Ervine puts Hampshire in pole position

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Sean Ervine

Sean Ervine gave Hampshire hope of their first win of 2010 with a stunning 237 not out against Somerset

Sean Ervine’s career-best 237 not out led Hampshire’s emphatic charge in their LV= County Championship Division One clash against Somerset at the Rose Bowl.

Zimbabwe all-rounder Ervine struck his double century from 333 balls and put on 170 for the ninth wicket with James Tomlinson as Hampshire reached 512 all out.

Hampshire bowlers David Griffiths and Rangana Herath then claimed the wickets of Marcus Trescothick (41) and Arul Suppiah (27) to leave their side in a commanding position.

Somerset closed the day on 104 for two, still trailing by 408 runs.

Hashim Amla put Nottinghamshire in a strong position against Durham as the South Africa batsman maintained his imposing early season form with another half-century at Trent Bridge.

The right-hander hit 67 from 78 balls, including 14 fours, in what was his fifth score of 50 or more in six championship innings before he was caught behind just before the close.

His dismissal was a rare black spot for the hosts, who closed on 191 for three, 27 runs behind after bowling out Durham for 218 earlier in the day with Paul Franks and Charlie Shreck picking up three wickets each.

Emerging batsman Tom Westley confirmed his promise by beginning to dig Essex out of a hole against Kent at Chelmsford.

Westley battled to a rearguard 84 not out as the hosts closed on 172 for four in reply to Kent’s 474 all out.

It could have been much worse for Essex, who lost England opener Alastair Cook to his first ball before slipping to 13 for two.

However, Westley and fellow 21-year-old Billy Godleman put on 76 to steady their side - and the former went on to strike 12 boundaries by stumps.

George Sharp, Steve Harmison & Neil Edwards

Steve Harmison steams in during his first championship match of the season where Nottinghamshire appear to hold the trump cards

In Division Two, Neil Dexter’s measured 112 put Middlesex into a commanding position against Derbyshire at Lord’s.

At the close, Dexter and Gareth Berg – who himself reached a brilliant run-a-ball 125 – had swept Middlesex into a 170-run lead at 366 for nine. Their 202-run partnership, in just 39 overs, was a sixth-wicket record for Middlesex against Derbyshire.

Jamie Dalrymple cracked his first century of the season as Glamorgan took control against Northamptonshire at the SWALEC Stadium.

Having dismissed the visitors for just 253 in their first innings, Glamorgan responded by reaching 348 for five at the close of the second day, giving them an overall lead of 95.

Dalrymple’s century – from 174 balls with 13 fours - was his fifth for the Welsh side but he was dismissed just before the close for 105 having shared in a stand of 79 with Jim Allenby (39) for the fifth wicket.

Gemaal Hussain confirmed his position as the leading wicket-taker in the championship this season by taking his tally to 29 as Leicestershire were made to follow on at Bristol.

The 26-year-old Gloucestershire seamer claimed 3-26 to help skittle the visitors for 102 in reply to 376. Anthony Ireland and James Franklin had identical figures of 3-21, while Will Jefferson top scored with 51.

Leicestershire made a better fist of things second time around and closed on 122 without loss, still 152 behind, with Matt Boyce 59 not out and Paul Nixon unbeaten on 50.