 against Derbyshire and Mark Pennell watched the action at Canterbury.
Sussex were battling to stay on level terms against Yorkshire in their relegation fight at Hove. The visitors' tail had performed impressively to lift them to 403 with David Wainwright ending unbeaten on 84 and Ajmal Shahzad making a career-best 88. Shahzad then starred with the ball, too, as he had Michael Yardy caught at midwicket for a stubborn 58 and trapped Carl Hopkinson lbw first ball to leave Sussex on 165 for 4, but Murray Goodwin and Rory Hamilton-Brown played well until the close. Yorkshire had begun on 274 for 7 after an even first day, but Sussex couldn't break through as Shahzad and Wainwright took their eighth-wicket stand to 157 before Hamilton-Brown removed Shahzad. Although Azeem Rafiq went without scoring, Matthew Hoggard hung around long enough to take the total past 400. Sussex started well in reply, but Chris Nash fell to Wainwright after an opening stand of 68 and Joe Gatting - who hit ten fours in his 46 - was lbw to a full ball against Hoggard.
Chris Benham's 100, in just his fourth Championship match of the season, led a Hampshire recovery against Durham at the Rose Bowl as they aim to keep themselves out of the relegation dogfight, although two late wickets still left an outside chance of them needing to follow-on. Benham and Nic Pothas added 152 for the fifth wicket after the home side limped to 114 for 4 against Durham's spinners. After an opening stand of 52 life got tricky for Hampshire when Ian Blackwell had Liam Dawson caught behind and then trapped Michael Lumb lbw for 6. Scott Borthwick, the young legspinner, then played his part as he removed James Vince for his maiden first-class wicket and soon added Jimmy Adams for 57. However, Benham and Pothas fought off a full-blown collapse and Benham reached his first hundred of the season. Borthwick, through, struck again late on when Benham was caught at slip and nightwatchman David Griffiths couldn't survive against Liam Plunkett.
Worcestershire made the most of another flat pitch at Taunton and Daryl Mitchell fell two short of a triple century against Somerset. John Ward watched the action.