Division One

A seven-wicket haul from Mushtaq Ahmed not only continued a welcome return to form but also put Sussex in a strong position against Hampshire at Arundel. Hampshire were 92 for 2 in reply to Sussex's 341 before losing eight wickets for 110 to hand the home side a first-innings lead of 139. Sussex found the going much easier second time round, despite losing two wickets soon after tea to Dimitri Mascarenhas. At the close they had extended their lead to 280 with Richard Montgomerie unbeaten on 62.

Durham responded positively to Lancashire's 367 with Gordon Muchall striking an unbeaten 65 as they fought back from 58 for 3 at Chester-le-Street. Glen Chapple's 57, along with useful efforts from the bottom three, lifted Lancashire's total as Mark Davies finished with four wickets. Tom Smith struck twice in his first two overs to remove Durham's openers, but Lancashire couldn't press home the advantage as Muchall began the recovery. He was partnered firstly by Dale Benkenstein then Scott Styris. Muttiah Muralitharan failed to make an impression, conceding four-an-over, and Durham will be confident of at least reaching parity on first innings.

Joe Sayers missed his first double century by 13 runs as Yorkshire left Kent in serious difficultly at Tunbridge Wells. He was caught off James Tredwell after more than eight-and-a-half hours at the crease. Adil Rashid and Tim Bresnan built on Sayers' effort with half-centuries as Yorkshire piled up 551 before Darren Gough called them in. Gough then removed the first two Kent wickets in an over - Martin van Jaarsveld going third ball - and Deon Kruis also bagged a brace as the innings fell to 65 for 4. Robert Key and Neil Dexter survived until the close but two tough days lie ahead if Kent are to stave off defeat.

Vikram Solanki struck a career-best 232 for Worcestershire on the second day at New Road, but Surrey responded to the home side's massive total by racing to 144 for 1 at stumps. Worcestershire declared on 701 for 6, equalling the highest total at New Road (701 for 4 declared by Leicestershire 101 years ago) but, for once, Graeme Hick couldn't capitalise on the flat track - falling to Ian Salisbury for 15. He is now 12 short of 30,000 first-class runs for Worcestershire and 49 adrift of a career total of 40,000. In reply, Surrey sped to 144 for 1 with Jon Batty unbeaten on 66.

Division Two

3rd day

Hamish Marshall struck a unbeaten 120 as Gloucestershire fought hard after being asked to follow-on by Derbyshire at Derby. Trailing by 242 they were put in again and fell to 34 for 3, but Marshall and Alex Gidman turned the innings around by adding 186 for the fourth wicket. Marshall's hundred was his first in the Championship this season and Gidman continued his prolific recent form. In the first innings he narrowly missed a third century in consecutive innings when he was ninth out for 91, but has a chance of making in three in four knocks after closing on 69. Tom Lungley has led the Derbyshire attack, taking two second-innings scalps to follow his five first time around, and holds a key role on the final day with Gloucestershire probably needing to bat for two sessions to save the game.

Leaders Nottinghamshire continued to find the going hard on the third day of their match against bottom side Glamorgan at Swansea. Resuming on 199 for 5, David Hussey (98) and Mark Ealham (74*) put on 112 for the sixth wicket for Notts before Dean Cosker and Robert Croft checked the recovery to hand Glamorgan a first-innings lead of 65. Nicky Peng (65) built on that, steering them to 100 for 1 only for late wickets to leave the game well poised. At stumps, Glamorgan were 158 for 4, 222 ahead.

2nd day

Essex built upon their healthy overnight position of 309 for 2 to compile an enormous 649 for 5 before snatching four quick Northamptonshire wickets at Chelmsford. Ravi Bopara, resuming on 155, notched the next four runs to match his career best before piling onwards to his first double century. At the other end, Grant Flower was also dominating Northamptonshire's attack and together the pair put on 320 for the third wicket. Flower eventually fell for 203, but Ryan ten Doeschate then took the bull by the horns, smashing a violent 62 from 37 balls. Northamptonshire's day didn't get any better, losing four wickets before stumps - including Usman Afzaal for 73 and their mainstay, David Sales, for 23.

Somerset were two wickets away from wrapping up a crushing two-day win over Leicestershire at Taunton, after their top four each registered hundreds. Marcus Trescothick, who resumed on 153, fell for 182 but James Hildreth (163) and Cameron White (114) put on 202 for the third wicket as Somerset raced past 600. A quickfire 36 from their young wicketkeeper, Craig Kieswetter, led to their declaration on 675 for 5, gaining a mammoth lead of 507. Leicestershire simply crumbled, Charl Willoughby and Andy Caddick each picked up three wickets to leave them on 188 for 8, some 319 runs behind.