Durham's Liam Plunkett just missed out on a maiden first-class hundred at Hove, left stranded on 94 as Steve Harmison failed to keep his end up for long enough, but he took three wickets as Sussex suffered a dramatic afternoon collapse. Seemingly cruising at 81 for 0 replying to Durham's 380, Plunkett ripped out Chris Nash's off stump, the first of five wickets which fell within the space of 28 runs. Normal service was resumed after tea as Luke Wright (67) and Andy Hodd (84*) posted 150 for the sixth wicket, Wright falling shortly before the end as Sussex finished on 269 for 6, still 111 in arrears.
Glen Chapple followed his six-for yesterday with 89 to guide Lancashire to a first-innings lead of 180 over Worcestershire at New Road. Replying to 167, Matt Mason struck two early blows to reduce Lancashire to 181 for 7, with Mark Chilton caught at second slip and Luke Sutton playing on, before Chapple and Kyle Hogg (60) put on 123 in 28 overs, steering them into a commanding position. Chris Whelan polished off the tail to finish with 5 for 95, his first five-wicket haul. All of Worcestershire's top three got starts but none were able to go on to build a major innings as they closed on 129 for 3, still 51 in arrears.
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Phillip Hughes' third hundred in four Championship innings was the highlight at The Oval as Middlesex reached 200 for 2 in reply to Surrey's 388. Hughes' 134 not out took his aggregate to 452 for twice out in four innings, and he was typically brutal in his driving and cutting. His most uncomfortable moment came when Andre Nel, who had been pulled away by Hughes with immense power, sent down an accidental high full toss. The batsman was angered, but Nel immediately apologised and at the end of the over put his arm around Hughes. Earlier, Mark Ramprakash, easily old enough to be Hughes' father, only added seven to his overnight 126 before miscuing Steven Finn to mid-off, but Chris Schofield's 47, made either side of a bad-light break, ensured Surrey's innings didn't completely fall away.
Bad light brought an early finish at Canterbury as Kent and Glamorgan closed with honours even. Michael O'Shea (50), Mike Powell (65) and Jamie Dalrymple (79) had put Glamorgan into a commanding position at 239 for 3. Dalrymple looked set for his third consecutive Championship ton when his flick to the leg side rebounded off Sam Northeast at short leg, who then had time to compose himself and take the catch. James Tredwell took three quick wickets to put the skids under the innings, and in the end Glamorgan only managed 307, a lead of 25. Northeast and Rob Key had knocked that off by the end as Kent closed on 30 for 0.
Fourteen wickets fell on the first day at at Bristol, but only four more were added on a slightly shortened second one as Gloucestershire reached 361 for 7, a lead of 228. Alex Gidman's career-best 159, his first century since 2007, held the top half of the innings together, and he eventually found an ally in Steve Snell (60*) as the pair added 128 for the seventh wicket. Even when Gidman eventually fell there was no respite for the bowlers, Snell and Tom Stayt making the most of a tired attack to added an unbeaten 67 by the close.
Half-centuries from Rob White (70), Riki Wessels (84) and Andrew Hall (58) gave Northamptonshire control against Essex at Wantage Road. Wessels benefited from being bowl off a no-ball by Graham Napier, who was the pick of the Essex attack. After Northamptonshire's innings ended on 354, a strong lead of 133, they then reduced Essex to 41 for 2 by the close. Varun Chopra was caught behind off the last ball of the third over David Lucas cleaned up Jaik Mickleburgh to leave the visitors under pressure.
County Championship Division One
County Championship Division Two