Somerset hold the advantage

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Peter Trego

Peter Trego removes Ian Blackwell as Somerset make the most of their time on the pitch at the Emirates Durham ICG

Somerset edged ahead in the race for the LV= County Championship title as Nottinghamshire were thwarted by the weather for a second consecutive day.

Somerset leapfrogged Notts to open up a two-point lead as they claimed four bonus points by the end of day two of their match at champions Durham.

Meanwhile, a frustrated Nottinghamshire failed to earn a single point as rain and, late on, almost laughably, sunshine hugely restricted play on the second day against Lancashire at Old Trafford to 27 overs.

Somerset, aiming for their first title, bowled Durham out for 286 to earn themselves a maximum of three bowling points.

Ben Phillips claimed 4-60 while fellow new-ball bowler Charl Willoughby returned figures of 3-81.

Skipper Marcus Trescothick then hit 75 as Somerset reached 226 for four at the close - good enough for another bonus point and the advantage in a title race that threatens to be affected by the rain.

Nottinghamshire began the day on eight without loss - after just one over was possible yesterday - but further rain prevented play resuming until 4pm.

They had managed to move along to 89 for two by the close, but not before losing a further 20 minutes when sun shining off the media centre roof at the Stretford End hampered the sight of the players.

Yorkshire also remain firmly in the race - five points behind the new leaders - after Steven Patterson’s unbeaten 39 helped them to 261 and a second batting point at Headingley Carnegie.

In reply, Kent, who need victory to avoid the drop, were 216 for six with 18-year-old paceman Moin Ashraf taking three late wickets, including Martin van Jaarsveld for 89, to keep the hosts' hopes alive.

Paul Horton, Gareth Cross, Gary Keedy & Steven Croft

Lancashire's Gary Keedy is congratulated after removing Alex Hales, one of two Notts wickets to fall in the 27 overs possible

Warwickshire edged towards safety after they bowled Hampshire out for 218, with Darren Maddy taking 4-37, They reached 29 without loss before rain forced an early close.

Worcestershire’s late charge for promotion from Division Two was held up by the weather on a truncated second day against champions Sussex at New Road.

Only 14 overs were bowled and to add the home side’s frustration they were unable to take the two wickets they still need to secure a third bowling bonus point.

That was due to Andrew Hodd and Will Beer, who added 34 runs to take the Division Two champions to 225 for seven.

Leicestershire batsman Greg Smith struck his second century in as many innings, against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.

Leicestershire captain Matthew Hoggard took his third five-wicket haul of the season, claiming figures of 5-48 as Northants added 64 to their overnight score before being bowled out for 250.

Twenty-one-year-old Smith then hit an unbeaten 100 off 164 balls, including 16 fours as an unbroken partnership of 101 with James Taylor (32 not out) guided the visitors to 159 for two at the close.

Kevin Pietersen’s bid for match practice was further undermined as the weather prevented a ball being bowled in Surrey’s match against Gloucestershire at Bristol.

Glamorgan will resume tomorrow on 120 for six in their first innings against Derbyshire at the SWALEC Stadium as they look to seal the second promotion spot. Rain prevented any play today.