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LV=CC, April 8: As it happened

Coverage of day three of the LV= County Championship season when England and Sussex's Matt Prior became the first centurion of the campaign. His ton came versus Middlesex, for whom Steven Finn took 6-80.

By Rob Barnett and Dominic Farrell

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7.05pm - Here’s how everything stands with one day remaining in the four opening LV= County Championship matches of the season. Nottinghamshire and Sussex will feel most confident in pushing for victory, while the opening session at the Kia Oval could be an intriguing affair. Thanks for reading and we’ll see you tomorrow morning.

Division One

Lancashire are seven for one, needing another 342 for victory against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge. The hosts bowled out Lancashire for 144 this morning before their second innings collapsed to 220 all out from 188 for three. Nevertheless, Riki Wessels’ 90 puts Notts in the box seat despite the best efforts of Red Rose all-rounder Tom Smith. He followed up an unbeaten 42 with 5-53.

Middlesex are 57 for one in their second innings, still 224 behind Sussex at the BrightonandHoveJobs.com County Ground. Matt Prior was the first centurion of the championship campaign, for the home team, while England colleague Steven Finn collected 6-80 amid 386 all out.

Division Two

Surrey are 50 for two in their second innings against Glamorgan at the Kia Oval, a lead of 121 with skipper Graeme Smith and fellow opener Rory Burns back in the pavilion.

Worcestershire are 103 for one in response to Hampshires 263 all out at the Ageas Bowl. All-rounder Sean Ervine blasted two sixes on his way to 93 for the home team.

6.48pm - Stumps have been drawn for the loss of no further wickets at both Trent Bridge and the Kia Oval. We'll have a close-of-play summary with you soon enough.

6.45pm - Worcestershire have brought up 100 in response to Hampshire’s 263 all out, for the loss of just one wicket at the Ageas Bowl. Skipper Daryl Mitchell and Moeen Ali are unbeaten on 42 and 26 respectively. Considering the near total loss of play on the first two days, collecting batting bonus points might be foremost in the visitors’ minds.

6.30pm - That's just what Nottinghamshire wanted! Reece becomes the 15th batsman bowled in the match, with Gurney the bowler responsible. It's six for one and Simon Kerrigan is in as nightwatchman.

6.24pm - Big breakthrough for Glamorgan as Graham Wagg removes Graeme Smith in the teens for the second time in the match, courtesy of an excellent diving catch at slip by Stewart Walters. Surrey are 40 for two, leading by 111. A couple more wickets tonight and we will have an intriguing final day in prospect at the Kia Oval.

6.19pm - In light of this evening’s general carnage at Trent Bridge, Lancashire openers Paul Horton and Luis Reece have made a sensibly watchful start and there is no score with the fourth over in progress.

5.59pm - That’s certainly not what Middlesex needed when negotiating a massive deficit - Sam Robson leaves one from Magoffin only to hear the clatter every batsman dreads.

On the back of his unbeaten 42 this morning, Smith finishes with 5-53 after trapping Harry Gurney lbw. The upshot is Lancashire need 348 to win and face a dastardly nine-over session this evening.

5.47pm - Away from today’s action, Northamptonshire have announced the signing of South African all-rounder Rory Kleinveldt, subject to a successful visa application. If all goes well, Kleinveldt will make his debut in the County Championship game against Yorkshire later this month.

5.40pm - End of innings in quick succession at the Kia Oval and BrightonandHoveJobs.com County Ground.

Dean Cosker sends a return catch to Tom Curran to end Glamorgan’s first innings on 209 - a deficit of 71, with Surrey having to negotiate 15 overs before the close.

Shortly after a late tea, Sussex are all out for 386 - a huge 281-run lead over Middlesex.

Meanwhile, events continue to progress at a furious pace over at Trent Bridge. Having been 188 for three, Nottinghamshire are 202 for nine! Smith took two wickets in as many balls to progress to 4-43 before Anderson bowled Andy Carter. Notts are still in command with a 330-run lead but that’s been a truly crazy last half hour!

5.25pm - Perhaps that was Kabir’s plan all along... seemingly nonplussed by recent events, Anderson has battered two of Wessels stumps out of the turf to end his fun on 90.

At the Ageas Bowl, Matt Pardoe has edged behind off Matt Coles and Worcestershire are 49 for one in response to 263.

5.18pm - Allenby brings up a half-century but doesn’t last much longer as Tim Linley removes him for 52.

Wessels has been handed a life at Trent Bridge, with Kabir Ali shelling a chance at mid-on off James Anderson. He’s on 88.

5.10pm - Lewis and Steve Magoffin have now added 50 for Sussex’s final wicket. The umpires decided enough is enough and call for a belated tea with the hosts 385 for nine - a lead of 280

5.05pm - The old adage of “one brings two” rings true for Lancashire and, boy, how they needed that. In fairness to seam bowler Tom Smith, it isn’t a bad two either as England Twenty20 openers Michael Lumb and Alex Hales return to the pavilion for 38 and nought respectively. Wessels is still there, having raced to 84, and is joined by Chris Read with the score 188 for five.

5pm - Middlesex must be sick of the sight of Jon Lewis. The veteran seamer was their chief destroyed on his Sussex debut and now, in at number 11, has contributed 27 from as many balls to move his new employers’ lead to a towering 265.

4.50pm - Jim Allenby took four wickets during Surrey’s innings and the Glamorgan all-rounder is now enjoying himself with the bat. He has 42 and the visitors are 102 behind with three first-innings wicket intact.

Meanwhile, Worcestershire have made a sedate start to their reply at the Ageas Bowl and are 17 without loss in the ninth over.

4.44pm - It looks like Notts are willing to force the issue after the interval. Wessels has just lifted Simon Kerrigan for a pair of leg-side sixes.

4.35pm - They’re back in business at the Kia Oval and Trent Bridge. At the latter ground, Riki Wessels has brought up a fine half-century and Nottinghamshire are in complete control with a lead of 278 on 150 for three.

4.30pm - Fifty and out for James Anyon! The Sussex tail may well have wagged this contest out of Middlesex’s reach but Steven Finn has another wicket, taking his figures to 6-76.

4.15pm - Tea is being taken in all games, with the exception of Sussex v Middlesex, so it seems as good a time as any to offer a recap of the state of play:

Division One

Nottinghamshire are 137 for three, a lead of 265 having dismissed Lancashire for 144 this morning. Riki Wessels and Michael Lumb have added 66 for the fourth wicket. 

Sussex are 320 for eight, replying to Middlesex’s 105 at the BrightonandHoveJobs.com County Ground where Matt Prior was the first centurion of the championship campaign. His England colleague Steven Finn has collected a five-wicket haul.

Division Two

Glamorgan are 159 for seven after Surrey were dismissed for 280. Home paceman Stuart Meaker is impressing with 4-37 at the Kia Oval.

Hampshire were 263 all out versus Worcestershire at the Ageas Bowl where Jack Shantry claimed three wickets in nine balls this morning, before Sean Ervine blasted two sixes on his way to 93.

4.04pm - Oh no! Despite his best efforts, Ervine will not be going through to a century. He added no further runs following those mighty blows mentioned in the tweet below, falling caught by Alexei Kervezee off Charles Morris. The upshot is Hampshire are 263 all out and one would expect tea to be taken at the Ageas Bowl.

3.58pm - Congratulations to Surrey’s Tom Curran - the 19-year-old has his first championship wicket, having removed Wagg for 18. Glamorgan are now 152 for seven, still 128 in arrears.

3.54pm - Another useful partnership is in progress for Sussex, whose lead is now 200 against Middlesex. James Anyon and Steffan Piolet have added 52 for the eighth wicket and remain unbeaten on 30 and 24 respectively.

3.37pm – Worcestershire seamer Jack Shantry has a fourth scalp when David Balcombe is caught behind for 23. Hampshire are 237 for nine with Ervine unbeaten on 75.

3.23pm – Meaker strikes twice in two balls, trapping Murray Goodwin in front for 20 and having Mark Wallace, on his 200th consecutive championship appearance, held at first slip. Graham Wagg scores three from the hat-trick delivery so Glamorgan are 115 for six in reply to 280.

2.58pm – Following a fifty partnership in each match earlier in the session, there’s now a flurry of wickets. Lancashire’s Kabir has Samit Patel caught behind for nought to make it two wickets in an over. Worcestershire’s Gareth Andrew ousts Wheater for 35 and Moeen Ali has Matt Coles caught and bowled in consecutive overs. Surrey’s Stuart Meaker gets Bragg edging behind for 38.

2.52pm – Prior is gone for 125 as Finn grabs his fourth wicket! Prior hooked into the deep where James Harris, who shelled him on 55, made no mistake this time. Prior, who was dropped for the last two winter Ashes Tests, has sent a clear message to the England selectors about his batting form.

2.37pm – Ervine raises a half-century and there is a wicket in each other game. Kabir Ali cleans up Notts’ Mullaney for 26, Steven Finn ousts Sussex’s Brown, who made 44 of a 92-run alliance with Prior, and Surrey’s Zafar Ansari bowls Walters for 34.

2.37pm – Ervine raises a half-century and there is a wicket in each Division One game. Kabir Ali bowls Notts’ Mullaney for 26 and Steven Finn ousts Sussex’s Brown, who made 44 of a 92-run alliance with Prior.

2.25pm – Batsmen are prospering after lunch with unbroken fifty partnerships in progress in all four games: Notts openers Phil Jaques and Steven Mullaney, Glamorgan second-wicket pair Will Bragg and Stewart Walters, Sussex sixth-wicket partners Prior and Ben Brown plus Hampshire’s seventh-wicket duo Sean Ervine and Adam Wheater are all profiting.

2.10pm – Play resumes at Hove. How many can Prior make?

1.40pm – Matt Prior will have to wait to build on his unbeaten 102 as a shower delays the restart at the BrightonandHoveJobs.com County Ground. Play has begun at Trent Bridge and the Kia Oval, but it will not for another 15 minutes at the Ageas Bowl (see below).

1.23pm – During the lunch break, why not read our feature with Yorkshire and New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson?

1.15pm – Lunch arrives in all four games, play having continued beyond 1pm at the Ageas Bowl where the start was delayed by 15 minutes. Here are the scores:

Division One

Lancashire were all out for 144 in reply to Nottinghamshire’s 272 at Trent Bridge.

Sussex are 209 for five, replying to Middlesex’s 105 at the BrightonandHoveJobs.com County Ground where Matt Prior was the first centurion of the championship campaign.

Division Two

Glamorgan are 34 for one after Surrey were dismissed for 280, wicketkeeper Mark Wallace taking five catches in his 200th straight championship game.

Hampshire are 136 for six versus Worcestershire at the Ageas Bowl where Jack Shantry claimed three wickets in nine balls this morning.

1.04pm – Prior takes Roland-Jones for two consecutive fours to become the first centurion of the championship season! He had some luck getting there, being dropped three times.

12.55pm – Luke Fletcher responds to Tom Smith hitting Harry Gurney for three consecutive fours by removing Simon Kerrigan and James Anderson in back-to-back ball to dismiss Lancashire for 144, 128 behind Notts on first innings. With Smith unbeaten on 42, lunch is taken at Trent Bridge.

12.41pm – Shantry makes it three strikes in nine balls, this time ousting Smith for 29 as first-class debutant Tom Kohler-Cadmore takes his second catch during that period.

Surrey have an early scalp, Meaker having Gareth Rees held at first slip.

12.29pm – Worcestershire’s Jack Shantry strikes twice in two balls, snaring Adams for 67 and Hampshire championship debutant Joe Gatting. Sean Ervine survives the hat-trick ball, but the hosts are 92 for five.

At Hove, Prior has moved on to 82. Will he make the first championship hundred of 2014?

12.16pm – Surrey are all out 280 for as Ruardhri Smith bowls Tim Linley for nought. In the previous over, Chris Tremlett responded to Stuart Meaker’s run-out by striking Graham Wagg consecutively for four, four, six, four to end unbeaten on 27.

12.05pm – Another England man playing at Hove, Steven Finn, bowls Matt Machan for 38, ending a stand of 106 with Prior. Sussex are 148 for four, already leading Middlesex by 43 on first innings.

11.58am – Jimmy Adams and Will Smith share a restorative fifty partnership, helping Hampshire recover from 28 for three. By the way, that six to Prior in the below tweet was dropped over the fine-leg boundary by James Harris.

11.44am – Glamorgan gloveman Mark Wallace has his fifth catch in his 200th straight championship game, a fine diving take to oust Zafar Ansari for 74 off Michael Hogan. Surrey are therefore 245 for eight.

11.33am – England wicketkeeper Matt Prior is flying along, having just hooked Toby Roland-Jones for six. His fifty came in 49 balls and contained 11 fours.

11.15am – As expected, the action resumes at Trent Bridge and the Ageas Bowl. Worcestershire, visitors to the latter, have today announced the signings of New Zealand duo Colin Munro and Mitchell McClenaghan.

11.08am – Like Nottinghamshire against Lancashire, Hampshire versus Worcestershire is set to start at 11.15am.

11am – Prospects of play at the four matches seem better than yesterday. Indeed, the action is under way at the BrightonandHoveJobs.com County Ground and the Kia Oval, although there are slight delays at Trent Bridge and the Ageas Bowl.

10.50am – Hello and welcome to our LV= County Championship blog. Here’s how the games stand:

Division One

Lancashire are 77 for six in reply to Nottinghamshire’s 272 at Trent Bridge.

Sussex are 86 for three, responding to Middlesex’s 105 at the BrightonandHoveJobs.com County Ground where there was no play yesterday.

Division Two

Surrey are 209 for seven versus Glamorgan at the Kia Oval.

Hampshire are 37 for three against Worcestershire at the Ageas Bowl where no play was possible yesterday.

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