Warwickshire take over at the top
Warwickshire marched to the top of the LV= County Championship Division One table with a thumping nine-wicket win inside three days over defending champions and previous leaders Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.
Ian Bell’s side were firmly on top after taking 14 wickets yesterday and Nottinghamshire started the day needing a further 199 to make them bat again.
Overnight pair Adam Voges and Paul Franks put on a 174-run partnership for the fifth wicket to significantly reduce their side's arrears but they were then dismissed by Darren Maddy for 74 and 96 respectively.
Andre Adams continued his fine batting form with a quickfire 51 off 35 deliveries in a cameo that included four fours and four sixes.
The New Zealander was the last man out, bowled by Rikki Clarke, to leave Warwickshire with the simple task of chasing 60 runs for victory, which they did for the loss of one wicket.
Varun Chopra fell lbw to Charlie Shreck for 14 but it mattered little as Bell plundered 33 from 16 deliveries to lead Warwickshire to their target in just eight overs and condemn Nottinghamshire to a second successive championship defeat.
Durham will move level on points with Warwickshire if they can wrap up victory over Worcestershire at New Road tomorrow.
They will be favourites to triumph after bowling their opponents out for 217 this morning for a first-innings lead of 370, with Steve Harmison claiming 4-67 on his return to championship action from injury.
Worcestershire rallied in their second innings and although Matt Pardoe and James Cameron fell to slow left-armer Ian Blackwell, Vikram Solanki and Moeen Ali both scored battling half-centuries.
However, Harmison bowled Solanki for 58 as well as Alexei Kervezee, while Moeen was caught behind off Ben Stokes for 63 as Worcestershire closed on 271 for five - still 99 runs shy of making Durham bat again.
Lancashire could leap above both Warwickshire and Durham in Division One but they were held up by rain in their pursuit of victory against Yorkshire at Liverpool.
After adding just two runs to their overnight total of 327 for eight, Lancashire’s cause was boosted when Adam Lyth and Joe Root fell cheaply as their Roses rivals slipped to 48 for two.
Most of the afternoon session was wiped out after the heavens opened, though, and, when play resumed, Joe Sayers and captain Andrew Gale extended their unbroken partnership to 83 to lead Yorkshire to 131 for two.
The visitors still trail by 57 runs heading into the final day.
An unbeaten century from Chris Nash led Sussex to the brink of victory against Somerset at the PROBIZ County Ground.
Nash and Ed Joyce put on 201 for the opening wicket, with the former striking 15 fours in his unbeaten 111 as Sussex closed on 218 for one - after being set 272 for victory.
Joyce was trapped in front by Lewis Gregory for 84 shortly before the close.
Earlier, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan claimed his second five-for of the match as Somerset collapsed from 138 for one to 235 all out.
In Division Two, the runs continued to flow at Whitgift School, where the match between Surrey and Essex appears likely to end in a draw.
Surrey, who resumed this morning on 277 for four, posted 506 in response to their opponents’ 548.
Skipper Rory Hamilton-Brown added just 11 to his overnight score of 148, but Zander de Bruyn and Gareth Batty struck 61 and 79 respectively, with the latter receiving fine support from Yasir Arafat, who finished unbeaten on 44.
Essex openers Jaik Mickelburgh and Alastair Cook then put on 85 for the first wicket before the latter fell victim to the part-time off-spin of Kevin Pietersen.
Chris Tremlett removed Mark Pettini for a duck in the following over, but Essex reached stumps 154 ahead on 112 for two, with Cook 62 not out.
Leicestershire face a stiff challenge to avoid the follow-on in their match against Gloucestershire at Bristol, despite an opening stand of 195 between Matthew Boyce and Will Jefferson.
Needing 355 to make their hosts bat again, Leicestershire reached stumps on 315 for nine, with skipper Matthew Hoggard and Nadeem Malik at the crease.
Jon Lewis and Ian Saxelby claimed three wickets each for Gloucestershire and Kane Williamson added two scalps to his 149 earlier in the match.
Jefferson struck 90 before becoming the first Leicestershire batsman to fall, while Boyce hit 17 fours en route to 119, the second first-class century of his career.
Glamorgan continued to exhibit total dominance over Middlesex on the second day of their clash at Lord’s.
After overhauling Middlesex’s score of 150 for the loss of just one wicket on day one, Glamorgan progessed to 517 for eight today.
Ben Wright top-scored with 101, while overnight batsmen Gareth Rees and Will Bragg took their respective scores to 75 and 87 respectively.
Graham Wagg also chipped in with 63 for Glamorgan as they extended their lead to 367.