Essex engineer commanding lead

Lv County Championship

Chris Wright, Steve Croft and Essex

Essex toast the dismissal of Steve Croft - lbw to Chris Wright for four - as the visitors scupper Lancashire at Old Trafford

Essex’s bowlers ensured they held a commanding advantage over Lancashire after two days at Old Trafford.

The lacklustre hosts were reduced to 101 for seven at the end of the 37th over in reply to Essex’s first-innings total of 307. But a fourth Championship half-century of the summer for Sajid Mahmood helped his side avoid the follow-on and reach 184 all out.

Mahmood finished with 58, off as many balls, while Pakistani leg-spinner Danish Kaneria was the pick of the visiting attack with 3-42 from 13.1 overs.

Hampshire bounced back from an indifferent opening day to peg Yorkshire back on day two at the Rose Bowl.

Resuming on 300 for three, Yorkshire seemed set for a mammoth total on a decent batting track. But Hampshire, in contrast to some insipid bowling yesterday, kept things tight from the off and restricted the visitors to 415 all out.

Jimmy Adams hit 82 as Hampshire’s reply got off to a strong start, but his removal late in the day removed some of the gloss for the hosts, who reached stumps on 162 for three.

A century from James Hildreth at Taunton put Somerset into a strong position against Warwickshire, who will resume tomorrow 52 runs behind with seven second-innings wickets remaining.

Hildreth’s 131 was the backbone of Somerset’s total of 290, which put the hosts firmly in control after Warwickshire were bowled out for 127 in their first innings.

The visitors reached stumps at 111 for three in their second innings thanks in part to a battling 61 by Darren Maddy.

Durham’s downturn in form in LV= County Championship Division One continued today as they slumped to defeat inside two days against Kent.

Andrew McDonald

Andrew McDonald followed his century with a fine bowling display - emphasising how much Leicestershire will miss him

The reigning champions were put to the sword by South African paceman Makhaya Ntini, who was the cornerstone of Kent’s innings victory inside five sessions at Chester-le-Street.

In his final game before returning home to act as an ambassador at football’s World Cup, Ntini finished with 6-51 and 10 wickets in the match as Durham were dismissed for 195, still four short of making Kent bat again.

In Division Two, Leicestershire were left reeling as leaders Glamorgan staged a dramatic fightback at Grace Road.

Andrew McDonald - who was today summoned to Australia to play against Sri Lanka A next month - made 113 out of Leicestershire's total of 291, and then took 1-14 in seven overs of impressive swing bowling as Glamorgan were skittled out for 166.

But the visitors dragged themselves back into the game as they sent Leicestershire crashing to 45 for five in their second innings for a lead of just 170.

Tim Linley took his maiden five-wicket haul in first-class cricket as Surrey struggled to fight their way back against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.

Northamptonshire could only add 67 to their overnight total as they were bowled out for 397, with their last five wickets tumbling for just 35 runs.

Paceman Linley finished with figures of 5-105 as the Northants batting corps faltered.

Surrey made 210 for seven in reply at stumps, with former England batsman Mark Ramprakash making 70.

Chesney Hughes continued his impressive entry into first-class cricket with a maiden century to put Derbyshire in control against Gloucestershire.

The 19-year-old reached three figures in only his fifth Championship innings and shared a stand of 134 with skipper Chris Rogers.

Hughes was ninth out for 118 and, despite Vikram Banerjee's 4-62, Derbyshire's last two wickets added 72 to take the home side to 345, a lead of 103.

Gloucestershire reduced the arrears by 47 before the close but they lost Steve Snell, who was bowled by Greg Smith for 21.

Murray Goodwin eased to his second hundred of the season as Sussex fought back against Worcestershire at Hove.