Hick and Moore stroll, as Durham are halted

Durham 316 and 226 for 8 (Hussey 61, Kruis 4-96) drew with Yorkshire 254 and 306 (McGrath 133*, Silverwood 80, Lewis 5-80)

Durham's spectacular run of four consecutive victories was halted in a thrilling finale at Chester-le-Street, as they were forced to settle for a draw by a spirited Yorkshire side that had matched them blow-for-blow throughout the four days. The final act of a see-sawing match began with Durham needing a further 192 runs with 10 wickets standing, but a rain-delayed start ensured that the game would be a race against the clock as well as a battle against Yorkshire's bowlers. They endured the worst possible start as Jonathan Lewis and Paul Collingwood were dismissed by Deon Kruis without addition to their overnight 53, but Mike Hussey and Gordon Muchall added 129 for the third wicket to tilt the balance back Durham's way. But Yorkshire struck back again, as four middle-order wickets caved in for 45, leaving Dale Benkenstein to shepherd an increasingly nervous tail. Gareth Breese's run-out persuaded Durham that discretion was the better part of valour, although they were just 19 runs from victory (and two wickets from defeat) when honours were declared even.

Worcestershire 383 and 167 for 2 (Hick 76*, Moore 63*) beat Essex 220 and 329 (A Flower 85) by eight wickets
Graeme Hick and Stephen Moore made light work of Worcestershire's target of 167, as they raced to victory in 25 overs on the final day at Chelmsford. Despite slipping to an uncomfortable 21 for 2 overnight, Hick and Moore were unstoppable as they knocked off the 146 runs still remaining of their target. Hick, on his 39th birthday, finished unbeaten on 76 to take his season's tally past 500 runs, and Moore was on 63 (and 496 for the season) when Worcestershire wrapped up their third win of the summer.

Somerset 294 (Burns 87, Muralitharan 5-56) drew with Lancashire 351 for 3 (Sutcliffe 150, Hodge 110*)
Iain Sutcliffe and Brad Hodge spanked rapid centuries to enliven a meaningless final day at Taunton, as Somerset and Lancashire finally made it out to the middle for a decent length of time, after three rain-wrecked days. Sutcliffe made 150 from 139 balls, with 22 fours and two sixes, and Hodge 110 not out from 112, with 11 and three, as Lancashire secured an improbable 11 bonus points before the two captains agreed to call off the match. Earlier, Muttiah Muralitharan whet the appetite of Lancashire's fans by ripping through Somerset's lower order for figures of 5 for 56 from 26 overs. Murali's victims included his Sri Lankan team-mate, Sanath Jayasuriya, who added just one to his overnight 72, as Somerset collapsed from 195 for 3 to 294 all out.