Middlesex tumbled to 272 all out on the second day, leaving Hampshire with a lead of 83. By the close they had extended that to 114 with nine wickets remainingand Middlesex's bowlers have much work to do to bring them back into the match. Ed Joyce struck 54 on his return from ICC Trophy duty with Ireland, and Jamie Dalrymple made 62. But Dmitri Mascarenhas accounted for Ed Smith and Owais Shah early on, and added another to take 3 for 38 as Middlesex struggled. Shaun Udal also grabbed 3, for just 18 from 9.3 overs. Melvyn Betts wrapped up the Hampshire innings early on the second day, removing Shane Warne and Udal as the visitors ended with 355. Betts finished with 3 for 62.
Gloucestershire's top order crumbled as fourth-placed Surrey cemented a rock-solid platform on the second day. Harbhajan Singh's quickfire 84 made sure that Surrey continued to exploit the benefits of batting first - they made 603 in their first innings. Singh smote 84 from just 95 balls, including 11 fours and three sixes, and put on 68 for the ninth wicket with Martin Bicknell (76 not out). Then Gloucestershire lost wickets in steady succession, before Alex Gidman halted the slide with an unbeaten half-century. Nevertheless, Gloucestershire have much to do on the third day.
Chris Read's unbeaten century steered Nottinghamshire into a strong position against Glamorgan at at Trent Bridge. David Hussey (81) and Stephen Fleming (78) both came within sight of centuries as Nottinghamshire strode into a decent lead and they will fancy their chances of killing the game off on Sunday. Glamorgan's reply then got off to a wobbly start - they were 108 for 4 by the close. They still trail by 50 runs with six wickets remaining and face a tricky third day to save the match.
Mal Loye made a double century and Dominic Cork was in sight of a ton as Lancashireseized the initiative against Durham. After shooting Durham out for 167 on the first day, Lancashire's batsmen tucked into some indifferent bowling to finish the day on 519 for 9, a very handy position indeed. Loye posted exactly 200 from 280 balls, with 30 fours before he was trapped lbw by Simon Davies. Cork struck two sixes in unbeaten 96 which he will be confident of converting into a century on Sunday. Lancashire now lead by 352 runs with one wicket remaining in the first innings.
Graeme Smith struck a triple century - within a day - to launch Somerset to 533 for 8 by stumps. Matthew Wood added 74, joining his captain Smith in a second-wicket stand of 203. John Francis fell for a duck as Somerset set about their reply to Leicestershire's 330 - the visitors adding just eight to their overnight score. But Smith strode on undaunted, posting 27 fours and 11 sixes. His stay at the crease finally came to an end when, on 311, fellow South African Claude Henderson tempted him to send a catch to Chris Rogers. Ian Blackwell added to Leicestershire's woes, with a rapid 59 from just 55 balls. Darren Maddy took four wickets butthere is no doubt that Somerset will be much the happier side.
Worcestershire dismissed Yorkshire for 300 on the second day, giving themselves a 45-run lead to take into the second innings. By the close of play, they had extended this to 58 for 2, a lead of 103, and an intriguing match continues to hang in the balance. Yorkshire were indebted to a fifth-wicket stand of 120 between Richard Pyrah and Craig White, each of whom struck half-centuries.