Yorkshire suffer first loss
Early-season pacesetters Yorkshire were brought crashing back down to earth by Durham in the LV County Championship Division One.
Darren Gough’s previously unbeaten leaders suffered a comprehensive six-wicket thrashing at Chester-le-Street as the hosts moved above Warwickshire into second spot in the table.
Durham were handed a target of 131 to win after Graham Onions took Yorkshire’s one remaining wicket with the day’s second ball, clean bowling Deon Kruis to finish with five for 53.
They were soon rocking on 35 for three in their pursuit, but Michael Di Venuto’s fifth half-century in nine innings put them within sight of their third win in five games and skipper Dale Benkenstein completed the task with an unbeaten 32.
The only stalemate of the day came at Canterbury, where Hampshire’s match with Kent petered out into a draw despite the efforts of Yasir Arafat.
He took four for 90 on the final day but the Kent attack otherwise faced stiff resistance from the the visiting batsmen, with Andrew Hall’s sole strike the only other breakthrough as Hampshire closed on 275 for five.
Any fear of Shane Warne’s side sliding to defeat was allayed by an unbeaten 91-run stand between Sean Ervine (56no) and Dimitri Mascarenhas (33no), while a victory target of 460 was never on the cards.
At New Road, Robin Martin-Jenkins, Mushtaq Ahmed and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan took three wickets apiece as Sussex thrashed Worcestershire by an innings and 109 runs.
The visitors’ 512 in the first innings proved insurmountable for Worcestershire, who responded with a meagre 100 and then 303 in the follow on.
Graeme Hick continued his excellent form with 103 and Gareth Batty hit a half century (64), but the pair’s efforts were to prove in vain as Sussex strolled to victory.
Martin-Jenkins did much of the damage early on, finishing with superb figures of three for 17.
In Division Two, Rob White’s quickfire 43 condemned Derbyshire to their first championship defeat of the season as Northamptonshire strolled to a six-wicket victory.
The home side needed only 60 more runs for the win with seven wickets in hand, and they passed that total in just 12 overs.
They did not have things all their own way as Graham Wagg (three for 26) snared skipper David Sales early on.
But Stephen Peters hung in with an unbeaten 28 and Rob White’s quick scoring ensured Northants picked up their second win of the season by reaching their victory target of 80.
A half-century from James Hildreth guided Somerset to an eight-wicket victory over Gloucestershire at Taunton.
The home side were handed a target of 172 for victory after Gloucestershire had added another 76 runs to their overnight total to finish on 465, with Christopher Taylor hitting 101.
And it was Hildreth (51no) who guided them home after an impressive opening partnership of 84 from Justin Langer (41) and Neil Edwards (44).