Victorious Warwickshire pull clear
Warwickshire hold a 21-point lead at the top of the LV= County Championship after completing an impressive comeback to defeat local rivals Worcestershire by seven wickets at Edgbaston.
Ian Westwood led the way with 83 before an unbroken stand of 70 between Darren Maddy and Jim Troughton rounded off the hosts’ successful pursuit of 260.
Ashley Giles’ side fifth win of the season takes them clear of second-placed Nottinghamshire, but Worcestershire now lie bottom of Division One. However, they are only 12 points behind sixth-placed Durham and boast a game in hand on all of their fellow strugglers.
Nottinghamshire’s match with Somerset petered out into a predictable draw, with rain having wiped out much of the first two days at Taunton.
Somerset, 187 for six overnight, secured a first-innings lead of 93 by posting 249 after James Hildreth had taken his score on to 83.
Any chance of a positive result was soon snuffed out as Alex Hales and James Taylor contributed 54 and 46 respectively to guide Notts to 176 for five.
Sussex, 32 points adrift of Warwickshire in third, produced a fine opening-day bowling display after winning the toss against Middlesex at the PROBIZ County Ground.
Amjad Khan returned superb figures of 5-25 and Steve Magoffin chipped in with 3-45 as the visitors subsided to 170 all out; their total would have been lower were it not for Tim Murtagh’s 27-ball 34 from number 10.
In reply, Sussex were hampered by the loss of Luke Wells and Murray Goodwin in successive overs, but retained the upper hand by closing on 106 for three. Skipper Ed Joyce, who was dropped twice off Murtagh, finished unbeaten on 49.
Kent’s promotion hopes took a blow as they lost to Essex by seven wickets inside three days at Canterbury.
The hosts were in trouble overnight at nine for three in their second innings, and four wickets for Maurice Chambers plus three for Graham Napier and Harbhajan Singh dismissed them for 101.
Set a facile 55 to win, the visitors lost openers Jaik Mickleburgh and Tom Westley to Azhar Mahmood before Charlie Shreck snared Owais Shah. However, Mark Pettini and Ryan ten Doeschate ensured there were no further mishaps.
Opener Stephen Peters’ unbeaten 137 made a mockery of Leicestershire’s decision to bowl first versus Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.
In a game starting at midday due to Northants’ Clydesdale Bank 40 action yesterday evening, Peters put on 126 for the first wicket with Niall O’Brien.
Wayne White removed O’Brien for 70 and David Sales in a double-wicket maiden, and two wickets for Shiv Thakor in consecutive overs left the hosts 161 for four.
However, Peters and Andrew Hall shared a stand of 139, which Nathan Buck ended by having Hall caught behind for 59 to herald stumps at 300 for five.