Lancashire cement top spot
England hopeful Sajid Mahmood claimed his first 10-wicket match haul as Lancashire defeated Worcestershire by six wickets in their LV= County Championship Division One clash at New Road.
Mahmood recorded figures of 6-75 - 10-140 overall - as Worcestershire were ousted for 301 in their second innings, which featured a fine 80 for Moeen Ali.
Set 122 for victory, the visitors reached their target this evening for the loss of four wickets.
Warwickshire look well set to claim a draw from their match against Yorkshire at Edgbaston thanks to a 181-run ninth wicket stand between centurion Jonathan Trott (140) and New Zealand import Jeetan Patel (89).
The latter came to the crease with the hosts teetering at 241 for eight in response to Yorkshire’s 600 for eight - Ian Bell (37) and Tim Ambrose (nought) doing their international hopes little good.
A thrilling final day looks in store at Trent Bridge where Nottinghamshire need 149 runs with seven wickets in hand to defeat Somerset.
Somerset’s Marcus Trescothick was denied his 33rd first-class century by just two runs as the visitors were bowled out for 383, with Craig Kieswetter (52) and Zander de Bruyn (54) both making half-centuries.
Pursuing 261 - also their first-innings total - to win, Nottinghamshire were 112 for three at stumps.
Rain delayed play at Hove, where Sussex were bowled out for 363 by Durham.
The county champions were 164 for two by the close, thanks largely to an unbeaten 97-run stand between Michael Di Venuto (75) and Guy Muchall (51), giving them an overall lead of 181 going into day four.
In Division Two, Middlesex’s Australia Test opener Phillip Hughes had looked set to add a double century to his scintillating start to the season, but had to settle for 195 against Surrey in a first-innings total of 445 - Dawid Malan adding 86.
With a first-innings deficit of 57, Surrey made it to 60 for one as they look to save the match at the Brit Oval.
Kent finally got under way this afternoon against Glamorgan at Canterbury after the entire morning had been rained off, and a 309-run stand between Geraint Jones (133) and Martin van Jaarsveld (174no) took them to 361 for three - and a lead of 336 with a day to go.
Leicestershire face a fight to save their match against Gloucestershire at Bristol where, after conceding a first-innings deficit of 260, they closed day three on 243 for six.
Jon Lewis took 3-27 to put the visitors in a daunting position after his own team had amassed 393, although Matthew Boyce (85) and Boeta Dippenaar (52) at least showed some fight for Leicestershire.
Northamptonshire are on course to beat Essex on the final day at Wantage Road where they closed on 16 without loss in pursuit of a victory target of 176.
Essex, for whom James Foster smashed 84, were all out for 308 after Steven Crook’s 5-71.