Kent 101 for 2 trail Surrey 401 by 300 runs at The Oval
Rob Ferley's career-best figures of 4 for 76 weren't enough to prevent Surrey taking control on the second day at The Oval. Surrey resumed on 245 for 3, and Mark Butcher fell early, caught behind for 144 off Ben Trott, before Alec Stewart followed swiftly for 1. But Ian Salisbury's unbeaten 34 from 31 balls carried Surrey past 400. Kent soon lost David Fulton and Michael Carberry, but Andrew Symonds and Ed Smith were looking imposing at the crease, and by the close they had added an unbeaten 61 for the third wicket.
Essex 178 for 7 trail Lancashire 218 by 40 runs at Chelmsford
Nasser Hussain continued his return to form with a fluent 54 from 71 balls, and Andy Flower added 46, but Essex were made to struggle after dispatching Lancashire for 218 on the first day. Hussain and Flower resumed in the morning on a precarious 6 for 2, and at first made batting look pretty simple as they added 90 for the third wicket, with Sajid Mahmood conceding 67 from 10 overs. But Hussain was caught behind off Glenn Chapple, and Flower was trapped lbw by Carl Hooper, who bowled a tight 10-over spell of offspin. Lancashire were right back in the game by the close, as Ronnie Irani and James Middlebrook fell in quick succession just before the close.
Leicestershire 215 for 3 trail Warwickshire 253 by 38 runs at Leicester
Only 34 overs were possible on the second day at Grace Road, but John Maunders and Darren Maddy enlivened the atmosphere by adding 156 for the second wicket in double-quick time, as Leicestershire approached first-innings parity with wickets in hand. Maunders eventually fell for 64, and Brad Hodge didn't last long, but Maddy was still there at the close, on 88 not out.
Derbyshire 80 for 8 trail Yorkshire 314 for 7 by 364 runs at Derby
Craig White extended his overnight 102 to a superb 173 not out, as Yorkshire dominated on all fronts against Derbyshire. White's principal ally was Steve Kirby, who hung around for almost an hour and a half to add 96 for the tenth wicket. Kirby then ripped the head off Derbyshire's innings, removing Michael Di Venuto, Chris Bassano and Mohammad Kaif in quick succession. Dominic Hewson became the third duck of Derbyshire's innings when he was caught by Stephen Fleming off Ryan Sidebottom, and Sidebottom had reduced Derbyshire to 55 for 8 with three more wickets, by the time Nathan Dumelow put in some much-needed resistance with an unbeaten 20 from 27 balls.
Northamptonshire 163 for 9 lead Hampshire 125 by 38 runs at Northampton
Dimitri Mascarenhas led Hampshire's fightback with five wickets on a rain-affected day, to finish with 6 for 43. James Bruce added the scalp of Toby Bailey to his two wickets on the first evening, and Northants were indebted to a gritty 46 from Damian Wright, who clung on for an hour and a half. Rain had kept the teams off the pitch throughout the morning session, and it was Ben Phillips who kept Hampshire at bay in the final hour. His more-than-handy 30 from 37 balls inched Northants into the lead, and by the close they had a potentially vital 38-run advantage.
Somerset 477 lead Gloucestershire 228 and 31 for 0 by 218 runs at Taunton
Aaron Laraman's maiden first-class century, and a career-best 76 from Nixon McLean, helped Somerset to take charge against their local rivals Gloucestershire. Somerset had been in some bother at 136 for 5 when Laraman came to the crease, but his 108-run partnership with Michael Burns turned the game around. Laraman started slowly, but having reached 59, he launched a savage assault on Ian Harvey, lamping him for 34 runs in 11 balls. McLean then took over the big-hitting duties, dominating their ninth-wicket stand of 108 with nine fours and four sixes. Gloucestershire reached the close without losing any second-innings wickets, but they have it all to do to escape with a draw.
Durham 120 and 145 for 3 trail Worcestershire 218 and 198 by 153 runs at Worcester
Fifteen more wickets fell on the second day, to add to the 18 on Wednesday, as Worcestershire and Durham fought towards a gripping finish on a treacherous pitch. By the close, Durham needed another 153 runs to record their third successive Championship win, but they had lost three important wickets. Despite conceding a hefty first innings deficit of 98 runs, Durham bounced back to dismiss Worcestershire for 198 in 51.5 overs. Liam Plunkett took 3 for 61 and was well backed up by Shoaib Akhtar, Steve Harmison and Nicky Phillips, who each took two apiece. Durham's target of 297 looked pretty distant when Michael Gough and Martin Love fell in the same over to Matt Mason, but Jon Lewis and Gary Pratt added 67 for the third wicket to steady the nerves. Pratt was still there at the close, on 46, with Gordon Muchall not out on 10.
Nottinghamshire 265 for 3 v India A
No play today due to rain.