Rikki Clarke's composed half-century guided Surrey to their first Championship win of the season against Durham at The Oval . Chasing 152, the game was finely balanced when play started with Surrey on 46 for 3 and Steve Harmison soon struck a fourth blow to remove Stewart Walters. However, Clarke took the match by the scruff of the neck against a hostile Harmison. "Rikki played fantastic today under immense pressure from Steve Harmison, who bowled exceptionally well," said Mark Butcher, after also playing a vital hand with an unbeaten 40.
The Roses match finally got underway, two days late, at Old Trafford as Lancashire and Yorkshire battled for bonus points. Michael Vaughan ground his way to 74 (his fifty took 155 balls) , after being dropped on 41 by Dominic Cork at slip, before shouldering arms to a straight ball from Sanath Jayasuriya and Yorkshire lost their way during the afternoon session. Younis Khan was bowled by a stunning delivery from Gary Keedy, which pitched middle and hit off, as four wickets fell between lunch and tea. James Anderson was impressive - striking with the second ball of the day - and later ended a positive innings from Adil Rashid with a ball that bounced a touch more. Gerard Brophy led Yorkshire beyond their second batting point with an aggressive half-century.
Worcestershire's match against Kent was abandoned in its entirety on the third day with no hope of play at a sodden New Road. The ECB have launched an inquiry into the situation which left Graham Ford, Kent's coach, saying: "I am not sure why the decision was made to be played here but what hurts a lot is we do know there were other options available and we would have had proper cricket played at the other venues. Cricket is the loser and the Kent players are feeling rather hurt about the whole situation."
No play was possible between Hampshire and Warwickshire as The Rose Bowl outfield failed to recover from torrential thunderstorms. The match is now destined for a draw with Warwickshire 353 for 5 in their first innings.
Chris Read followed James Foster's double century with a fine innings of his own as Nottinghamshire saved their mammoth follow-on against Essex at Chelmsford. Read struck 16 fours and four sixes as he carried his side towards safety, with Mark Ealham and Graham Swann for company, and is now within five runs of surpassing his career-best for the second time this season. His effort followed centuries for Mark Wagh (107) and Samit Patel (117) as they extended their second-wicket stand to 192. It was another day of hard toil for the bowlers; Essex used nine of them and Danish Kaneria sent down 42 overs for his three wickets and without some agreement between the captains this match is heading for a draw.
Garnett Kruger bagged five wickets to move Leicestershire with touching distance of a comfortable win over Glamorgan at Grace Road. Kruger's haul helped reduce Glamorgan to 140 for 8 despite a fourth-wicket stand of 64 between Jimmy Maher (55) and David Hemp. The home side were on course for a three-day innings victory, but Glamorgan's tail found some backbone with Robert Croft striking a defiant 71. The last two wickets added 96 and Croft put on 62 with Huw Waters as Leicestershire claimed the extra half hour to try and wrap up the win. However, they couldn't knock off the 24 needed before the close so will have to return and finish the job. Mansoor Amjad's 105 had earlier boosted Leicestershire's lead to 213 alongside a ninth-wicket stand of 98 with John Maunders.
Murali Kartik's 5 for 38 set up an intriguing final day at Southgate as Derbyshire left Middlesex 282 for victory. Derbyshire made heavy weather of building on their 82-run lead and wobbled to 121 for 7 with Simon Katich bowled for 68. Greg Smith and Graham Wagg boosted the lead by adding 70 for the eighth wicket before Kartik spun through the lower order. Andrew Strauss gave Middlesex a solid start to their run chase, reaching 47 by the close, and has a key role to play on the final day.
Northamptonshire are on course for victory against Gloucestershire at Northampton after setting a stiff target of 331. David Lucas, the left-armer, took out three top-order wickets as the visitors stumbled to 33 for 3 before Hamish Marshall and Alex Gidman added 80. But Monty Panesar struck shortly before the close and will be eyeing more success on the final day. Northamptonshire's lead was built around a second-wicket stand of 153 between Stephen Peters (92) and Usman Afzaal (72). Chris Taylor was the surprise success with the ball as his part-time offspin brought four wickets, while Vikram Banerjee claimed three as nine wickets fell for 86.