Points TableMuch like Kent's title ambitions, their bowlers took a hammering at Lord's where centuries from Owais Shah and Ben Hutton put Middlesex in a strong position, closing on 342 for 2 in reply to 384. Hutton, who finished unbeaten on a career-best 150, his first three-figure score in 15 months, and Shah, who made 128, his seventh Championship hundred of the summer, added 282 in 81 overs for the second wicket. Kent's attack looked toothless, and at times their only tactic seemed to be bowling wide of the wicket to frustrate Middlesex's progress.
Sussex may be the outsiders in the title race but they kept their hopes alive with an easy nine-wicket win. over bottom side Glamorgan at Hove. Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Mushtaq Ahmed took five wickets apiece, giving Mushtaq ten in the match, as Glamorgan were skittled for 96 in their second innings, Sussex claiming the extra half-hour to wrap up a two-day victory. Chris Adams made 84 and Murray Goodwin 59 in Sussex's first innings of 317.
In contrast to the sunshine in the south, bad light forced a premature end at Headingley where Yorkshire's promotion hopes were kept on track against Worcestershire. Anthony McGrath, 96 not out overnight, advanced to a chanceless 173 not out as Yorkshire made 317, giving them a first-innings lead of nine, with Kabir Ali taking 4 for 79. But Worcestershire slipped to 126 for 4 by the close, with Deon Kruis grabbing three wickets. One blow for Yorkshire came with the news that Richard Dawson, who had to retire hurt when struck by Shoaib Akhtar, had broken a knuckle.
At Taunton, Northamptonshire closed on 356 for 5 in reply to Somerset's 396, with David Sales making an unbeaten 117 off 210 balls while Usman Afzaal cracked an entertaining and aggressive 112 off 139 balls. Somerset's tail barely registered, with their last three wickets adding 14 in the morning.
On the first day of the basement battle at Grace Road, Leicestershire made a good start, reaching 277 for 3 thanks to Darren Robinson's 123 and Tom New's 89 - the pair added 217 in 71 overs for the second wicket. At one stage Robinson was batting so far out of his ground in an attempt to negate the swing that umpire Allan Jones, fearing the pitch was being damaged, warned him that a five-run penalty would be imposed if he persisted. Robinson duly retreated.