Mal Loye ensured Lancashire remained in charge of their own destiny in the Championship race as they defied Sussex with nine wickets down at Hove. Loye's unbeaten 148 was a masterclass of concentration after he arrived following the early loss of Iain Sutcliffe. But the other hero was Dominic Cork who, batting with his damaged finger from the first day, kept Loye company for most of the final hour. Cork fell with eight balls remaining but Gary Keedy didn't let his side down and survived two balls. Sussex will be rueing another victory that got away, but were handicapped by Mushtaq Ahmed's injury which meant he wasn't at his most effective. However, he managed 35 overs and looked to have put Sussex on course with the wickets of Glen Chapple and Tom Smith. Loye, though, had the final say. Sussex sneak ahead of Lancashire by one point in the table, but now have a week off from Championship action.
Kent and Hampshire played out an inevitable draw at Canterbury. John Crawley just missed out on a double century, he made 189, and Dmitri Mascarenhas made a century of his own to lift Hampshire to 554 for 7 declared in their first innings, 169 runs ahead. Kent were never in danger of subsiding, with their openers Rob Key and David Fulton each making undefeated centuries on their way to a stand of 281. As the result was pretty much guaranteed, the batsmen just helped themselves to some batting practice; Key making 136 not out, and Fulton was on 134 by the close.
Anil Kumble took eight wickets in Northamptonshire's second innings to spin Surrey to success at The Oval. Northamptonshire started the day with a big ask to hold on for the draw and Usman Afzaal set about aiming for that with 142. Surrey appeared on course to complete the win comfortably before Matthew Nicholson and David Wigley added 78 for the ninth wicket. However, with time running out Kumble claimed the final two wickets and Northants were finally chipped out for 386, leaving Surrey to chase 65. This they did for the loss of three wickets, and with two overs to spare. Kumble finished with match figures of 11 for 183
Essex completed an impressive 211-run win over Somerset at Garon's Park. despite Cameron White's 111. Already four down overnight, Somerset suffered an early blow when Carl Gazzard fell to Alex Tudor. White and Wesley Duston added 59 for the sixth wicket but White's century was then ended before Mervyn Westfield, an 18-year-old seamer, struck twice to take his tally to four wickets. Tim Phillips wrapped up the victory and handed Essex 19 points for their efforts.
Glamorgan didn't provide much resistance on the final day against Worcestershire at Colwyn Bay as they subsided to a 311-run defeat. The top order crashed to 96 for 5 and Matt Mason did most of the damage with four wickets. Robert Croft provided some late defiance with an unbeaten 44 but Roger Sillence wrapped up the match three wickets in three overs as Worcestershire pocketed 22 points to boost their promotion hopes.
At this rate Stuart Broad will be bursting through ceilings. His rise and rise just continues and today he helped Leicestershire to a four-wicket win against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham. Broad took five wickets in the second innings, including the vital wickets of the centurions Hamish Marshall and Alex Gidman, to make it nine wickets this match. Gloucestershire were eventually dismissed for a fighting 439 and had Leicestershire 187 for 6 at one stage, chasing 240. But the venerable Paul Nixon steered his side to victory with 68 not out, after Claude Henderson had set them up with 48. But the plaudits belonged to Broad and there will be more excited whispers in the England camp tonight.