Danish Kaneria took a county-best 8 for 116 for Essex at Chelmsford, forcing Leicestershire to follow on, despite an unbeaten century from James Taylor. Leicestershire made 344 in reply to Essex's 517 for 9 declared, as Kaneria's dismantled the line-up. He was at it again in the evening, removing Matthew Boyce for 14 in Leicestershire's second-innings, as they ended the day struggling on 42 for 2. Taylor, the impressive 19-year-old, recorded his third century of the season after hitting Ryan ten Doeschate for four boundaries in an over. The visitors might have avoided the follow-on had James Benning not been forced to retire hurt. He had scored 36 before he was struck by a delivery from David Masters which left him with a badly-swollen cheekbone, requiring a trip to hospital.
It will need collusion or a final-day collapse at Wantage Road after Glamorgan battled to a narrow lead against Northamptonshire. The visitors were aided by an aggressive half-century from Jim Allenby as he hit 55 off 50 including ten boundaries and a contrasting 171-ball 55 from Mike Powell. Allenby took 28 off two overs with David Lucas and added 87 with Mark Wallace to put Glamorgan on top. However, Northamptonshire hit back with three wickets in 10 overs and Monty Panesar to a season's best 3 for 55. Northamptonshire lost an early second-innings wicket in Rob White, who was trapped in front for nine off James Harris. The day's play ended when bad light stopped play at 19 for 1, with the home side trailing by 14 runs.
The Middlesex attack produce an incisive display to leave Gloucestershire in real trouble on 196 for 9 at Lord's. The visitors made a poor start in reply to Middlesex's 342 and were limping on 28 for 3 when Tim Murtagh removed Hamish Marshall and Alex Gidman with consecutive balls. Rob Woodman blocked his way to 9 from 84 balls in nearly two hours before falling to Steven Finn who also removed James Franklin. Chris Taylor was the only batsman to score relatively freely as he chalked up 65 with 52 of those coming in boundaries. But after seam did the early damage, it was Murali Kartik's spin that caused the later problems as he claimed Stephen Adshead then ended Taylor's resistance and then added Ian Saxelby. At that stage the follow-on loomed, but that was avoided by Jon Lewis and Steve Kirby. Middlesex had only managed to add 35 to their overnight total as Shaun Udal was left unbeaten on 45, but any disappointment at not making a larger total will have dissipated by the close.
Jonathan Batty and Michael Brown got Surrey off to a solid, if sluggish, start in their clash with division-leaders Kent at Canterbury, as the visitors ended on 261 for 4 at stumps. The pair put on 171 for the first wicket in four-and-half hours, before Brown edged to Geraint Jones off Amjad Khan for 88. Khan then promptly removed Stewart Walters third-ball without scoring with a catch at gully. But Mark Ramprakash brought stability to the crease to support Batty, as they added 60 for the third wicket. Batty was finally caught behind by Jones off Philip Edwards four short of his century. Edwards removed Usman Afzaal, who edged to Jones for 3, leaving Ramprakash and Matthew Spriegel at the crease at stumps, unbeaten on 41 and 9 respectively.
Imran Tahir starred for Hampshire against Somerset at The Rose Bowl, smashing an unbeaten career-best 77 off as many balls and taking 3 for 52, as the visitors were left trailing by 450 at stumps. Hampshire rattled up an impressive first-innings total of 548 and most of the damage came from Jimmy Adams on Thursday, who added 34 to his over-night score, ending on 147 as he was dismissed leg-before by Charl Willoughby. Dominic Cork's quickfire 52 helped also, before he fell to young legspinner Max Waller but the total was swelled further as Tahir added 80 for the last wicket with 18-year-old Danny Briggs. Somerset got off to a solid reply, until the ball was thrown to Tahir. He broke the first-wicket partnership of 76 between Marcus Trescothick and Suppiah, as the latter was caught and bowled for 35 from a leading edge. Tahir then claimed two more; Langer was removed by a smart catch from Cork although the Somerset captain departed angrily, sure the ball hadn't carried, and Hildreth managed four before becoming Tahir's third
Click here for John Ward's report from Scarborough.
Click here for George Dobell's report from Worcester.
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