Mark Ramprakash, who will be 36 next month, guided Surrey into a useful lead against Gloucestershire with a typically stylish 185, cutting and driving with elegance. His fourth century of the season allowed Surrey to recover from a poor start, when they slumped to 40 for 3 following the loss of Mark Butcher for six. Graham Thorpe added 98 with Ramprakash then Jonathan Batty combined in a stand of 133. When Malinga Bandara dismissed Ali Brown and Azhar Mahmood in the space of three balls Gloucestershire would have had ambitions of restricting Surrey to a similar total as their own. "This was the best Ramps has looked this season, the most relaxed and complete," said Steve Rixon, Surrey's coach. "I said it last year and I'll say it again - he's the best batsman in county cricket."
A record stand of 223 between Mark Chilton and Iain Sutcliffe gave Lancashire a brilliant start in their first innings response to Yorkshire's 417 all out. Click here for a full report.
Luke Sutton and Mohamed Sheikh both hit half-centuries to lead Derbyshire to an imposing first-innings score of 426 against Essex. Starting the day on 272 for 6, Sutton and Sheikh put on 120 for the seventh wicket. The Pakistani leg-spinner, Danish Kaneria, finished with the impressive figures of 60.1 overs 6 for 111. Sheik's followed on from his excellent innings of 55 to take the wicket of Alistair Cook for just one. Graeme Welch took two further wickets, as Essex finished on 113 for 4. Derbyshire are still looking for their first win of the season, but are very well placed in this match with two days to go.
Worcestershire completely dominated the second day of their game against Somerset, with a powerful and dominating batting display. Stephen Peters fell for a well-compiled innings of 88, but Zander de Bruyn, playing in his final Championship match before being replaced by Chris Gayle, struck a superb 161 from 213 balls. The other centurion was Ben Smith, who remains unbeaten on 117 as Worcestershire closed the day on 492, having lost just three wickets in the day. They hold a very handy lead of 174, and Somerset will be desperate for early wickets tomorrow morning.
Zander de Bruyn
County Championship Division Two
County Championship Division One